Asimow, Michael R., "12 Angry Men: A Revisionist View." Chicago-Kent Law Review, Vol. 82, p. 711, 2007 <http://ssrn.com/abstract=1095488>
In this paper, the author, Michael Asimow, takes a very different view of the jury of 12 Angry Men. While it is widely assumed that the jury of 12 Angry Men serves as an example of an ideal jury, the author of 12 ANGRY MEN: A REVISIONIST VIEW argues that instead of supporting the jury system the movie serves as an argument against the jury system. The author bases this on the idea that while the juror number eight is able to poke holes in the evidence, there is still enough circumstantial evidence to find the defendant guilty, and that the jury should find him guilty.
Michael Asimow argues in his paper that if the son didn't commit the murder then someone else did, but there was no sign of theft or break in at the apartment. Also the father was killed by a very unusual knife, and even though the juror number eight found a similar knife at a local shop, the probability that the killer and the boy had the same unusual knife is very small. The boy also did not remember anything from a movie that he said he saw. Juror number eight explains this by asking a juror about a movie that the juror saw couple of days ago, who was playing in it and its name. The juror remembered most of the information but not all, and so this was used to disregard the idea that the boy was lying about seeing a movie. The juror not remembering the movie he saw couple of days ago in no ways diminishes the fact that the boy remembered nothing. Also the boy's alibi was not confirmed by anyone as no one saw him at the theater. So even if disregarding the evidence from the two eyewitnesses there is enough evidence to find the defendant guilty. This movie is seen by many as a model for a jury, but in Michael Asimow's view it 12 Angry Men should not be viewed as a movie that supports the idea that jury deliberations leads to the right decision.
Flouri, Eirini, and Yiannis Fitsakis “Minority Matters: 12 Angry Men as a Case Study of a Successful Negotiation against the Odds” Negotiation Journal 23 (4), (2007): 449–462 <http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/action/showFullText?submitFullText=Full+Text+HTML&doi=10.1111%2Fj.1571-9979.2007.00156.x>
In this article the authors study the art of negotiation and use the jury from 12 Angry Men as an example to support their article. The article is mainly based on the work of Serge Moscovici, a social psychologist. Serge Moscovici contends that while a minority will generally try to avoid confrontations by agreeing with the majority it is also possible that a minority can refuse to change his position and become an influential figure in cases where a unanimous decision is needed. The influence of the minority would allow members of the majority to reconsider their view and join the minority. Serge Moscovici contended that five key aspects of minority's influence are his/her consistency, investment, autonomy, rigidity and fairness.
The above characteristics are evident in juror number eight in 12 Angry Men as he convinces the other eleven jurors to change their position. He showed his consistency by backing and giving evidence to support for his decision to not vote guilty throughout the deliberations. He shows his flexibility by proposing a ballot with him abstaining. He shows that he has autonomy by initially declaring that he is not trying to acquit the defendant, but instead wants a complete discussion of the facts to make the right decision. Juror number eight serves as an example for Serge Moscovici idea that the minority can influence the decision of the majority.
Hackley, Susan. “One Reasonable and Inquiring Man: 12Angry Men as a Negotiation-Teaching Tool” Negotiation Journal 23 (4), (2007): 463-468 <http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/action/showFullText?submitFullText=Full+Text+HTML&doi=10.1111%2Fj.1571-9979.2007.00157.x>
In this article the author shows why the film 12 Angry Men is considered a great teaching tool in law schools throughout US. The film does not just show behind the scenes of a jury room as jurors deliberate, but serves as an example of the techniques that can win an argument and convince others to change their position on a specific topic. Juror number eight in 12 Angry Men uses techniques used by negotiators such as: coalition building, framing, active listening and differentiating between position and interest.
Juror number eight declines to state his position by saying that he doesn't know if the boy is guilt or not guilty, he simply state his interest to discuss the case more to come to the best possible conclusion. He also tries to set the frame of the case. Juror number eight reminds the other jurors that to acquit the defendant they do not have to think of him as innocent but to have a doubt about him being guilty as stated by the law. He also uses active listening as he listens to the opposition's argument and puts it into a perspective to support his argument. As the deliberations continue juror number eight builds a coalition of jurors who agree with him. One by one he is able to convince members of the majority to change their position by putting doubts into their mind by poking holes in the evidence. While the movie might not be totally realistic it can be argued that the techniques used by juror eight would be as successful in real life.
Wheeler, Michael. “One Angry Man? A New Look at an Old Film”
Negotiation Journal 23 (4), (2007): 469–471 <http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1571-9979.2007.00158.x>
In this article the author, Michael Wheele, writes a satire based on the movie 12 Angry Men. Michael Wheele argues that the same method used by the jury to prove that the defendant should be acquitted can also be used to show that the defendant is actually guilty. To prove the innocence of the boy, juror number eight poked holes in all of the pieces of evidence that the prosecution had presented during the case. By showing that that the woman wears glasses, that the train sound would stop the old men from hearing the scream, that it would take too long for the old man to get to the hallway, showing the duplicate knife, proving that the wound was made in the wrong direction and that under stress the boy could have forgotten the name of the movie he saw juror number eight put enough doubt in the minds of all the jurors to win an acquittal. So in this satire the author, Michael Wheele, shows a possibility of how all these different holes in the evidence could be turned against juror number eight and prove that the boy is guilty. Michael Wheele comes up with a scenario where the new evidence fits with the boy committing the murder.
While this satire gives a scenario in which the boy should be found guilty, it is not enough. The small doubt that the holes in the evidence have left in the minds of the jurors should be enough to acquit the boy. The job of the jurors is not to decide if the boy is innocent, but to decide if the there is any doubt that the boy might not be guilty, and as such the jury makes the right decision believe that there is a very small doubt.
Ellsworth, Phoebe C. “Review: One Inspiring Jury” Michigan Law Review, Vol. 101, No. 6, 2003 Survey of Books Relating to the Law May, 2003, pp. 1387-1407<http://www.jstor.org/stable/3595316>
One Inspiring Jury, written by Phoebe C. Ellsworth, discusses the role of the jury in the United States Justice System and the pressure on it to effectively function in the judiciary system. Throughout her work Phoebe C. Ellsworth uses 12 Angry Men (1957) as evidence to support her argument and also to show how an ideal jury functions. An ideal jury should be one where every member has equal say during the deliberation, the members should be diverse group which would lead to many different points of view regarding the subject case and that the minority, does not matter how small, should not be disregarded.
The jury in 12 Angry Men supports all of these characteristics of an ideal jury. In the movie it is evident that the members are very diverse. There are juror with highly regarded occupations, working men, an immigrant and a man raised in a bad neighborhood. All of them bring a different point of view and together bring a better perspective on the case. There is a free discussion between the jurors, and while some jurors speak more then the others; they all had a chance to express their own perspectives. The jury in 12 Angry Men shows that it does not matter how small, minority can be right.
Since there has been almost no research done about the deliberation that goes on behind closed doors of the jury due to the secrecy of the jury that is protected by the government, it is impossible for an outsider to know how the verdict was actually reached. 12 Angry Men is a great example of how a jury should act during deliberation.
Waters, Nancy J. “Negotiation Lessons from 12 Angry Men
Introduction” Negotiation Journal 23 (4), (2007): 439–441 <http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/action/showFullText?submitFullText=Full+Text+HTML&doi=10.1111%2Fj.1571-9979.2007.00154.x>
In this article the author, Nancy J. Waters, writes about he effect that the film 12 Angry Men has had throughout US over the last 50 years. She begins the article by describing how annoyed she was about having to go for jury duty, but remembering about the film reminded her of her civic duty. 12 Angry Men still survives as part of cinema history and also part of American culture. After forty years 12 Angry Men was remade in United States and it also showed up as play in London and in New York. Plays based on it have been shown throughout US in theaters and schools. The film has served as a teaching tool for teaching negotiations. It encompasses ideas from economics (gains and losses of jurors), history (prejudice common during the Civil Rights year), and responsibility. Its importance in Law is significant and apparent as the film was celebrated during the Association of American Law Schools annual meeting.
12 Angry Men has influenced many books, shows, movies and other forms of entertainment, but its most important contribution ahs to be in the field of jury deliberation. 12 Angry Men is the first movie that explains to the public what goes own behind the closed doors of the jury, the pressure jurors feel and the importance of the jury in the judiciary system of the United States.
Weiler, A. H. “Screen: '12 Angry Men'; Jury Room Drama Has Debut at Capitol.” New York Times 15 Apr. 1957 < http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9F02E3DE1730E23BBC4D52DFB266838C649EDE>
This newspaper article was written in 1957 by A.H. Weiler as a review for the movie 12 Angry Men as it had just appeared in theaters. 12 Angry Men is the first movie to deeply concentrate on the jurors and their deliberation. While the movie is only shot in the deliberation with few shots in the restroom the director is still able to make fluid shots throughout the movie. The legal term “beyond a reasonable doubt” is fully investigated in the movie as the jury tries to convict an eighteen-year-old boy of murder. All but one juror is convinced of his guilt, but this one juror is able to convince the rest of the jurors that there is enough doubt about whether the boy committed the murder to acquit him. The jury is made of all white men, but each one of them unique on their own, with unique background, experiences and beliefs. By discussing every piece of evidence that other eleven jurors are using to vote guilty, juror number eight, the only one initially to not vote guilty, is able to place a doubt into every men’s head.
12 Angry Men was a powerful drama in 1957 and after more then fifty years it is still part of the US culture.
Sunstein, Cass R.. “Group Polarization and 12 Angry Men”
Negotiation Journal 23 (4), (2007). 443–447 <http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/action/showFullText?submitFullText=Full+Text+HTML&doi=10.1111%2Fj.1571-9979.2007.00155.x&cookieSet=1>
In the article Group Polarization and 12 Angry Men Cass R. Sunstein discusses the psychological phenomenon of group polarization. Group polarization is the idea that if the majority of the members of a group feel strongly about a specific topic then after a discussion the minority will be convinced to change their position and the overall feeling for the specific topic will be even stronger. Cass R. Sunstein brings examples of various psychological experiments done to tests the idea of group polarization and to also explain the mechanics behind it. Group polarization occurs due to several factors: After a deliberation the argument for the initially position is greater because initially there were more people favoring this position, therefore this position is discussed more which statistically will have a greater effect and polarize. Members of the minority will be easier swayed because usually people will try to avoid confrontations and therefore change the position from minority to the majority. Also a view of a person will strengthen about a specific topic if they know others agree with them. All this would lead to a polarization.
From the idea of group polarization it can be assumed that a jury that initially had a majority for voting guilty would end up voting guilty, but this was not the case in 12 Angry Men. Does this prove that 12 Angry Men is unrealistic or an exception? There is enough evidence to show that the jury in the movie is realistic and it even supports the idea of group polarization. In the movie juror eight was the most well informed one and he led the discussion and even though he was the minority it seemed as he was the majority since he led the discussions and asked all the questions. While rare, this shows that having a minority is important and can influence and change the position of the majority.
Hans, Valerie P. “Deliberation and Dissent: 12 Angry Men Versus the Empirical Reality of Juries.” Symposium: The 50th Anniversary of 12 Angry Men 82.2 (2007). 16 Nov. 2007 < http://lawreview.kentlaw.edu/articles/82-2/Hans%20Author%20Approved%20Edits%20LR%20(H)(P).pdf>
In this paper the author, Valerie P. Hans, studies the effect that the movie 12 Angry Men has had on the American society. 12 Angry Men has been used in numerous classrooms throughout US to teach students about the jury system and negotiations and has given insight to the deliberations behind the closed doors of the jury. This movie also jumps started research in the fields of psychology and sociology, about how juries come to a decision, and the process of deliberation and the behavior of the jurors. This led to interviews of jurors, judges and lawyers, some taping of jury deliberations and mock trials. The results from these research showed that the initial majority vote usually resulted in the final verdict and only a very small percentage of cases the initial minority vote resulted in the final verdict. 90% of initial majority resulted in a final verdict while the rest resulted in initial minority winning or hang jury.
While only a small percentage of that data supports the jury from 12 Angry Men, research has show that deliberation does have similar effect as in the movie. Deliberation allows for a clear understanding of the case and in cases of a diverse jury, shows the case from different points of view as unique perspectives are seen. While it may seem that the jurors in 12 Angry Men are not diverse, since all of them are white men, on a closer look it is evident that they are people with very different experiences, be it the old men who has lived most of his life, the immigrant or the juror who grew up in a bad neighborhood. This movie acts as a great example of a real jury deliberation behind closed door