Twelve Angry men
Angry Men is an engrossing and thrilling jury-room confrontation in
which an "open and shut case" becomes complicated as the jurors become
involved. The combatants are a dozen strangers.
The case goes
about a nineteen-year-old boy who is suspect to have murdered his father
and his fate now lies in the hands of 12 men from all walks of life,
each with his own agenda, fears, and personal demons. By the question if
he is guilty or not guilty, the results are: 11 guilty, and 1 not
guilty, but it has to be an unanimous decision. One of the jurors, nr 8,
begins opening the othersí eyes to the facts. It is a real fight between
nr.8 and nr.3. As the evidence is scrutinised, tensions mount, tempers
rise... and the 12 jurors are forced to confront their bitter prejudices
in a struggle for the truth. Then the other jurors immediately begin
questioning the man, not understanding how he could possibly think that
way. The man responds by saying that he "only wants to talk." All the
evidence is being undermined by nr. 8: a woman who claimed to have seen
the boy, hadnít seen him at all because time was to short; she had to
wake up, and put her glasses on but there was not that much time to do
so. There was also someone under the house of the father who claimed to
have heard it and then runned outside in 15 seconds. After running this
route again, they came to the conclusion that this was not possible in
15 seconds! The discussions become personal, with each juror revealing
his own character, as the various testimonies are re-examined. The
arguments grow heated, and the jurors become twelve angry people. Then
the knife of the murder came up. Nr. 8 proved that there are a lot of
people who own such knife. Nr. 8 seemed to be right about this all and
the results were: 11 not guilty and 1 guilty. After a lot of pressure of
nr.8 on nr.3, he also voted finally not guilty.
Angry Men is a fine example of a story about the conflict between logic
essentially strangers to each other, must decide the fate of this boy:
did he let his rage take control in the murder of his father?
of Twelve Angry Men, while ideal, is generally not the norm in today's
society, however. It is stated several times that any other jury would
convict, and I believe this to be true. There are too many examples in
modern trials where the jury members pay little attention to the facts
of the trial. It becomes a big game, not of guilt or innocence, but of
which lawyer is more appealing to the jury.
I think the
story is a great one, with a jury discussing the importance of "doubt".
The best part about the story is that even though it is not proven the
boy is guilty, there is doubt and so the justice system does not allow a
life lies in the hands of one liberal juror. The juror struggles to
convince his fellow jurors that there is room for reasonable doubt, but
he's working against dubious priorities and prejudices. This book makes
you wonder whether the jury system is the best way of deciding if
someone is guilty or not. Twelve "ordinary" men and women decide the
fate of the defendant, how many are objective about the process? Some
bring personal prejudices into the jury room; others couldn't care less
about the outcome.
The point seems
to be: don't jump to conclusions, especially in something as important
as sentencing someone. I just wish we could have found out who really
did it, but I suppose that wasn't really the point.
Twelve angry men
showed what it was like for a jury to handle sentencing of a criminal.
Most books it
seems I find myself telling people specific things about a book that I
did or did not like. For this book, I liked everything. I just say that
the whole book was good from just about every angle.