The play Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose presents twelve different jurors who come from various backgrounds in a jury room. Their job is to “separate the facts from the fancy” and to determine if there is “reasonable doubt to the guilt of the young boy who is being accused” (Act I) of first-degree murder against his father. The play shows that the criminal justice system is flawed, but men like juror eight can prove that there is faith in the jury system. Juror eight, a quiet, thoughtful gentleman who sees all sides of every question and seeks the truth fights for justice against biases of the other jurors to prove that there is reasonable doubt in the case and wins an acquittal for the defendant; without juror eight a possibly innocent man would have been executed. Twelve Angry Men uses the protagonist, juror eight, as the hero of the play to support the theme that despite evil and prejudice in the justice system, there are jurors like number eight who symbolize an optimistic future for the criminal justice system.
Juror eight fights for justice against the biases displayed by other jurors, which gives the audience hope that more jurors will fight for justice as well. It is obvious that members of the jury had already made up their minds when they first walk into the jury room. Yet, juror eight “votes not guilty and convinces the others to look at the evidence and testimonies more closely”. Although eleven other jurors voted for a guilty verdict, Juror eight states that “it’s not easy for me to raise my hand and send a boy off to die without talking about it” (Act I), proving that he wants to consider reasonable doubt and fight for justice, regardless of the other jurors not wanting to. Despite juror three being sadistic, juror eight explains that the only job they have as jurors is to prove whether there is or is not reasonable doubt; Eight questions threes intentions when he asks him if he is “his executioner?” (Act II), which proves that he is not afraid to have a disagreement with the other jurors who are prejudice towards the suspect. Eight also challenges juror three about his knowledge on knife fighting when he questioned him “Doesn’t it seem like an awkward way to handle a knife for an experienced knife fighter?” (Act III). By eight constantly proving that the jurors are wrong, he shows that he is not afraid to fight for justice against biases.
In Twelve Angry Men, juror eight proves that there is reasonable doubt and wins an acquittal for the defendant. Juror eight explains to the other jurors that he isn’t “trying to make anyone accept other possibilities. He’s just saying it’s possible,” Juror eight is trying to prove that there is a possibility that the witnesses could be unreliable, and he is trying to convince the other jurors to discard their close-mindedness. Another reason why juror eight wins an acquittal for the defendant is because he describes to the ignorant that their jobs as jurors are only to find reasonable doubt and “whether or not the boy on trial is guilty” (Act II), not to prove that he is innocent. Juror eight finds reasonable doubt in all the witness’s testimonies, he shares this with the other jurors and explains how the testimonies could be unreliable and false.
Juror eight explained to the other jurors that the man who testified that he heard the boy say “I’m going to kill you,” is an unreliable source because he had to have heard the boy yell that over an El train and that is nearly impossible; He also explained that the old man moves too slow to have watched the boy run down the stairs, since it takes him longer than fifteen seconds to go from his bedroom to his front door. Another testimony that was proven wrong was the testimony of the storekeeper who claimed that he sold the boy an “unusual knife” (Act I) the night of the murder, yet juror eight has the same exact one, which convinced some jurors that the storekeeper could be lying. Next, Juror five and eight find reasonable doubt in the way that the father was killed. Since the boy grew up in a poor neighborhood, he should be experienced in knife fighting and an experienced knife fighter would not create a wound like the one the victim had. Lastly, the jurors find reasonable doubt in the fact that it is not possible that the woman saw the murder happen through the last two windows of a moving El train when she did not have enough time to put on her glasses. It is almost impossible for her to see clearly in the dark, especially since she wears thick bifocals. Majority of the jurors used the witness’s testimony as the reason as to why they decided on a guilty verdict. However, once they found reasonable doubt in the witness’s statements, the defendant had a greater chance of acquittal.
Number eights opinions about the trial are all based on compassionate, reasonable decisions and this symbolizes an optimistic future for the criminal system. Throughout the play, juror eight works hard and makes sure that all of his decisions “are based on facts”. At the beginning of the play, Juror eight explains that his goal isn’t to convince the other jurors that the boy is innocent. Juror eight only “wants to talk for while” and feels that he “owes the boy a few words.” (Act I) about whether there is a possibility of reasonable doubt or not. Juror eight wants to make sure that the other juror’s opinions are compassionate and reasonable as well. Eight considers all of the possibilities to ensure that there is a fair trial, he explains to four that “it’s possible that the boy lost the knife and that someone else stabbed his father with a similar one” (Act I), eight wants the others to see that there is reasonable doubt behind this case. Although, eight wants all the jurors to see that there is reasonable doubt and wants their verdicts to be based on reasonable decisions, he assures them that “they have a right” to decide that the defendant is guilty; This proves that juror eight is a compassionate person whose opinions are based on reasonable decisions and want the other jurors to feel the same.
Eight gives the audience faith in the jury system by proving that he is educated, fair and is not afraid to disagree with others. Juror two believed that the defendant was guilty, simply because no one proved otherwise, but eight counters his statement by explaining that “Nobody has to prove otherwise. The burden of proof is on the prosecution. The defendant doesn’t have to open his mouth” (Act I), this shows that there are jurors who are educated about what their job is and how the judicial system works. Additionally, eight shows that he is educated about the judicial system by informing the other jurors that their only job is to “decide whether or not the boy on trial is guilty, we’re not concerned with anyone else’s motives” (Act II). Without juror eight educating the other jurors of this information, the boy would’ve been convicted because the jurors did not know how the judicial system works. Eight also discusses how the boy’s defense counsel “hardly seemed interested” in the case, exposing how attorneys are overworked and that they don’t have time to properly defend their client. Many innocent men are sent to prison because they don’t have the funds to be properly defended. Despite the defense counsel doing a poor job and defending his client, juror eight tries his hardest to prove that there is reasonable doubt, giving faith the audience faith in the judicial system. Number eight is the only juror that fought for justice and wanted to show others that they should discuss the case before deciding their verdict, without him, there would not be much faith left in the jury system.
Without juror eight, an innocent man would be executed. Juror eight was able to prove to all of the other jurors that there was reasonable doubt and without him being brave enough, all of the other jurors would have agreed on a guilty verdict; He exposes the inconstancies of the witness testimonies. Juror eight is a man who is focused on the truth of the case and refuses to give up until the other jurors face that truth”. By asking juror five “do you think he lied” (Act I) about the boy losing the knife, he lets those afraid and quiet be heard by showing them that they are not alone. Five is a naïve and frightened young man and juror eight helped him speak up. Number nine is also a gentleman who is unsure of the case. He feels defeated by life but juror eight shows support for him and tells him that he has “a right to be heard” (Act II), without juror nines thoughts on the old man who testified then no one would understand that the witness had lied in order to feel important. Another way juror eight saves the boy is by the “proposition” he makes, eight proposes that they will take another vote and if he did not convince any jurors that there was reasonable doubt then he will change his verdict to guilty, but if there are less than eleven votes for guilty than he will continue to prove that there is more reasonable doubt in the case. By stating this proposition, he proves that he is confident that there is a reasonable doubt; He also stops the boy from being prosecuted with this proposal.
Juror eight worked diligently throughout the play to ensure that the defendant received a fair trial. Unlike the other jurors, eight knows that his job as a member of the jury is not to say if the defendant was innocent or guilty, but to determine if there was reasonable doubt. Juror eight uses compassion, reasonable doubt and justice in order to symbolize an optimistic future for the criminal justice system. Without juror eight, an innocent boy would have been prosecuted. He symbolizes faith in the jury system, his opinions are reasonable and compassionate, he also proves reasonable doubt and fights for justice against biases.
How is 8th juror represented as the hero of the play? ›
By the end of the movie, Juror #8 has proven himself to be a true hero for standing by his principles and having the courage and skill to put them to work. He eventually gets the jury to find the defendant Not Guilty, and in the process, he avoids sending an innocent 18 year-old kid to jail.Is the 8th juror the hero of twelve angry men? ›
Juror 8 is the protagonist of Reginald Rose's "12 Angry Men." He is a peaceful and compassionate man who is dedicated to finding the truth. He is the only juror to vote not guilty at the beginning of the deliberation, as he wanted to discuss the case before making a decision.What does Juror 8 represent in 12 Angry Men? ›
Without juror eight, an innocent boy would have been prosecuted. He symbolizes faith in the jury system, his opinions are reasonable and compassionate, he also proves reasonable doubt and fights for justice against biases.What words describe Juror 8? ›
Juror #8: A quiet, thoughtful, gentle man, Juror #8 sees all sides of every question and constantly seeks the truth. He is a man of strength tempered with compassion. Above all, he is a man who wants justice to be done and will fight to see that it is.How does Juror 8 show courage? ›
Having courage to tell the truth when you are in the wrong, or you are sticking up for something isn't easy. Juror 8 always spoke the truth when he was defending the boy. Some of the witnesses that we called up to the stand in the case weren't so truthful.What is Juror 8 important quotes? ›
Juror #8: It's always difficult to keep personal prejudice out of a thing like this. And wherever you run into it, prejudice always obscures the truth. I don't really know what the truth is. I don't suppose anybody will ever really know.What does Juror 8 represent? ›
He represents justice; he believes that everyone should have a fair and just trial. He is a thoughtful and intelligent man. He reminds the jurors of their legal obligation under the constitution.What explanation does Juror #8 give for his vote? ›
But the longer he talks, the more the men realize that he's trying to convince them to change their minds. Eventually, Juror #8 gives up and says that he'll go with a Guilty verdict if all eleven other jurors vote Guilty again. The vote goes around the room and this time, only ten vote for Guilty.Who did Juror 8 convince? ›
Answer and Explanation: Juror 8 is the only member of the jury who initially votes "not guilty." He gradually convinces the rest of the jurors of the boy's innocence by talking them through the events of the crime one by one.What are Juror 8 concerns about the trial? ›
Finally, Juror #8 talks about why he's given a "Not Guilty" verdict. He says that he's suspicious of the lawyer who was defending the kid on trial. He thinks that the lawyer let too many things go by in his cross-examination of the witnesses. For him, the defense attorney is either incompetent or corrupt.
Is Juror 8 Based on a true story? ›
Slowly joined in his search for the truth by the other jurors, Kwon Nam Woo begins to break through the majority opinion to uncover the truth and set the standard for true justice. Based on a true story, “Juror 8” is a 2019 film directed by Hong Seung Wan.What proposal does Juror 8 make at the end of Act 1? ›
Finally, Juror 8 proposes that they take a second vote using a secret ballot: If everyone votes “guilty,” he will join them in order to convict. But Juror 9 votes “not guilty,” so deliberations continue.What are 3 qualities of jurors? ›
Most jurors can be placed into three categories: Good Plaintiff, Poison, or Go-with-the-Flow-ers. You should be observant not only when individuals are answering questions, but also when they are interacting with others.What does the 8th juror do for a living? ›
Juror 8 is a architect who is kind and compassionate. He was called in for jury duty to discuss the case of a teenager boy who was allegedly believed to have stabbed his father to death.What does Juror 8 say to Juror 3? ›
He mutters "not guilty", making the vote unanimous. As the others leave, Juror 8 helps the distraught Juror 3 with his coat. Producing his own switchblade, he throws doubt on the supposed uniqueness of the murder weapon. He says he cannot vote "guilty" because reasonable doubt exists.Why did Juror 8 raise his vote not guilty? ›
Why did juror #8 raise his hand to vote not guilty? He didn't want to make the final decision and make the votes 12-0 guilty. He wanted to vote not guilty so he could think things through and give the boy a chance. What time did the baseball game start?What is a thesis statement for Juror 8? ›
Thesis Statement: Juror 8 is the only Juror who shows complete courage when facing the discrimination of the other Jurors. Juror 8 uses a calm manner to persuade the other jurors to his side.What did juror Eight suggest for the second vote? ›
Finally, Juror #8 asks the foreman to take a second vote, which he (#8) will stay out of. If everyone votes for Guilty again, he'll join them and end the whole thing.What are the results of Juror 8 experiment? ›
Juror Number Eight appears to be an intelligent man who seeks justice and the truth. He is dressed nicely and is well put together. He shows compassion and respect. In the first vote taken by the jury, the result is eleven votes guilty with one vote not guilty.How was Juror 8 empathetic? ›
Empathy Empathy is one of the techniques to improve communication in diverse group or organization which may lead to making the best decision. Juror 8 requested the group to discuss about the situation first to understand and make everybody clear on the decision to be made.
How did Juror 8 display effective listening skills? ›
In the drama Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose, juror 8 does a good job in persuading the other jurors to listen and reconsider the evidence. He uses his rhetorical appeals to captivate the other jurors attention. He gains an authority towards the other jurors which makes them trust him more.Why did Juror 8 bring a knife to court? ›
Juror 8 insists that the knife identified as the murder weapon be brought to the jury room because he wants to show that: it's an unusual knife; the defendant didn't buy it;it isn't the murder weapon; it in not as unusual as the witness testified.Why does 8 become angry with 3? ›
The reason they were on opposing sides was because Juror Three believed the kid was guilty, while Juror Eight believed there was not enough evidence to convict him.Who was the last juror to vote guilty? ›
Juror 3 was the last to change his vote. His stubbornness to change his decision from guilty to not guilty appears early in the play.Why is the relationship between Juror 3 and 8 so important? ›
As an expression of Rose's view of the American criminal justice system, the relationship between the 3rd and 8th Jurors personifies a confrontation of its flaws as well as the potential consequences that can follow when such flaws are directed at individuals caught in the crossfire.What is a weakness of a jury? ›
It's not uncommon for jurors to be unfairly swayed by personal emotion. Many people find it challenging to make a decision based solely on evidence and rules. Jurors can be unpredictable. There will always be uncertainty when a jury is involved.What responsibilities do jurors have? ›
The jurors meet in a room outside the courtroom to decide whether the prosecutor has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty. All the jurors must agree on the decision or verdict – their decision must be unanimous.What qualities make a good juror? ›
impartial: Without bias, prejudice, or other pre- conception. The members of a jury should have no opinion about or vested interest in a case at the start of the trial and should base the verdict only on competent legal evidence presented during the trial and on the judges' instructions about the law.How is Juror 8 characterized? ›
In the play “12 Angry Men” by Reginald Rose, Juror Eight shows many traits, among these traits are attentive, brave, and precise. He displays these characteristics many times throughout the play. The first character trait Juror Eight shows is attentive. Juror Eight pays very close attention during the trial.How does Juror 8 persuade the jurors? ›
Answer and Explanation: Juror 8 is the only member of the jury who initially votes "not guilty." He gradually convinces the rest of the jurors of the boy's innocence by talking them through the events of the crime one by one.
Does Juror #8 or any other character exercise reverse discrimination? ›
2. Does Juror #8, or any other character, exercise “reverse discrimination? Juror number eight did not exercise reverse discrimination. But juror number 9 did.What is Juror 8 concerns about the trial? ›
Finally, Juror #8 talks about why he's given a "Not Guilty" verdict. He says that he's suspicious of the lawyer who was defending the kid on trial. He thinks that the lawyer let too many things go by in his cross-examination of the witnesses. For him, the defense attorney is either incompetent or corrupt.What is Juror 8 backstory? ›
Juror 8 is a architect who is kind and compassionate. He was called in for jury duty to discuss the case of a teenager boy who was allegedly believed to have stabbed his father to death. The jurors are told to come up a unanimous vote: the boy will receive a death sentence if declared guilty.What tactics did Juror 8 use? ›
- Never say someone is wrong. Juror 8 sets the scene by telling the other jurors that while he emphatically "doesn't disagree" with them, he is "not sure" the boy is guilty. ...
- Be persuaded -- don't persuade. ...
- Create emotional impact. ...
- Amplify with attention. ...
- Trade emotions for rationality.
Finally, Juror #8 asks the foreman to take a second vote, which he (#8) will stay out of. If everyone votes for Guilty again, he'll join them and end the whole thing.What does Juror 3 yell at 8 what does it prove? ›
Juror 3 lunges at Juror 8 and shouts at him that he is going to kill him, which thereby disproves Juror 3's earlier statement about people not saying things they don't mean. When the vote evens up, Juror 3 is ready to declare a hung jury.