Using the information from the Week 4 lecture, you will analize the film 12 Angry Men and its characters from a communications perspective.You must watch the film in its entirety, take notes and answer the specific questions posted in the Week 5 Discussion Board forum. You may want to have the questions with you as you watch the movie.Go to Just Watch It to rent the movie for $3.99 in most streaming services. You can choose which service you prefer.Pay close attention to the plot and the characters in the 1957 film. While the group communications methods are in person and may seem old-fashioned, the exchanges are valuable as guides of what is effective and what is not in a group environment. The setting in the film may not be viewed by all as a professional setting, but it is. The men who gather are strangers to each other. They must (or should) be professional using all tips noted in the Week 4 lecture, they must (or should) show respect, and they must work toward one, unified goal. Enjoy the film. NOTE:Although 12 Angry Men is still considered a standard for depicting what happens inside a jury room, it is not without its problems. For instance, you will notice the jury is made up of all men. The play on which this film is based was written in the days before women were allowed to serve on juries in most jurisdictoins.
BackgroundIn England before the 15th century, juries were chosen among people who actually knew something about the customs of the people and the locale in question. The modern jury dates from the 15th century when English Common Law judges began to instruct juries on the law and restrict them to finding the facts from the evidence presented at the trial. Under the U.S. Constitution, a person is entitled to a jury of his peers. This doesn’t mean that the jurors must come from the same racial, ethnic, or cultural background as the defendant, but rather that no particular race or ethnic background can be excluded from the jury selection process. The discussion the men are having about how to treat the youth of the slums is a perennial debate in American Society. See Boys Town.When a jury begins to analyze the facts of a case, the application of twelve minds to a set of circumstances is an amazing and awesome process. Attorneys who have often worked on a case for years will miss facts brought out by the jurors. An example from the film is the jury’s analysis of the marks made on the nose of the eyewitness by her glasses. Jurors often find that their original positions are changed by the discussion during deliberations. The film is true to life. On rare occasions, a position that was held by only one dissenting juror has eventually been adopted by the rest of the jury, as occurs in this movie.12 Angry Men has been shown to law school and business school classes as a study in the jury system and as an example of effective persuasion.Due Process of Law
- is a set of procedures designed to make sure that people are treated fairly by the government;
- is based on the idea that a person cannot be deprived of life, liberty or property without appropriate legal procedures and safeguards;
- includes, at least, the right to notice, an opportunity to be heard, and protection from an unreasonable or capricious result;
- is a flexible concept and requires different procedures in different situations; for example, the due process requirements for a criminal case are more stringent than due process requirements for a civil case because a criminal conviction carries potential incarceration, a heavier punishment than mere loss of money; and
- requires more protections in a court case than in an administrative proceeding; in an administrative hearing the decision must be reasonable but it doesn’t have to meet the standards of beyond a reasonable doubt or even a preponderance of the evidence.
- Due process is more than just important. It is essential in a government of ordered liberty because it is important to individuals that when the government makes a decision affecting them, that the decision be made fairly. If the government takes action without due process, it will lose the loyalty of its citizens.
After you have read the Week 5 lecture and watched the film 12 Angry Men answer the following questions:
- Describe the plot/premise of the movie in one sentence.
- What is the goal?
- There is a jury foreman. Is he the leader of this group? If so, why? If not, who is the leader and what does the jury foreman do wrong?
- The dissenting juror (Juror # 8) may have suspected that the young man killed his father. Why does he still argue that the young man should be acquitted of the charges?
- How did Juror 8 stand out from the other jurors? Why was this important to the story?
- How does he persuade the other jurors to change their minds? Using what style/type of communication.
- What was more important in the process of swaying the jurors’ minds: facts or opinions? How was Juror 8 effective in using both facts and opinions to create doubt among the other participants?
- Pick another juror. How does his personal live affect how they communicate to the others?
- What are some of the characteristics of the jurors? How did this make them more empathetic or more hostile toward the defendant?
- What are some of the non-verbal cues that communicate a character’s feelings or opinions?
- Does non-verbal communication play a role in the voting or decisions by the jurors? Explain.
- Which juror’s communication style most resembles your communication style in a group or professional setting and why?