12 Angry Men

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This movie has concepts from several chapters throughout the book, and your other readings. Watch the movie. You can watch the old version, or the 'new' 1997 version.

Next, write your comment. Your comment does not need to provide an overview of the movie (we have all seen it). Your comment should be an in-depth analysis of one or more principles from your text or other readings. You should use scenes and characters to provide examples of textbook concepts. Your comment should reflect that you are in a university level Psychology & Law course and clearly link elements from the movie to your readings.  This is a comprehensive assignment (linking course lectures, readings, and the movie) and you cannot do that in just a few short paragraphs.

BE SPECIFIC. At the bottom of your comment, please put a list of the psychologyical and legal terms you used. 

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I watched the old version, the 1957 version, of “12 Angry Men” and I found it very interesting. When I was in high school I read this play in my sophomores honors English class. Watching this movie reminded me of when we acted it out in that class four years ago. This movie helped illustrate what we read about in chapter thirteen of the textbook, about the power a jury holds as decision-makers; in this case, a jury that had to vote unanimously.
In the beginning the jury men decided they wanted to start with a verdict-driven style of orientation. In other words, they just wanted to take a vote and not talk. They wanted to “get it over with,” and be done with the trial. It later turns into a nasty evidence-driven style where all of the men are yelling at one another and trying to persuade one another to “see” their side. They wanted everyone to vote the same way. So they talked about the evidence that was given in the trial and thought of scenarios where the eyewitness’ testimonies could be wrong. As psychology and law students, we know how bad an eyewitness’s testimony can be and how hard it is to recall events in a traumatic situation.
As the movie continued and the men debated whether or not the eyewitnesses were recalling true facts and if their testimonies were reliable, I could not help but think back to our class. I kept telling myself, “They aren’t reliable! Why don’t you guys understand this! Eyewitnesses are rarely one hundred percent accurate when recalling events, even ones with 20/20 vision!” But this also told me how a jury perceives eyewitness accounts. As we have learned, eyewitness testimonies are some of the most convincing evidence in the court of law. Even though they are proven to be not reliable, a jury believes that people know what they saw; especially if the witness is extremely confident.
We watched as the open conflict unfolded. At first, there was juror number seven who was trying to use normative influence to either sway juror number eight to his side, or to keep the other jurors with him. He just wanted to get the deliberation process over with because he was more concerned with making it to his baseball game on time than he was with the trial. Juror number eight, the only juror who voted “not guilty,” was trying to use informational influence to understand how the murder took place. He looked at the evidence and thought about logical reasons as to why the boy would be innocent. Juror eight was the only member who thought that it was possible for the boy to be innocent, and he was the one who did not want to sentence this boy to death if there was a reasonable doubt, which he had.
This movie shows social psychology in action. Social psychology is the scientific study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of other. Social psychology explains how different group dynamics work, and this movie showed different representations of them. Different people have different roles in a group. For example juror number twelve was a follower. He basically went where everyone else did. He did not take much of a stand for himself. He was a people pleaser in the group of jurors.
They began to define themselves by the group they were a part of. Their social identity became the order in which they sat their juror number. Another part of social psychology explains the relations in a group, or the patterns of liking within the group and differences in status. For example, in “12 Angry Men” juror nine was the first juror to change his vote and befriend juror number eight. Another example would be at the beginning of the movie juror number three was seen as the leader, however, by the end of the movie his status had changed and he seemed to be the outcast. He was the only one who saw the innocent boy as guilty. He was the only man who wanted to send a boy to be possibly sentenced to death. Overall it was a great movie.

Terms: Deliberation Process, Verdict-Driven Style, Evidence-Driven Style, Orientation, Open Conflict, Informational Influence, Normative Influence, Social Psychology, Group Dynamic, Social Identity, Relations.

The first thing I wanted to point out was that I immediately noticed when watching this movie was that the jury did not consist of any women. I found this interesting because it seemed to me that even back in the nineties there would have been women on a jury. Another thing I found interesting was the fact the men were locked in such a rundown room, and were forced to be hot and uncomfortable. I don’t feel like this would be the case nowadays, at least I hope not!
12 Angry men related to law and psychology in a number of ways. Each of the men had a different personality and different outlook when it came to whether they thought the kid was guilty or not guilty. The old man juror, I believe he was juror #3 definitely showed the personality trait of authoritarianism. He had very conventional and rigid beliefs, and he ended up being the very last one to change his verdict to not guilty. The old man also seemed to believe in a just world, because he didn’t show any sympathy for the kid. He believed that if the kid killed his father, then he should be punished to the worst extent.
Another psychological attribute I found was with the similarity-leniency hypothesis. Juror #5 was an African American man who had grown up in the slums, so since he was similar to the defendant (he was of a different race and they both grew up in the slums) he empathized and was better at identifying with the defendant and understanding what he went through. I feel that the Hispanic man, Juror #11, also identified with the defendant because they both were of the same race.
The whole movie was based on jury deliberation and the process of it. The first phase, orientation, was shown when the jurors picked Juror #1 to be their foreperson, and then they immediately took a vote to see where everyone stood.
The second phased, open conflict, took place when the jurors realized that 1 person voted not guilty while the rest of them voted guilty. The one old man who voted not guilty seemed to be the only one that wanted to discuss the evidence and discuss their differing views. Everyone else just wanted to pick a verdict and get it over with. Many of the jurors ended up switching to a verdict of not guilty because this one old man had a informational influence on them; in other words when he explained the information and evidence, they ended up seeing that the there was no evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. I felt that the three men that changed their vote because of normative influence, meaning they didn’t really change their view on the verdict, but they gave in to group pressure. I felt that the stubborn old man, juror 3, gave in because he was the last one standing. I felt that Juror #10, who I felt was racist and ignorant, gave in because after he went almost crazy about the fact that this boy was Hispanic and he really showed his racial tendencies, he was told to shut up and not speak another word, therefore his vote didn’t really matter anymore. The last person I felt changed his mind because of normative influence was Juror #12- the ad salesman. Juror #12 was wishy washy throughout the whole procedure, and he changed his vote several times, usually changing it based on what others believed.
The find phase, reconciliation, was shown after the jurors had come to a final verdict and were leaving to go to the courtroom. This idea was really shown between the angry old man, juror #3, and the nice old man (I’m not sure which juror # he was). The nice old man brought juror #3 his jacket and tried to console him because he was really upset after having to change his verdict.
A couple of times throughout the jury process, many of the jurors wanted to go to the judge with a hung jury, meaning they were saying they could not come to a unanimous decision and then the boy would have to go through a whole new trial with a different jury.
There were many aspects of psychology that could be noted in the different men. The idea of social psychology was huge, because they all had to talk and deal with each other to come to a unanimous decision. I found psychology used when the Juror #3 put off his past experiences about his own son and used them when judging and coming to a verdict with the boy in question.
I was surprised that this 2 hour movie consisted only of the men in the jury room, and I could feel how tense it was between them for the many hours they were put together. It gave me an almost negative view of being a juror, I don’t think I would ever want to have to deal with that kind of situation.
Terms: jury deliberation, similarity-leniency hypothesis, orientation, open conflict, belief in a just world, authoritarianism, social psychology


First of all, I think we need to change the name of the 1997 version of this movie to 11 Angry Men and an Adorable Old Man. Seriously, though. Or maybe, Two Seriously Angry Men, Some That Get Angry Sometimes, and Others Who Like to Get Loud. I read this play in high school, so I knew what to expect out of it, but the anger issues were alarming. I mean, I know they didn’t want to be there and that it was hot, but their deliberation only took two hours. Put your big boy pants on and do what is expected of you as a citizen. Geez. I got so angry at some of the characters throughout the movie that I would have fit right in (except for the being a man part).
In the opening scene of the movie, the judge is delivering her instructions to the jury. She tells them that they are to separate the facts and interpret the law as it pertains to this case. Since it is a capital murder case, she calls for a unanimous decision from the jury. She also advises that they deliberate thoroughly since one man is already dead and the life another is at stake. The juror is to determine the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt.
When we first see the jury, we see that they are mostly older gentlemen. Eight of the twelve jurors are white, one is hispanic, and three are African American. Demographics are an important aspect of jury composition as they play a large role in biases. At one point in the deliberation, a few of the older jurors are outraged by the behavior of “kids these days.” We see these kinds of biases that come from age and generational gaps often, yet older citizens and homemakers are over represented on juries. The discussion of race also comes into play later in the movie. Juror 10 gets very worked up about the defendant, who is hispanic. He (verbally) attacks the hispanic juror saying that all of “his kind” are the same. The question of race can play a large part in the decisions juries make. Despite what we want to believe of each others, our society can be very prejudicial of race and ethnicity. Juror 10’s racial tirade sets him apart from the others more than his temperament had already done, but his bias towards other races is not uncommon.
As their discussion continues, the impact of normative and informational influence becomes more apparent. Juror 8 is able to make a strong enough argument about the unanswered questions in the trial to sway more and more jurors to consider the concept of reasonable doubt. This demonstrates an informational influence. A normative influence is demonstrated by the jurors trying to pressure Juror 8 into changing his vote in the beginning of deliberation or toward the end, when the jury tries to sway Jurors 3 and 10 to vote with the group. The pressure of conforming to the group notions plays a large role in jury decision making. Though we hold our own opinions, standing out is undesirable. Group behaviour is an interesting concept and it is especially relevant to juries.
The question of witness reliability comes up frequently in the discussion of the jury. How often do witnesses recall things that did not take place, not because the want to deceive the jury and counsel, but because their memory has failed to preserve the truth? The answer, unfortunately, is quite often. The jury discussed the accuracy of the different witnesses several times throughout the movie. They question whether or not he was capable of actually seeing the defendant flee from the apartment building or hear him scream at his father. They do not believe that he is intentionally lying, but consider his process of encoding the information. The jury also deliberates on the ability of the woman across the street to see the crime take place. Most of their concerns are a matter of perception that have affected the memory of different witnesses. We discussed, at length, the importance of witness perception and its role in memory.
The movie also raises discussion on how long is long enough for a suitable amount of deliberation before announcing that they are a hung jury. If a jury feels that they are not going to reach a unanimous decision, even after a short amount of time, should they be allowed to say that they are hung? Are hung juries really at an impasse, or are they simply tired of dealing with the case and ready to hand it over to someone else? It is an interesting thing to consider. Also, should it be considered odd or unfair counsel if the jury reaches a decision too quickly? Or is it a matter of strong case made by one attorney or the other? I had never thought to consider the time it would take to pass fair judgement and make a verdict.
There are so many concepts present in this movie that were relevant to our discussions in class and readings in the book. I find juries to be incredibly interesting and I have actually enjoyed learning more about them. They are a part of the trial process that I had overlooked frequently before this semester. It almost makes me want to participate in jury selection myself just for the experience and to see all of these factors and biases at work.

Terms: jury, jury instructions, social psychology, group behavior, normative influence, informational influence, biases, capital murder, unanimous decision, witness testimony, perception, memory, hung juries.

In the movie 12 Angry Men I noticed many things that related to our discussion of jury selection. I do not think that the attorney’s did a very good job of throwing out the jurors that had biases toward the trial. It was obvious to see that one specific juror was biased against all people that grew up in the slums. He kept referring to them as those people. He lumped them all together and stereotyped them as trouble makers. This juror thought that this boy killed his father just based on the fact that the defendant was from the slums because “those kids are just raised that way”. Another juror was a troubled father who had not spoken to his own son in over 2 years. I thought that this juror should have been thrown out because he brought his own baggage to the trial. You could see that he was taking his anger that he help against his own son on this boy on trial. He let his own personal experiences interfere with his judgment. If these jurors had been thrown out, the defendant may have had a more unbiased jury.

The jury was also made up of 12 middle aged, middle class white males. This is not an impartial jury. The jury did not consist of any women, young people, or minorities. This jury was not a jury of the defendant’s peers. The defendant was a poor 18 year old boy. His jury was not a good representation of the community which could result in unfair biases in the trial.

At the start of the jury meeting they took a vote to see who thought that the defendant was guilty and who thought that he was innocent. They did this by a show of hands. I noticed that when the head juror asked who thought the defendant was guilty about seven hands went up and fours hand slowly followed. This made me think that those four hands that went up last did not really know what they thought and were just following the crowd because they were scared to go against the flow. An anonymous vote would have been better, which they did later on in the process.

The eighth juror was the only one to vote not guilty in the first round of votes. He questioned the eyewitnesses’ memories. He brought up the time frame that the elderly male witness said it took him to get to the door to see the defendant run down the apartment stares. As humans, we are really bad a judging time. We think that things happen a lot slower, or faster than they really do, especially in a high stress situation. It reality it took the witness closer to 45 seconds to get to the door, in court he said that it only took in 15. The witness was not lying; he actually thought that it only took him 15 seconds to get to the door. He also questioned the women that said she saw the defendant kill his father from a window across the street, through a passing train’s windows. The eighth juror stated that it would be hard to make a clear assessment on the identity of someone from 60 feet away at night through a passing train’s windows. He also was the only one to notice that this witness wore glasses and since she was in bed at the time of the murder she would not be wearing them. So her eyesight could not be trusted in this case.

The eighth juror also brought up the point of reasonable doubt. He never said that they defendant was not the one who committed the murder. He just said that they could not consider the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In order to convict someone of a crime they have to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This particular juror pointed out all the flaws in the testimony that gave the jurors a reasonable doubt, so they could not convict him in the end.

The defendant’s attorney was court appointed which brought up many problems. The jury pointed out that there were many points in the case that they thought the defense could have down a better job when questioning witnesses, such as pointing out that the female witness wore glasses but was not wearing them at the time of the crime. The eight juror brought up the point that since this attorney was court appointed he may not have been dedicated to the case so he did not put forth his best effort. The eighth juror said “he could have been tired, or had a lot going on, or was not getting paid enough, or just thought the case was a lost cause”. All these things could have skewed the trail in the prosecutions favor. When they pointed this out it surprised me because when someone’s life is on the line you think that their attorney would do everything possible to keep them from being convicted.

The defendants alibi was that he was at the movies when the murder of his father occurred, but when police questioned him he could not name the movie of the actors in the movie. The eighth juror said this could have been due to the fact that he was under a lot of traumatic stress at the time. He even asked another juror questions about a movie that he had seen earlier that week and he could not remember. Memory is fragile and such things as stress can mess with it.

Terms: jury, defense, prosecution, eyewitness memory, appointed attorney, reasonable doubt, bias, impartial, stereotypes

The movie 12 Angry Men, was a very interesting film that accurately reflects what we have been learning in the psychology and law class, specifically the information from chapter 13 about juries and judges as decision-makers. In this movie it focused on the jury, and the decision they had to make. This verdict had to be unanimously guilty or for acquittal. There was also no chance to change the sentencing. The defendant was facing the death penalty so that could not be changed. He would either have to be acquitted or found guilty.

The movie showed a lot of different aspects of things we have read about in chapter 13 of the text book. For instance, I believe the jury model was a story model. The jury seemed to use all of the evidence to build up a story of what happened, then they used the story they created to make sense of all of the evidence.

At the beginning of the deliberation process it appeared that almost all of the men believed the defendant was guilty, so I was interested to see how the movie would play out. One man held his ground, and expressed his beliefs that he thought it could have been a possibility that the defendants story was the truth. He used his assumptions of what could have happened to create reasonable doubt in the other 11 jurors until finally the verdict was found to be unanimous for acquittal. The movie showed how the majority of the jury just wanted to get the verdict over with so they could leave. I thought it was strange that they were cooped up in a small room on the hottest day of the year without anyway to cool themselves.

I also felt that the jury used a verdict-driven style during the deliberation. They first decided whether or not to vote before they started talking about the evidence but they decided to vote to see where everyone stood. The 11 men that voted for guilty thought it would be easy for them to persuade the lone acquittal voter to change his mind, but as seen in the movie it was not at all an easy process, and eventually one by one they all changed their own opinions.

The next thing that occurred in the deliberation process was the stage of open conflict, where the jurors talked about their thoughts and ideas about the case, and why they thought the man was guilty, or innocent. This causes coalitions to form among people with similar beliefs, such as between the grumpy men that were clearly in favor of guilty the whole time, and focused a lot of their belief on the defendants background.

In this movie there was a lot of different influence present that changed the jurors views. There was both informational influence and normative influence. The informational influence appeared to be the stronger and more common of the two types. The man that initially voted for acquittal began explaining why he had reasonable doubt. This started with how he bought an almost identical knife that the boy had supposedly stabbed his father with. The knife was supposed to be rare and hard to find, making strong evidence that the boy had done it because no one else could have had the same knife, but that point quickly was dismissed do to the second knife. The next big point he made was about the L train and how the noise would have made it difficult for the man down stairs to hear clearly what was happening. The normative influence appeared to be present with the juror that had tickets to the baseball game and just wanted to end the deliberation. He changed his vote from guilty, but did not really provide a reason for this choice, making it seem more of a normative influence.

The observation that the eye-witness that supposedly saw the defendant stab his father seemed to be a large piece of evidence in the case. I think this would have been hard for anyone to go against, because someone watching the murder happen would obviously be a hard piece of evidence to discredit. The eventually decided they believed the eye-witness could have not been wearing eye glasses and she might not have seen the murder as well as she had previously stated.

Although the book says that there usually is not an influence on the verdict based on the wealth, social status, and gender of the defendant, I believe that in this case it did originally make a difference. A couple of the men were originally all in favor of voting guilty because they believed based on where he was from and how he was brought up that he was a violent person easily capable of this crime. They made it sound like because he was from the "slums" he was less of a human and was more likely to commit a violent crime.

Another thing I found interesting from this movie was how quickly they began talking about the possibility of a hung jury. They wanted to go talk to the judge about a hung jury within hours of the initial deliberation because they thought they would never reach a unanimous vote, but the man that truly believed there was reasonable doubt, never stopped presenting his reasons, and finally won over the rest of the jury.

Although this type of jury deliberation most likely does not happen often, I think it was a good example of juries should respond to cases. They should look at the evidence and assume that it could be flawed, instead of trying to find something that makes the man innocent, they should be looking for the reason that makes the man guilty. The jurors even explained that the defense attorney appeared to believe his client was guilty, because he did not offer very good cross examinations to back his client. It seemed that right from the get go, this man was doomed to fail.

All in all this was a good movie that provided a lot of information we read about in the book. I was glad to be able to connect most of the information from the readings to events that took place in the movie. The movie made it easier to understand some of the materials because it gave examples of what the book was explaining.

Terms: story model, defendant characteristics, deliberation, verdict-driven style, open conflict, informational influence, normative influence, unanimous, hung jury, attorney, jury, guilty, acquittal, and eye-witness.


Twelve Angry Men is about a group of twelve male jurors involved in a murder case, and deciding on a verdict. I watched the older 1957 version of the movie on accident, but I still was able to see clearly what juries do more and how they come up with ideas.

After the jury was chosen, all of the jurors got into a room. After getting into the room, all of the jurors made small talk. Then, they decided to do an initial vote to see where they stood as a group, or in other words they used a verdict-driven style of orientation. Many of the jurors were already sure in their minds that the boy was guilty. After the first vote left the group hanging with an eleven to one vote, they started to debate with the one not guilty vote. The one juror, who acted as the authoritarian, explained how he thought it was unfair to automatically accuse the boy of a murder and send him to his death. They went and examined the boy, and the case, and looked at all the facts of what happened, which made them evidence-driven.

They boy was abused by his father and had a tough childhood, which caused him to get into trouble as a kid. His criminal record was piled with juvenile misdemeanors. This led some of the jurors to believe that this background information, especially the abuse, led to a motive for a murder, and some felt like this made him seem prime suspect, and was chosen too quickly initially.

The prosecutor decided that during the crime, that the kid yelled “I am going to kill you!”, stabbed him and ran off. They also said that kid had claimed he went to the movies during the time of the crime, but he was unable to recall what movies he saw. His story did not add up, which made him appear guilty.
The prime witness was a female neighbor across the street who claimed to have seen the boy stick a knife into his father. She claimed that she just happened to look into the house and see him kill her at the exact moment that the kid stabbed his father. Even though the prosecutor tried to make evidence showing how it is possible and her story is true, how could anyone be sure that her story was true? How likely is it that she happened to look over during the night and see the killing? The women herself might have thought she had seen murder, and not have actually seen it. It was also debated that she was not wearing her eye glasses, and could not even have seen the crime, especially since eyewitnesses rarely ever are able to see the crime. If she was questioned by police and then came forth with that information, she could have had a false memory, because the police would have planted it into her mind. This insignificant evidence was not enough to lead to a conviction.

The knife was the biggest piece of evidence in the trial. The story was that the kid had shown his friends the switch knife one hour before the killing, and the knife that had been found in his father’s chest was the same type the boy had. One of the jurors however argued that it was a possible coincidence that the boy could have lost his knife and a similar one had been purchased. Ironically, one of the jurors had bought a knife two blocks away from where the boy lived, making the other jurors see that it was a possible coincidence. The old men that ran to the door after hearing the boy yell at his father and a gunshot, claimed to have seen the boy run. However, they discovered that there was no way the old man could have gotten to the door fast enough to see the boy run, because he was crippled.
The jury itself had some flaws in it, and is not the same as many juries today For instance, all of the men were white in the jury, and many of them had a descent amount of intelligence. This is rather rare in many court cases, because now days people of different ethnicities and backgrounds are selected, and it depends more on who the defense choses to be on the jury. Another interesting thing that occurred between the jurors was when one juror said how because the kid was from the slum, he was an automatically guilty. After that comment, another juror who was from the slums became offended, and made some of the other jurors see that just because you are from a bad area, does not make you a bad person. Also when one of the jurors told another juror “I’m going to kill you!”, it made them realize that just because you say you are going to kill someone, does not mean you actually will. It made them see that it was very possible that the boy did not mean it when he told his father that.

Much social psychology was also shown in this movie, especially by the group dynamics. For instance, the men continued to go around the table and share their thoughts. After that they gave whoever wanted to speak the freedom to, and then would vote again. During breaks, men would outbreak into individual discussions. However, after every voting more people started to vote for not guilty, and would spark more debates. However, after many more debates, they finally decide that the boy is not guilty. The boy appeared to have been framed, and did not have a good defense. The boy had a younger lawyer who was not as advanced, and made it easier for him to appear guilty. All of this led to the conclusion that the boy was innocent, which seemed very logical and evidence based. There was no unreasonable doubt to make him guilty.

All in all, this was a pretty entertaining movie to watch. It showed me a real life example of a jury. Even though I had previously seen this movie in high school, watching it again showed me the flaws and good things in the movie. Even though I don’t know how I would react and what I think if I were in one of the men’s places in the movie, I think there was not enough evidence from the beginning to convict him, and I am happy that they chose not guilty.

Key Words: evidence, jury, case, unreasonable doubt, defense, prosecutor, debate, juvenile misdemeanors, jurors, witness, lawyer, verdict-driven style of orientation, evidence-driven, authoritarian, social psychology

I watched the older version of this film and was a little skeptical because I’m not a huge fan of black and white films. However, this movie was actually pretty good and kept me entertained for the hour and a half it ran. It was interesting to see a jury deliberation (even though it was a movie). I have never served on a jury so this gave me a good idea and illustration of what most likely goes on during deliberations. This movie clearly portrays important aspects covered in chapter 13 of our textbook. One of the first things we notice is how the characteristics of the defendant are biasing the jurors’ verdict. Many of these jurors want to convict this boy simply because of where he is from: the slums. The boy is looked down upon as a “non-contributor” to society. A lot of the jurors basically think of him as being worthless. Where the boy comes from is a prime reason why some want to convict him, but it is also a prime reason for some that want to acquit him. The man that used to live the life that the boy is living now defended the boy by bringing up his own upbringing.


Also relevant to this movie is the idea of strong jurors. We see right off the bat that juror number one is the “foreman.” He is shown sitting at the head of the table; he is depicted in the film as the one running the entire session, taking notes, calculating votes, etc. He also begins by attempting to organize the discussion and goes around the table, calling on each of the other eleven jurors and asking their opinions. The book states that the individual elected as foreperson doesn’t exert a lot of influence on the decision of the jury. I agree with that statement because juror number one hardly voiced his opinion throughout the entirety of the film. He definitely didn’t seem to be much of an influence on the ultimate decision. Within this same section of our textbook, the “strong juror” is discussed. We can relate this to Henry Fonda’s character. The book’s discussion says that strong jurors tend to be well-educated, articulate, and have a high occupational status. We can see this is clear when Fonda’s character tells another juror that he is an architect. We can also tell he is well-educated just by his word usage and his analysis of the testimonies and evidence. Fonda’s character was definitely a strong juror in that he ultimately persuades the eleven other jurors to acquit the defendant.


Also relevant to the movie are the stages in the deliberation process discussed in the textbook. The first stage, orientation, is where the jurors select their foreperson and raise general issues on the case. We see this right away when the jurors are filing into the deliberation room. The foreperson has already been elected and then the jurors take a vote. While most of the jurors think this is an “open and shut” case, Henry Fonda’s character disagrees. This raises “general issues” on the case and leads into discussion. The second stage of jury deliberation is open conflict where jurors voice their opinions. This often leads to disagreements among members of the jury and we see obvious conflict among the twelve men in the film. Although most of the conflict stems from only a couple hot-tempered jurors, it is obvious that the discussion gets very heated at times. We can also see the concepts of normative and informational influence in the movie. Informational influence was the one most obvious. After bouts of discussion and reconsideration in terms of testimonies and evidence, many jurors change their votes based on information. However, we see one instance of normative influence when the man who is in a hurry to get to his ball game votes not guilty just to speed the process along. He is tired of sitting in the room and cares more about the ball game than anything else. Thus, he changed his vote based on “group pressure” instead of reconsideration of the evidence and testimonies. Finally, the jurors reached the third stage: reconciliation. This happens at the end of the film when one juror stands alone in wanting to convict. The man has a temporary “break-down” and changes his vote from guilty to not guilty. We see Henry Fonda’s character mildly “soothing” this man as everyone else leaves the room.


Besides what is relevant to the textbook, I noticed a few other things relevant to psychology. The most obvious one is social psychology and the topic of persuasion. The entire movie is based off of one man’s attempt to persuade the eleven other jurors to his side. In addition, the broader topic of social influence is the main theme running throughout the movie. I also noticed a hint of cognitive psychology. What one pays attention do differs from individual to individual. We see that the old man juror pays great attention to the witnesses when they’re put on the stand. For example, he was the juror that brought up the issue of the woman with the glasses. He had noticed the marks on the sides of her nose that most likely came from glasses. He then thought through her testimony and realized she must not have been wearing her glasses when she looked out her window and saw the murder happening. This highly discredits the woman’s testimony. Moreover, another juror paid attention to the old man who had a slight limp and put this together with his testimony to conclude that he could not possibly have made it to the door in time to see the boy run down the stairs.


Terms: jury deliberation, acquit, strong juror, informational influence, normative influence, social psychology, cognitive psychology, testimony, foreperson, open conflict, reconciliation, orientation, defendant characteristics, evidence

The 1957 film Twelve Angry Men was amazing and deserved all of the recognition it got when it was released and the recognition it gets to this day. It is an interesting movie revolving around the presumption of innocence and the deliberation of a jury. The movie begins with an overview of a courtroom, which looks similar to how they are laid out today. The judge is talking to the members of the jury, discussing the trial, and giving instructions. He tells the jurors that it is a capital case and that they must have a unanimous, either way they decide. The judge reminds them that they are undertaking a grave responsibility. When discussed in class there are special types of juries put together when there is a capital case in place, because they have to be willing to put the defendant to death. This probably did not happen in the 1950s but once the character’s opinions are shown it is clear that they would not have a problem ending the defendant’s life. The defendant is a young, white male. The jury is made up of all white, older gentlemen. This is not necessarily a jury of his peers, since they are all older and are all basically the same “type” of person. Today, as we have learned through the book, this jury may have had some younger people, some women, and maybe some people of different races. It is fair to assume, as we have learned, that if the defendant was black he may have been convicted much easier, especially in the 1950s.
When the jurors enter their deliberation room they mingle a little bit, seeming to get to know each other and find out what their careers are and where each person shall sit. The book discusses this, when jurors group together as the more outspoken or the quieter they are. As the first phase of deliberation starts, the foreperson is selected, which is usually the first thing to happen in all jury deliberations. In more of a verdict-driven style the jurors decide to vote first about how they would decide the case, guilty or not guilty. The second phase of deliberation, the longest phase of the movie, is open conflict. When the preliminary voting takes place eleven of the twelve jurors state that they would vote guilty. One juror, Henry Fonda’s character, says he would vote innocent. He states that he simply just does not know what happened and if they boy really did it or not. He frequently states that he in fact could have committed the murder that he is on trial for, but that he does not know for sure. He wants to talk it out. This enraged many of the other jurors; they feel they have more important things to do – like watch a sports game that is on later that evening. Henry Fonda’s character says repeatedly that a man’s life is on the line, and that he is only eighteen years old, and that they need to discuss the evidence more. The men then go around the table discussing why they believe he is guilty. Most of the men believe that you can “always suppose someone is wrong, we don’t owe him anything.” This is when a majority may bully other jurors into siding with them when a unanimous verdict must be given. As learned some of these people will stand up for themselves and not budge, resulting in a hung jury. A hung jury is a suggestion that was given during the movie and that they should just be done with the deliberation. As one juror stated it does not matter if they do that anyways because the defendant will get another trial and surely be convicted by those other men. Another thing that can happen when there is a clear majority but a unanimous decision needed is that the people in the minority change their vote even if they do not really want to.
Henry Fonda takes his turn go over the facts and the evidence they were presented during the trial. He does not believe that the witnesses were very credible. He also refers to one man saying that the defendant’s attorney knew he was guilty and therefore didn’t try very hard; Fonda’s character says this happened because he was probably an appointed attorney. Appointed attorneys may resent getting really difficult cases, may not be paid a lot, or may be over-worked, which all affect how they deal with their case. Fonda’s character also discusses how he believes the witnesses were not very credible, that their stories were faulty, and that many of the evidence was circumstantial. The other jurors discuss the rare knife the boy had, and then Fonda’s character pulled one out just like it – discrediting their beliefs. Slowly the other jurors begin to question their decision of guilty, and some change to not guilty during a blind vote. Doing this blind vote during deliberation helped them see where people stood without showing who voted it, although they reveal it in the movie moments later. The weight of the eyewitness testimonials weighed very heavily on some jurors, as we learned can happen. Even if it is not good evidence, something being said in court can really weigh on some juror’s minds more than other evidence. When some of the other men believe that the defendant may not be guilty they realize that the eyewitness who “saw” the boy get murdered had lines on her face to indicate wearing glasses, but she would not have had them on while in bed, they realize. This helps them to think about the fact that maybe she did not actually see the defendant commit murder. The jurors also acted out how the old man living below the defendant might have heard the murder or walked towards the window. All of these things, discussing and talking out the evidence, slowly turned all but one of the men to a not-guilty answer.
In the end there was an emotional breakdown. All of the jurors soon realized that they were too quickly deciding the fate of a young boy who had pushed around his whole life. Taking the time to look at and analyze the evidence lead them to believe he may not have committed murder, and that’s all they needed. The jurors only needed to doubt that he was guilty, because then they could not reach the standard of proof necessary to convict. The last juror to announce “not-guilty” was the man who had the hardest time believing that he did not do it and that all of the men were slowly changing their answers. He broke down at the end, into tears, when he stated that he believed the defendant was not guilty. This is a reasonable response to a capital murder case and realizing that you may have been wrong all along. Henry Fonda’s character was what is considered a strong juror; although he was in the minority he was articulate and argued his case to the other men. His belief that they needed to re-examine the evidence and talk things out was what changed the minds of all of the other men. Twelve Angry Men proves that taking longer than a moment to decide a case, especially one that is a capital offense, is necessary.


Terms: presumption of innocence, jury deliberation, jury instructions, verdict-drive, open conflict, majority, guilty, innocent, acquittal, hung jury, circumstantial evidence, eyewitness testimony, standard of proof, strong juror, capital offense

I watched the older version of 12 Angry Men. The movie demonstrated the power that the jury has in decision-making, whether or not they choose to use that power for the good is their choice. In the beginning it really seemed that the jury did not take their power seriously except for Davis, the only man that voted not guilty in the beginning of the film. He was unsure of a lot of things, which led him to have doubt. If there was any reasonable doubt with any of the jury members that could not lead them to a unanimous vote they were going to be a hung jury and not be able to proceed with the case. Most of the men wanted the deliberation process to be quick, they wanted to just vote and get it over with without discussing anything, but they were dealing with a life, and Davis was going to make them talk about it. This is where the open conflict phase started where they actually had to talk it out because one disagreed with the others.

They talked about the eyewitness testimonies that were given, one women saying that she saw through a window and a passing train the boy kill his father and then another was a man in the apartment below them hearing a dispute between the boy and his father then the boy saying, “I’m going to kill you.” He claimed hearing a body hit the floor and fifteen seconds later the old man saw the boy running from the apartment building. There was much evidence that pointed in the direction of the boy being guilty using the mathematical method. But using the story method where they use their judgment and information that apply to the case it adds up that he is indeed not guilty and not plausible that the woman saw the boy do it and that the man indeed saw the boy running out of the building after he heard the body hit the floor.

Many of the jurors were trying to use normative influence in getting the other jurors to vote on their side of guilty, but they hardly had any information to back it up they just said it is an open shut case. Davis, the juror who voted not guilty and the man in the black suit were trying to use informational influence to get the jurors on their side. The man in the black suit knew a lot of details from the case and the evidence that was put up in front of the court, but Davis thought more in depth to situations like the old man downstairs and how he could have never made it to the door in that fifteen seconds because he had a bum leg from a stroke he had a year ago.

The man who disagreed with everything based his vote off stereotyping the boy into a group of people that did bad things all the time just because they grew up in a certain neighborhood. His vote didn’t really matter because he was already showing a bias against people who grew up in a certain area; he was not going to hear anyone else’s reasoning or explanation because that was going to be stuck in his head. He was the one who wanted the hung jury most of all because he knew that they were not going to get out of their based on how stubborn he is.

The argument towards the end of the movie by the man in the black suit was that the boy did not have a good alibi to back up where he was at the time of the murder. He claimed he would remember in a stressful situation what movie he went to and the actors in the movie, when Davis tested him he failed miserably. This just goes to show that memory can be lost in times of great stress or it just can be lost in general because you mind doesn’t see it as fully important.

Terms: reasonable doubt, decision making, deliberation process, open conflict, eyewitness testimony, hung jury, evidence, guilty, mathematical method, story method, normative influence, information influence, stereotyping, bias, and memory.

12 Angry men (new version) Jury Deliberation, eyewitness memory, and jury reform:

Twelve angry men was overall although a relatively dry and repetitive scene (as that they never leave the room) did a good job describing court proceedings such as evaluating evidence, testimony, court proceedings such as jury instruction and perhaps quite obvious and most thoroughly jury deliberation. Although we did not get to see any of the Voire Dire process for the selection of the jury members, we did get to see what happens when a group of individuals with specific and individual plans come together and have to take time out of there day not only to provide a verdict, but further a decision in regard to the punishment and fate of the accused.
Although they did not show any of the actual court case we could derive some conclusions as to what happened during the case, and how that influenced the decision of the jury members. The first thing I noticed when the movie started and the representation of the jury deliberation began was how they voted. They took an immediate vote right off of the beginning of deliberation, and although this is not a bad thing to do it can lead and indeed did to negative influences during debate. Specifically, after taking the first vote (which was not anonymous) it was clear the structure of the jurors was that of one which was organized in the verdict driven structure. As we have looked at earlier in the semester and through reading there are no specific guidelines on how jurors must debate. This was obvious as that some jurors in the beginning stages resulted to playing tic-tac-toe and sketching, an obvious representation that without a good foreperson and with not specific guidelines on how or where to start the debate over the case leads to problems among jurors and conflict over specific beliefs and stereotypes that each juror may bring into the debate process.
As the deliberation continued it was clear more representation of the jury’s verdict and there process became clear. After the foreperson and by suggestion each member began discussing how and why they voted guilty or not guilty. I thought this was a good representation of one of the mathematical ways in which jurors decide a verdict. As we have discussed we as individuals want to seek out a motive and a possible explanation as to how and why the accused may have committed the crime. Specifically when each member described why they voted guilty in the first vote, they were describing through their own story model providing their own explanations on to how the evidence may fit how they think the crime occurred. Further, when everyone described their own thoughts on the case it demonstrated that when the deliberation phase comes to pass that not all the stories match up and opinions change.
After the second vote occurs and the vote changed from ten to two in favor of guilty is when things I think really take form. Although we already know that the characteristics of the jury members does not in a direct way really influence verdicts based on their social status, gender and so forth (although all members on this jury were male) we do know that the characteristics and moral character of the defendant are taken into account by the jury members when deliberating. This was made evident when the only member who voted guilty described that the defendant had, had a rotten eighteen years and it was there duty to debate longer than five minutes and in more depth for the simple fact that they were deciding the verdict of someone’s life. When another individual then (this time by secret vote) voted for not guilty, it was clear the characteristics of individual jury members did not matter when deciding how to vote. This was made clear as that they all accused the one who switched sides as the jury member who came from the suburbs when in fact he still voted guilty. (And the other elderly man changed his to not guilty) This then demonstrated that individuals through debate began changing their votes due to informational influence or because they were convinced to change their decision based on the explanation of another jury member, as opposed to normative influence which is when jury members switch simply out of pressure from the group.
When the deliberating changed from the verdict driven style to evidence-driven style is when the actual influential legal evaluation of the defendant’s fate began. Specifically, in terms of the doubt as to whether or not someone could have purchased and used a similar knife (as that a jury member found an identical one) and the testimony of the witnesses. The main evidence in the case was through witness testimony identifying the defendant running from the apartment and hearing screams (allegedly) however, due to the interrogation process, eyewitness memory, and for the fact that we have looked throughout the entire semester that wrongful convictions are strongest from wrongful testimony of what people think they saw (due to memory problems, and interrogation process) I had strong opinions that more jurors would indeed change their mind if persuaded. It was also interesting to see that the jurors put so much influence on the testimony of a witness when we in fact know how unreliable they are.
Specifically the movie addressed some key concepts such as the deliberation process, problems that occur when jurors finally come together as that every one of them has come up with a different story on how the evidence fits the case, and again the problems with witness identification. The movie then like the material we have read addressing questions for jury reform specifically whether or not it works, and if not what could or can be changed. Some guidelines could be set for jury reform however it’s unclear how; as that negative influence in any form that could persuade natural debate among jurors may be seen as biasing the jury. As a result the concept has always been that the system works and that if it’s not broken we shouldn’t fix it. I did take issue with one fact of the movie in which the judge instructed the jury to be aware that the defendant could face death. Normally that sentence comes with an entire different trial and I think informing the jury that he could even later on face the death sentence biased the jurors. Consequently, if any jury reform could be reached it would have to be with the amendment on jury instruction pretrial and right before deliberation. I did not see the end of the movie as that I saw it in class however it did do a good job describing problems, and the difficult responsibility of what it is to be a juror, and as the movie pointed out it’s the prosecutions job to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt, not the defendants. However, with that said the jury members still need to take their job seriously as one juror convinced others to do so in the movie instead of just placing a verdict in order to make a baseball game, or get back to their own daily lives as that the appointed public defendant may not give it his all, so the jury must through deliberation debate “beyond reasonable doubt” very drastically so that the verdict does not also fail the accused as his council may have during trial.

Terms: Voire Dire, evidence, testimony, jury, story model, mathematical model, eyewitness memory, interrogation, pretrial instruction, foreperson, verdict driven style, informational influence, normative influence, beyond reasonable doubt, burden of guilt, defendant characteristics, verdict.

I watched the 1997 version of 12 Angry Men. I have never seen this movie before, and I watched it in class on Tuesday so I did not get to see the whole movie. The movie took place in one setting which I thought was pretty neat, I've never seen a movie have only one setting. An 18 year old was on trial for killing his father, when the jury walked into the room to start the deliberation process; it seemed like an easy decision on the verdict. They all seemed to know that they were going to vote guilty. In order for a verdict to be final, all jurors have to agree, the verdict has to be unanimous. The movie shows how total stranger, people with different personalities come together to decide the faith of one boys life. This kind of situation can take out the worst in people, under certain circumstances. The juror had different motives to hurry up with the verdict, and when juror number six is the only one to vote not guilty everyone gets upset.
Social psychology is a psychological aspect I saw a lot throughout the movie. The scenes I pointed out show how people influence each other .After what seemed to be a clear verdict, the jury voted and juror number seven was the only one who voted not guilty. The foreman then told everyone to explain why they voted the way they did. By doing this, the jury expected to influence jury number seven to change his vote. Another social psychology is when juror number seven, the person who voted not guilty, kept arguing back, bringing up valid points about the flaws in the case. Every time they re-voted someone changed their vote showing how jury number seven influence them.
Sensation psychology is also presented in the movie; some aspects include detecting a stimulus. Juror number 8 explained why the old man who testified, could have lied or believed false information. Jury number seven gave a reason why he believed the old man could have lied about his statement. The second scene includes when juror number four had stood up to the other jurors when they were labeling the young man as violent because he came from slum. They talked about how people who come from slum are not educated and other things, juror number four told them he came from slum also.
Behavior psychology is represented through a few scenes also. The opening scene, before the jury sat down to talk, they all complained that it was hot. The heat could have been a trigger for their aggressiveness toward one another. Also, juror number six had a ball game to go to, that ball game could have rushed his decision because he was not worried about the verdict; he was more worried about missing the baseball game. His motivation for his vote of guilty was to get out as soon as possible so he could see the baseball game.
Cognitive psychology, manipulating stimulus mentally, is shown in the following scene. Juror number seven kept coming up with scenarios about the trial. He asked the jury to “suppose” something else happened. When doing different scenarios, questioning the testimonies of the witnesses, and showing them an exact knife that was used in the crime, some of the jury started to think about their vote. I think this was he purpose to have the jury really think about their vote.
Perception psychology, conscious organizing information, the juror pulled out all of their notes in order to recall what was said in court. They tried to organize the information given to them to make sense of it and give a verdict. They go over the fact and the witnesses testimonies. And the scene where juror number three uses a time line to layout the events of the crime in order to get a better mental image of what had happened.
There were a lot of legal aspects of the movie some of the ones I saw included the following. In the chapter it talks about how a foreperson is present in the room with the juror. The foreperson was the twelfth man in this movie. The called him foreman. He did his best to keep the jury clam and have structure during the deliberation.
Another legal aspect would be when I recognized some of the jurors showed a mathematical model approach when it came to deciding their vote. According to the book a mathematical model is when a juror takes into account all of the evidence reported in the courtroom the evidence will weigh whether the jury will vote guilty or not guilty. We see this with several of the jurors, they start pulling out their note pads to discuss the reason for their guilty vote.
Also I believe juror number six used story model when he started going over the events in time. Story model is a technique a juror uses to make sense of the evidence that is not so clear. A juror makes up a story in order to understand the evidence. He mentioned a different scenario that would have happened if the boy did not go to the movies like he said he did.
The last legal aspect I would like to point out is during deliberation one of the jurors talked about the old man who was a witness. The old man was a neighbor of the young boy and his father. They lived next to him for years. The old man was a witness to the crime, it was said that the neighbor heard the young boy yell he was going to kill his father. When this evidence had been presented to the case they decided to do a voice line up. I believe this voice line up was not fair to the young boy. The neighbor had lived next to him for years so they old man recognized his voice easily. I am not sure what happens in the rest of the movie, but the way it was going, every time there was a re-vote someone changed their vote. I’m thinking that everyone will change their vote to not guilty.

Terms- Foreperson, Mathematical Model, Story Model, Line-up, Trial, Verdict, Jury, Deliberation, Cognitive, Social, Behavioral, Sensation, Perception Psychology,


I was excited when I started watching this movie because it was in black and white, and I love black and white films (Breakfast at Tiffany’s being my favorite)! My boyfriend was around when I told him the title of the movie I had to watch and he informed me he watched in while in high school and said I would enjoy it! So, I watched the film and I really did enjoy it.
12 Angry Men related to the class material in many ways. Right off the bat the judge informed the jury that it was a murder in the first degree and that they would be deciding whether the son who murdered his father was actually guilty or not guilty of this alleged crime. Right after, we learned that the jury must make a unanimous decision, which we just read in the last chapter of our textbook. This meaning, that the jurors must vote either 12-0 not guilty, or vice versa being 12-0 guilty.
After they took the first vote to see where the members of the juror stood, the vote came out 11-1 in favor of guilty. Right away, the men wanted to go to the judge and declare they had a hung jury (because one of the men voted not guilty). However, the chairman of the jury declared it was much too early and the judge would not allow it. The point the man made who stood alone in favor of the boy being not guilty was the idea that the boy grew up in the slums and had a very poor childhood. He was hit by his father on a daily basis. He believed that just because the boy and his father had gotten in a fight before the murder occurred, didn’t show anything unusual. This is the type of statement that the defense attorney should have made. Considering the father engages in physical abuse toward the son on a daily basis, doesn’t mean that the boy wasn’t used to this type of action and would have killed his father because of it.
However, the jury men who voted not guilty had formed stereotypes toward the boy even before they started discussing the information with the other jury members. The stereotype they created of the boy was due to his childhood and where he grew up. They all said that boys who grew up in the slums were no good. He had a reputation of knife fights, and had been in a correctional facility before. This stereotype already led to the boy not having a fair deliberation in the hands of the jury members.
Reasonable doubt another term we have discussed, was something that was mentioned a lot in the movie. If you have any doubt at all that they boy is not guilty, you can’t send him to his death. The man in favor of the boy being not guilty said right away that he didn’t know if the boy was guilty or not, but the boy at least deserved them to talk about the case for a while instead of sending him straight to his death.
The men on the jury also picked apart the evidence quite a bit. They made reasonable acquisitions that the boy didn’t necessarily commit the murder. The eyewitness testimonies held heavy on this case, as they usually do. The men thought that since the women swore under oath and testified that the information she provided had to be accurate. However, something we learned in class is that being under stress can cause a person to make less accurate decisions. When the women saw the boy apparently stab his father in the chest, she right then and there was put under heavy amounts of stress. That could then explain why she automatically thought that it was the boy who stabbed his farther and not some other random man. Another fabrication to this evidence is that the woman normally was to be wearing glasses. The men came to the conclusion that when people are in bed in the middle of the night they are usually not wearing their glasses. AND another piece of the evidence stated that the women lived across the street from the boy, and as she viewed the boy “stab his father” she was looking through the last two windows of the L train as well. So, this woman had to have under high amounts of stress, through L train windows running at very fast speed, without glasses on, view this boy without a doubt stab his father? Although it COULD be plausible, there is no way you can listen to that and not have some amount of doubt that that woman isn’t one hundred percent accurate!

Legal terms: reasonable doubt, bias, stereotype, jury, guilty, not guilty, unanimous decision, testified, eye witness testimony

I thought the film '12 Angry Men' was great. It made me feel like I was one of the 12 jurors and I just kept wanting to let them know whether I thought the kid was guilty or not. I watched the 1997 version and the first thing that I noticed was that the person being prosecuted was of Hispanic decent and obviously that all the jurors were men. What I really liked about the film was the fact that this showed what happens behind the doors during the trial. I understand that this incident does not always happen because usually, even if a person on jury disagrees with the rest of the jury, they give into pressure and would want to get it over with like 11 of the people who voted not guilty in the film. The film showed biases, persuasion, and anger and how it would affect a jury’s verdict.

The one man that had voted not guilty was very strange. I wondered if that would actually happen, it could, but usually people would just give into the peer pressure and vote guilty anyways. It was courageous of the man to vote not guilty and obviously very important towards the movie. The type of persuasion that was used is called central route persuasion. This occurs when interested people focus on the arguments and respond with favorable thoughts. The man was very effective because for a while most people weren't interested in what he had to say, but he made very intelligent points and was a good speaker. It made everyone else listen because he asked a question to every statement made toward him to believe that the man on trial was guilty. I thought when he talked about the L train and the noise level to even hear someone was very convincing and that's is when I think most people started to second guess and especially when he had the two knives. So persuasion in a jury is very necessary as long as what is being said makes since and is credible.

Everyone in the jury room had biases because people are not perfect. This should not affect how they voted, but it obviously did. For one guy it was because he was a black Islamic man with extreme opinions about other races and wanted blacks to be number 1, another person was from the same place as the man on trial and held sympathy, another person had an awful relationship with his kid and wanted the kid to pay because he was angry about his own father-son issues, and there were some, in the beginning, who didn't realize how big of a deal the trial was when the life of a man is in their hands. Once they forgot about all of their biases, they listened and they came out with a verdict of "not guilty". They were trying to call a "hung jury" and that is when there is a whole new 12 people as the jury and the case is repeated. This happens when there is no decision that is made between jurors. I thought that the strong juror controlled the jury room as long as he could. IT was a hot day, and not air conditioning, everyone was uncomfortable and sweaty which can block some of the cognitive thinking of some of the people on the jury. There is a difference between hearing the entire trial and listening to the entire trial. Most of the people on trial just heard what the people said and believed them just because they were under oath. They looked at specific cues to make their decision which is called peripheral route persuasion. People under oath can still lie and this is what Davis, the man who said not guilty, thought. He asked questions during the trial and realized that there was a man that could die if he did not listen and not ask questions.

Key terms: jury, trial, central route persuasion, peripheral route persuasion, judge, hung jury, strong juror, verdict, bias, guilty, not guilty

12 Angry Men is definitely an aptly named movie. I chose to watch the 1957 version with Henry Fonda and was impressed with how in line it was with what we were learning in the last couple weeks. In the beginning, it seemed as though this jury was set on a mathematical model and were just asking the question guilty or not guilty? Without any discussion they voted right away. It wasn't until Henry Fonda's character went against the crowd and voted not guilty that the discussion turned to more of a story model. Each man had their story they had put together, concerning the evidence and testimonies of what happened. Although they each had a turn to discuss their version, the other jury members were not receptive at all. If someone had a different opinion, they attacked them personally as though something was wrong with them. I will discuss more of the jury morale later.
Evidence was a huge part of this jury deliberation. In this film, it seemed as though the prosecution had stronger evidence during the trial, but the errors in the evidence were not pointed out by the defense lawyer. The main pieces of evidence/testimony were the knife that was stabbed into the father's chest, the middle-aged woman across the street who said she saw the son stab the father, the old man downstairs who said he heard the boy say he would kill his father and then claimed to have seen the boy running down the stairs seconds after hearing a body hit the floor. There were other details such as the boy not remembering what movie he saw and how the father was stabbed. It is very fascinating how when first hearing this information, it seems as though there is no other verdict but guilty, However, if the defense attorney would have done his job, the jury would have been exposed to the inconsistencies in this evidence as well. On a side note, I feel as though this defense attorney is one like in Primal Fear. He is more interested in his personal gain as a lawyer and the publicity received more than the fate of the defendant. After more deliberation in the jury, we get to see how many inconsistencies there are in the evidence. The knife wasn't as rare as first thought, the middle-aged woman had poor vision, the old man couldn't have heard everything going on upstairs because there was an L train going by at the time, and he could not have made it from his bed to the door to see the boy in only 15 seconds. Much of these facts were pointed out first by Henry Fonda's character and then by others, whose thoughts were inspired by the conversation. Much of the evidence seemed almost hearsay to me. I know that hearsay is knowledge that a witness has by hearing it from someone else, but these witnesses really were not sure of what they heard or saw. They were more guessing than having concrete testimonies. The jury eventually came to terms with their own form of impeachment evidence of the witnesses, which should have come out in trial by the defense attorney, as stated previously.
Next, I would like to discuss the characteristics of the defendant and how strongly his background impacted the jury. He was an 18 year old boy, who grew up in the "slum" of town. His father was known to be abusive as well. The men of the jury were comprised of quite few well-to-do businessmen, with the exception of a few. The older men were especially harsh of the defendant's upbringing, saying that people of his status were usually up to no good. I also think that because the boy was being accused of murdering his father was especially a sore subject during this era. Respect for parents and elders was definitely important during this time and to this age of men. Lee J. Cobb's character was having his own problems with his son, who wasn't speaking with him, and projected this disrespect from his son onto the possible disrespect of the boy in the trial for his father.
Lastly, I will discuss the characteristics of the jury as a whole. We see in the movie that this is a 12 person jury who must come to a unanimous decision. As seen is this movie, the unanimous decision makes the jury work harder and deliberate more, rather than taking the easy way out with a majority vote. There was a foreperson elected, "Juror 1", who organized the votes and attempted to keep everyone on track and allow everyone time to speak. Strong jurors also emerged who seemed to run the deliberation. They may have been "strong" in terms of opinions but much of there opinions were reasoned with "well, that's just the way it is, can't you see?" They were definitely based on a verdict-driven style, voting right away, then separating evidence, and then voting more. We really don't see much of the orientation phase of this jury, but we are focused on the open conflict portion. Starting out with an 11-1 vote, guilty in favor, a few people changed their votes due to the evidence Henry Fonda's character presented, therefore, informational influence caused them to change their minds. As the deliberation continued, I feel as though as the majority switched to not-guilty, more responded to normative influence. At the end, the men are in better moods as they are leaving the courthouse. We don't see much reconciliation, but Henry Fonda does get Lee J Cobb's coat for him, a sign to me that he is trying to make peace.
Terms: guilty, not guilty, mathematical model, story model, testimonies, evidence, prosecution, defense, jury, deliberation, attorney, impeachment evidence, witnesses, defendant, unanimous, strong jurors, foreperson, verdict-driven, voting, orientation, open conflict, informational influence, normative influence, reconciliation

“12 Angry Men” has always been one of my favorite movies of all time. The reason that it has been one of my favorite movies of all time is because of the fact that it deals with the justice system that we have in the United States today. For this assignment, I watched the 1957 version of the movie, because the other version of the movie, in my opinion, sucks. There were many areas in the movie that we see connection between what we have been reading in our textbook, and what we have talked about during class. The first area in the film that we have seen when reading our book is the actual process of a trial. The movie starts off when the judge giving specific instructions to the jury. These instructions are similar to something that the textbook “Forensic and Legal Psychology” calls pre-instructions. Pre-instructions are instructions that are read to the jury before the trial begins. During the pre-instruction phase, the judge will clarify terms to the jury; this could include what it is meant when someone has reasonable doubt. In the case of the movie, the judge is giving instructions to the men about how they would basically be deciding a boy’s life. Also, the judge let them know that they had to be all 100% behind one side otherwise there could be a hung jury; a hung jury according to the textbook are “those that cannot reach a unanimous verdict.” In the case of the movie, the process from which the jury members deliberate on evidence and eventually decided that the individual is not guilty. However, during the course of the film, juror number #3 would always seem to push for a hung jury, because of the fact that he wanted to get out of the situation. The next thing that I saw in the movie that I have read about in our textbook is something called sustain. In the movie, we don’t actually see this happen in court itself, however, we do hear the jurors talk about it in there deliberation of the case. Juror number #7, who was actually the first juror to vote not guilty, was talking about how the defendant’s defense attorney didn’t object to anything that was being brought up. How this relates to the topic of sustain is that if the defense attorney had raised the objection, the judge would have had the option to either sustain or overrule the information. The next area where I saw a topic of our book being discussed was the process by which the individual jurors decided whether or not the person was guilty or not guilty. According to the textbook “Forensic and Legal Psychology” there are two models by which jurors decided whether a person is guilty or not guilty. Those two models are called mathematical model and story model. The mathematical model basically says that jurors have a meter in there head that can point in two directions. The directions that it can point are guilty and not guilty. When jurors are taking information in about the case, they will look at the evidence and the evidence will move the “arrow” to one side of the meter. The story model on the other hand says that jurors will look at the evidence that is presented and then create a mental story about how the evidence is pieced together. There is where a problem arises; the problem is that basically the jury is influenced by who is the best story teller, and who can come up with the best story that fits the evidence provided. In the case of the movie, juror number #10 & #11 were talking about how they were so convinced by the talking of the prosecutor. That the prosecutor “tore up the defense attorney,” and because they thought that the prosecutor told a better story they decided that the defendant was guilty. It was only when they actually looked at the evidence a little sooner did they decide that some of the evidence didn’t make as much sense as they originally thought it did. The next area that we saw in the movie that we also talked about in our textbook is something called liberation hypothesis. According to the textbook, liberation hypothesis says that the jury is influenced by the strength of the evidence presented in front of them. The problem that the textbook talks about is how that individuals if not given any guidance on the information will bring in there prior beliefs, assumptions, and prejudice. In the movie, we see all of these problems emerge. Juror number #3 was extremely biased because of the fact that he brought in prior beliefs into the case. The prior beliefs that he brought into the case was the fact that he thought that all boys the age of the defendant were bad because he had a bad relationship with his son. Also, he assumed that everyone who came from the “slums” would turn out bad. This “slum” statement made juror #6 very upset because he actually grew up in the “slums” and he didn’t turn out bad. Another area in the movie were we see some prejudice come in is when juror #10 brings up the fact that all of these people in the slums are bad and that they are all criminals. It is amazing to me that he even made it onto the jury because of the fact that he hated people from the slums so much; he wasn’t able to see that there might be the possibility that the defendant didn’t do it. The next area of psychology that we see in the movie that we talked about in class and in the textbook is the method by which the police obtained the interview from the defendant after he returned home at 3:00 am. The reason that this was brought up in the movie was the fact that juror number #7 was talking about the reason why the defendant couldn’t remember the names of the movies that he had seen that night. Juror number #4 was very crucial on this fact. So juror number #7 decided to test whether or not he could remember what movies he had gone to. Juror number #4 wasn’t able to remember exactly what movies he went to and asked juror number #7 what his point was. Juror number #7 said that you couldn’t remember and you weren’t even in a stressful situation. Juror number #7 went on to further explain how the fact that the interrogation took place in the defendants kitchen while the body of his father was still on the floor. As we have talked about in class, interrogations can be very stressful. Not only that, if a person is in a stressful enough situation, it can sometimes mess with the brains ability to encode, storage, and recall information. So when you add the facts together that the boy had been beaten for a long period of time, and that he was tackled to the ground in front of his house, it would make sense for him to have trouble remembering something that actually happened. The next area of psychology that I saw in the movie that we have talked about in class is the level of confidence that the two witnesses had. In the movie, the two witnesses were 100% certain that the boy who killed the man was the defendant. We have talked about in class about how people are human, and we people say that they are 100% certain that he/she is the one who committed the crime, they are actually most of the time wrong. What happens is that the police or even the prosecution can ask questions that will make the confidence of the individual become larger and larger because the constantly say to themselves that he must be the guy and so they eventually belief it. According to the textbook, this is known as post-identification feedback. What post-identification feedback means is that biased feedback can distort the memory of eyewitnesses to make them overconfident in there memory. In the movie, we saw the effects of this of the two witnesses who actually probably just saw an individual running away from the scene of the crime, rather than the specific defendant. The next areas were we see a connection between what we have talked about in class and in the textbook is something called authoritarian. This usually describes a strong juror is someone that has a heavy influence on the rest of the jury. A strong juror tends to be out spoken and tends to rule of the group. They tend to have traditional values. In the case of the movie, a strong juror would be juror number #3. Even though he didn’t get along with everyone, he actually badmouthed anyone who would change sides and even influenced people into changing back. He also talked about how there used to be days were everyone would call their father sir and those days were long gone. However, in the end he wasn’t able to persuade everyone to change back. The final area of psychology that we see in the movie is burden of proof. This basically means that it is the prosecutions job to prove that the person is guilty and the defense basically has to show some reasonable doubt. Overall this was a very interesting movie.
Terms: burden of proof, authoritarian, post-identification, recall, encode, storage, interrogation, liberation hypothesis, story model, mathematical model, overrule, sustain, hung jury, pre-instructions

To be completely honest I was less than thrilled to watch this movie, I have never been fond of old movies so having to watch this one did not make me too excited. Although I had a negative attitude going into this, I was pleasantly surprised while watching it. I thought that it was interesting to see how the jury deliberated with each other; in television shows and movies you do not often get to see the “behind the scenes” view of the courts. Even though I realize it is a dramatization for Hollywood it was still interesting to see that aspect of the court system. Although it was incredibly slow and dry at time there were a lot of aspects covering the law and courts.

In the movie 12 Angry Men it depicts a jury that is deliberating on a murder trial where a teenage boy is accused of killing his father. During the voting process one of the jurors votes not guilty, which the vote has to be unanimous. Right after this they wanted to go to the judge and declare that they had a hung jury, which basically means that they cannot agree on a verdict and they will need to bring in a new group of jurors. But it was ultimately declared that it was too early to do such and that they needed to deliberate. Then the jurors are to go around and explain their views of what happened and why they had voted guilty or not guilty. The one juror who voted not guilty started to talk about how it was unfair to just say the boy is guilty and have him put to death. Because they boy accused of murder had a tough time throughout childhood with an abusive father, this helped support the notion that the abuse could have fueled him and gave him a motive for murder.

Throughout this movie they used the different phases that I have learned using the textbook in chapter thirteen. Orientation was used when the jurors voted and chose juror number one to be the foreperson. I thought it was interesting to see the group dynamics of the jury play out throughout the movie. Watching individuals make their decisions and see how dynamics change throughout the two hours of being in a jury room was very interesting.

First off, I LOVE this movie. I find it difficult to think how a movie taking place only in one room and consisting of twelve men could ever be interesting, but this movie definitely delivers. I watched the original version, and I really enjoyed the characters and the old school setting. On top of that, there was definitely a lot of psychology incorporated into the characters and the storyline. Great movie!

First off, I’d like to discuss the personality traits we see in this movie. In the orientation stage of jury deliberation, we kind of get a feel for each man and their overall personality - nothing stands out too much. As the movie progresses further and further, I feel like we really learn a lot about these men, just from watching them argue. The textbook discusses authoritarianism, a personality trait characterized by stubborn beliefs, conventional values, and constant suspicion of people that violate norms. We see this almost immediately after the initial jury vote, with some men getting up and yelling in frustration, and some sitting there timidly. This shows even more as the deliberation progresses into the open conflict phase of deliberation. The most authoritarianism-oriented men are the ones attacking the character of the other jurors and struggling with changing their vote. The one juror in particular, the last to change his vote, was definitely the most authoritarianistic. He based his vote of guilty only on his stereotypical views of people living in the “slums,” and, even as all evidence for conviction lost credibility, he was still adamant that the boy was guilty.

On the other hand, we also have learned about strong jurors, meaning jury members who have a larger than normal influence on the deliberation. These jurors are well educated and articulate, something that very clearly describes the lone juror. In fact, I feel like he may have been the only juror to clearly understand the “beyond a reasonable doubt” concept that is so important to deliberation. If each juror had truly understood this, I feel as though everyone would’ve changed their votes when he presented the second and identical knife. I know I would’ve if I were part of that jury, because that immediately put doubt into my mind about the guilt of the boy.

It’s clear from the very beginning that this deliberation was a verdict-driven style. The jurors sorted all evidence heard from the trial into two categories: evidence for conviction and evidence for acquittal. The textbook’s discussion on this style of deliberation says that when jurors take an initial vote like they did in the movie, the members focus less on extensive, open discussion about the evidence, but instead, focus on defending their vote. We can see this initially in 12 Angry Men as they take a vote of guilty or not guilty. Going further, I also believed normative influence occurred here, because some of the jurors seemed timid and merely voted the way the group voted to avoid conflict. But as the movie progresses, each juror becomes more open to talking about evidence and disregarding their initial vote. This is a more evidence-driven style. As the deliberation style shifts, many jurors are changing their votes to not guilty based on informational influence (influence based on the compelling arguments of the other jurors). Because of this, I feel like evidence-driven styles and informational influence may seem to pair up, while verdict-driven styles and normative influence go together more often.

We can see examples of impeachment evidence in the jury deliberation, as each eyewitness’ testimony begins to unravel. In the case of the old man, their discussion on timing and the noises heard starts to make his testimony lose credibility, thus making this impeachment evidence. We can also see this in the woman’s account of the murder. For many of the jurors, this testimony was the basis of their vote for guilty, and after impeachment evidence was discovered, the entire deliberation changed. Impeachment evidence really played the biggest part in saving this boy’s life.

A few more smaller things I wanted to discuss: the strong juror clearly states that the burden of proof is on the prosecution. I really believe many of the jurors didn’t quite understand this concept. They seemed to believe that the boy must prove his innocence, instead of the other way around. I’m glad they threw this little tidbit into the movie, because it shows the high education level of the strong juror. Also, I saw a little of the similarity-leniency hypothesis coming into play here with the juror from the “slums.” I feel like as the movie progressed, his sympathy towards the boy grew, because they both grew up in bad neighborhoods. Along with the compelling discussion they had on the evidence, those are what changed his vote.

Overall, great movie. It really helped to take the concepts we’ve read about in the textbook and put them into a real life situation, while also being entertaining too!


Key Terms: Orientation, Authoritarianism, Open Conflict Phase, Strong Juror, Verdict-Driven Style, Evidence-Driven Style, Normative Influence, Informational Influence, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, Similarity-Leniency Hypothesis, Impeachment Evidence

In the movie 12 angry men, the stages of deliberation are clearly seen. In the beginning of the movie you see the jurors leave the room and enter the deliberation room where they right away begin the orientation phase and decide who the foreperson will be. The foreperson discusses procedures and raise general issues for the group to discuss. Continually throughout the movie the foreperson acts like a mediator in the fact that he is always having everyone come back in and sit down when things get off track a bit during arguments and such. He also, when there has been more evidence brought into conversation, will ask everyone if they would like to take another vote.

When the jurors first came into the deliberation room they all took a vote right away to see where everyone stood. This is called a verdict-driven style of the deliberation process. They were sorting the evidence into categories in which either supported conviction or supported an acquittal. After they took their vote there was one man who did not agree with the rest; he supported a not guilty vote. He, in my mind was the strong juror. After he had stood up for what thought was right, one by one he started convincing all the other jurors that there was reasonable doubt that the boy did not kill his father. The man appeared to be well educated based on the inferences he was making about different evidence that was used during trial and he stated the fact that he was an architect which tends to hold a high occupational status.
When the initial vote took place, almost all except one voted for a Guilty verdict. When a jury votes in the initial vote and the majority vote is either guilty or not guilty the verdict will most likely be what the majority was. In the movie this was not the case, they eventually all went to not guilty in the end which is called a leniency bias. The leniency bias states that a high standard of reasonable doubt seems to favor acquittal when going through the deliberation process. When the men started off in the room they almost all voted guilty without discussing any of the evidence. After the man who voted not guilty started talking and proved that there was doubt in his mind that the boy did not kill his father, he eventually started convincing others of the possibility that something else could have happened. The leniency bias states that jurors who favor acquittal need to only create reasonable doubt while jurors who favor a conviction need to find a way to remove all doubt. The man who stood on his own toward the end of the movie, the man who was thoroughly convinced the boy was guilty was displaying the reactance theory. According the reactance theory, people are highly motivated to maintain their freedom. In this case where the man wouldn’t budge he clearly stated that he had a right to vote guilty and that was that. He didn’t want to have to discuss why he thought the boy was guilty because he really didn’t have any reasons other than he wanted to exercise his right to continue to vote guilty.

Throughout the movie other than in the very beginning you see the jurors participate in open conflict; that is that differences in opinions within members of the jurors were apparent and alliances were eventually formed between members of the group. It was visible that some members were attacking other members’ points of view as well as others’ characters. It wasn’t until the process of informational influence took place that some members started sided with each other creating a larger gap between those who voted guilty and those who were voting not guilty. Informational influence takes place when other jurors make compelling arguments toward their beliefs surrounding evidence. One man during the movie was not persuaded by simply informational influence but by normative influence. This man wanted to go to a baseball game so badly he just wanted to do whatever it took to get to the game. At first he voted guilty to go along with the majority but then, after the vote was almost tied up in favor of not guilty he changed his vote to match the majority because he wanted to speed up the process.

Overall I thought that 12 angry men was a very dry but somewhat interesting film. I couldn’t help but to notice acting flaws and was amazing that some of the sequences during the film were one very long take. I could see how back then a movie like this was very popular; it depicted very clearly the deliberation process as well as various aspects of the process that help jurors reach their verdicts.

Terms: Deliberation, Orientation phase, foreperson, verdict-driven style of deliberation, evidence, conviction, acquittal, strong juror, reasonable doubt, leniency bias, reactance theory, open conflict, informational influence, normative influence.

I watched the cheesy old version and really enjoyed it. This movie showed what happens when a jury is sent to deliberation and the problems that occur as well as how the actual process works. I thought it was irritating that the majority of the men wanted to do a vote in hopes of everyone giving the boy a guilty verdict based on the evidence presented in court it. They thought it was obvious that the boy had killed his father and they didn’t see the need in discussing it any further because they all had places to be and things to do. I would hope that this does not happen in real life, as deciding the future of an individual’s life is a huge deal, and deliberation about what really happened should take place.

Right away the jury members appointed a foreman to be in charge of the group, this is called the orientation process. During this process jury members discuss procedures, and raise general issues. The foreman is essentially in charge of the group, and at first he too wanted to get out of their fast without any discussion. The jury decided to take a vote before they discussed the evidence, this is the verdict driven style. This style encourages jurors to sort out the evidence into two categories supporting conviction or supporting acquittal. All of the men became upset when 1 of the 12 did not think the boy was guilty. He thought there was reasonable doubt and that they should re-look at what happened. Of course the rest of them men were angry because they wanted to leave. As they started to discuss the case they seemed to use a combination of the mathematical model and story model. Though the course of their discussion they would take votes once new pieces of the case were discussed. This allowed the men to show where they stood so the jury knew what side of the case needed to be discussed. The story model was used a lot to make sense on if certain aspects of the case could have happened. For example the men created a story of how was the old man who couldn’t walk well able to see the boy run down the stairs.

During the second phase of the deliberation the jury members show differences and they try to state why they are on a certain side. In the movie we see the men become very angry with each other because they can’t seem to agree. According to the text open conflict is when differences in opinion among members of the jury become apparent and coalition may form between members of the group. This is exactly what happened until they looked more at the evidence. During this phase we saw some jury members make arguments that changed the mind of some jurors. For example the noise from the track would have made it very difficult for someone to be able to hear the boy yell, I’m going to kill you. These arguments are called informational influence; some jurors change their opinions because the other jurors make compelling arguments. When the men thought this was happening they would hold another vote. It was not surprising to see that some of the jurors wanted to have a hung jury because some people were changing their minds. Hung juries are those who are not able to reach a verdict. Toward the end of deliberation we saw one of the men change his mind because everyone else was and he wanted to go home, this is called normative influence. I have a feeling that this may happen more than we may think in a real court room. Some people probably don’t see the importance in discussing the topic further because they only think of themselves and their plans. It would be beneficial for jury members to be able to recognize this and discuss it so the jury member makes a decision based on what they think of the case. Also a huge part of the case was they testimony from the eyewitnesses. I was glad to see the jury deliberate and discuss if what the witness said was possible. As discussed in the text eyewitness testimony is focused heavily by the jury unless they recognize that an eyewitness may be wrong or confused, and essentially understand what a witness goes through. For example when they are constantly questioned on what they saw they become more and more confident in their decision. Some of the jury members relied heavily on the eyewitness, but once the group discussed if their testimony was possible they realized they the witness may have made a mistake.

During the third phase of deliberation the jury begins to find a common understanding and agreement this is called reconciliation. They try to make everyone feel comfortable with the final decision. In the case of the movie one jury member would not change his mind for his own personal reasons; this caused the rest of the jury to give reasons why the boy was innocent. Eventually the jury member changed his mind and realized that based on examining the evidence more the boy was innocent and the jury was able to dismiss and tell the court their final decision.

Overall I thought this movie was really interesting and I enjoyed seeing the process the jury went through before their reached their verdict.

Terms: mathematical model, story model, jury deliberation, verdict driven style, open conflict, informational influence, normative influence, reconciliation, eyewitness testimony.

My freshmen year of college at Mount Mercy University we watched this film when we were talking about the court system, different juries and practicing mock trials. This film really came in handy when trying to look at the different people we pick for the jury and it really helps look at what happens behind the scenes when someone is actually on the jury when trying to determine someone’s fate for the rest of their lives.

We can see that in 12 Angry Men, we actually do have 12 men that are very angry, but angry at each other, not at anyone else. They decided that when they reached the jurors deliberation room that they just wanted to hurry things along and get out of there so they took a quick vote but it ended up coming out to be half and half to where they could not go on with a full verdict. They had to settle the deal by talking about the evidence and what the case had to offer and talk it all out.

These men were really focused in on the different pieces of evidence that was given in the court case. For example was the person wearing a pair of glasses so that he or she could see the crime happening more up close. This would bring us back to being able to remember such evidence in a given case. Were the witnesses telling the truth and giving the jury correct evidence and could they believe it? They had to believe it and make sure everything was reliable or else they could have some bias in their thought process and make the wrong decision.

The men in this movie really do a great job of giving us the idea of what really could happen in a high profile case like the one in the movie. Arguing does happen in the juror’s deliberation room if something is stated that someone does not like or they have other opinions on the evidence. When these men fight and release their feelings about the evidence they came to a hung jury, where no one can agree and it is split. In the end they come up with an agreement when one of the gentlemen points out a very good piece of information that brings them to one agreed verdict.

While all of this is happening we can see that everyman is for himself really, they are all trying to get everyone else one their side and to believe what they are saying is the right thing to do. This side of persuasion can harm the jury’s outcome I believe. This somehow ties in with the being of social psychology and that anything someone can say can alter how another person thinks and can lead someone’s believe and thoughts somewhere they should not be. They should be more focused on what they believe and put their thoughts out there but not necessarily get someone else to change their answer just because they are pushing someone to believe that. They should look at the evidence as a whole and not just what they think is right or wrong.

KEY TERMS: deliberation, juror, evidence, witness, hung jury, social psychology

I watched the old version of 12 angry men for this assignment and I must say it was a very entertaining movie. The movie began in a courtroom after all of the evidence had already been presented. The judge was talking to the jury and instructing them on what they must do now when making their decision. One of the things that the judge tells the jurors is that they must make a decision beyond a reasonable doubt, which he says a few times. I assumed that the jury had already been briefed on what that means because the judge doesn’t explicitly state what beyond a reasonable doubt means. The judge also makes a point to say that because the charges being filed against the defendant are premeditated murder, the jury must come to a unanimous decision on whether the defendant is guilty or innocent. This sets up the plot for the rest of the movie, which is the jury deliberating on the evidence and how they should vote.

One of the things that interested me is that the room the jury stays in while determining their vote is a fairly small, cramped room. They also make a point that it’s the hottest day of the year, furthering the reason for the jury to be irritable when making their decision. It also surprised me that they locked the jury in the room after they checked that everyone was there. The jury goes through the orientation stage of the deliberation process after this. It seems that they have already elected a foreperson, as one of the members seems to take charge immediately. After this, the jury discusses how they want to proceed with voting and discussing the issue, ranging from taking a ballot vote to discussing it. The jury decides to take a preliminary vote and everyone but one juror votes guilty. From this point on, the jury talks about the evidence presented a trial, with either the eleven voting guilty trying to convince the one to change to guilty, or the opposite. This begins the majority of the movie, which primarily covers the open conflict phase of the deliberation process. The group becomes fairly heated in their discussion at times during this phase of the process because every juror’s decision on how to vote it analyzed, both based on their interpretation of the evidence and based on their own prejudices. While they are discussing the evidence, they are primarily trying to convince the one opposing juror through informational influence but also through normative influence, as they are the majority. The opposing juror also tries to sway the viewpoints of the other jurors through informational influence.

While discussing the evidence presented at trial, the opposing juror requests that the knife presented at trial be brought in for further examination by the group of jurors. After the knife is brought in, the jurors say that the knife is fairly unique and this proves that it’s the same on the defendant bought that night. At this point, the opposing juror reaches in his pocket and pulls out an almost identical knife. This surprised me because I figured a weapon like that wouldn’t be allowed in court, although it is possible that the juror snuck it in. After this, the opposing juror says he will abstain his vote and let the jury re-vote in the issue. They decide to vote anonymously the second time, by ballot. During this, one of the other jurors changes their vote to not guilty, showing that the original opposing juror’s attempt at swaying the others through informational influence is beginning to work. Slowly, the other jurors begin to change their votes to not guilty as the evidence is shown to be more and more circumstantial and unconvincing. The discussion eventually comes to a few of the jurors still voting guilty suggesting they tell the judge that they have a hung jury but the idea is quickly shot down. Right after this, one of the jurors suggests that another doesn’t understand what beyond a reasonable doubt means. This suggests that they weren’t briefed on the issue during the trial. As they continue to discuss, things become more and more heated and the jury enters the reconciliation phase, where they try to soothe the hurt feelings caused by the previous discussion and reach a final verdict. The jury eventually comes to the unanimous decision of not guilty due to reasonable doubt and the movie comes to a close.

I feel that this movie does a good job showing how the deliberation process of a jury might proceed. It also does a good job showing many of the concepts that were discussed in chapter 13 of our book. I am glad to have watched it.

Terms: reasonable doubt, unanimous rule, orientation stage, deliberation phase, open conflict stage, reconciliation stage, informational influence, normative influence, jury, jurors

12 angry men is actually a movie I have seen multiple times during psychology and mock trial classes. I always have found it to be a pretty interesting movie as it goes into depth at how different people can play a huge part in a jury.
So one thing that I noticed this time around watching it is everyone on the jury is mainly white(old version anyhow). They are on trial for a Mexican kid so to me this is a pretty biased jury off the bat. Another point is probably because of the setting of the movie and the time of it everyone is fairly old. The youngest looks to be in his late 30s at best. So none of this helps the kid on trial at all. Since the old one is based in 1957 prejudice was a lot more common anyhow. As we have seen in class the set up for this jury was not a very good one for the defendant. Also you could probably interpret from the lack of points that the defense attorney didn’t bring up(but the jury did) that the defense attorney probably didn’t care too much about his client. Again for the aforementioned reasons.
So on to the deliberations. Juror 8 is the only one who casts a non guilty ballot so that they can actually discuss what happens in the case. Now a point that isn’t brought out in movies very often is that in a criminal case you have to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the person is guilty. That means to me anyhow that is there is any doubt at all any point that means they might not have done it then you should not convict. Anyhow juror 8 thinks that the kid is guilty at first as well however there are some things that he would like to talk about first. This decision by 8 is not well received by the other jurors who think this is just a simple case. The first point that he brings up is the two witnesses specifically the old man. The old man claimed he heard the son say “I’m going to kill you” Now at the time this happened there had been el-train going by so his hearing wouldn’t be that accurate not to mention as old as he was that could be speculated upon as well. Another juror then brings up the fact that by the time this happened the old man had gotten up with a walker and gotten to the door in time to see the suspect running away. They actually set up that same scenario and proved it probably didn’t happen quite like that. I remember doing that in our mock trial class as well and even running it was fairly difficult. Another point with the “im going to kill you” statement is that a lot of people say that when they are angry but don’t actually mean it. At one point during the deliberation #3 gets really mad and says those same words to #8 which proves his point that anyone can say it without meaning it.
Another account is the boys alibi which was he had been at the movies. However upon questioning he could not remember what movie he had been to. One of the jurors says he could easily remember the previous 5 days let alone 3 hours. But 8 says that under huge amounts of stress you can easily forget information that you didn’t find important at the time of encoding. Which as we have discussed in class is quite true.
The next argument is the way the defendant would have stabbed the victim. As the defendant was a foot shorter and the angle of the knife had been overhanded it seemed like it was possible. However one of the jurors who had seen plenty of knife fights in his neighborhood discusses that no one would actually hold a knife like that as it would be way more awkward and time consuming. Showing the correct way of holding a switchblade he proves that the defendant probably didn’t do it. Another thing with a knife is that it was “one of a kind”. #8 though proved that it was a fairly common switchblade as he had gone and bought himself one.
One of the jurors then goes into a tirade about how the defendant and his whole race should be essentially wiped out and they are nothing better than rats. This disgusts pretty much everyone and juror 8 talks about the evils of prejudices.
Finally the last piece of evidence is the women who “saw” it happen. As we have discusses in class eye witnesses are really not that reliable on a lot of different reasons. In this case after seeing juror 4 rub his nose where his glasses were irritating him he realized that the women who had seen it had also worn glasses. After figuring out that more than likely she had not worn those glasses to bed and the el-train that had gone by at the time it is unlikely she saw exactly what she claimed. After this every juror had changed their vote to not-guilty besides juror 3. After figuring out the root cause of his distress he eventually changes his vote to not-guilty.
So this movie actually talks about a lot of things we discussed in class or have read. Eyewitness testimony, expert testimony or lack there of, biases, etc. Its interesting to note that in real life this situation would probably never or rarely happen. It has been proven that if there is 1 person standing against the group then they will usually fall to peer pressure. Psychologically its interesting to look at how everyone can change their opinion once certain things are called into light. Juror 3 was psychologically unable to make a non guilty verdict due to dealings with his son. While another was racist and couldn’t see beyond that. All these different points also should have been brought up during voir dire. Seeing as it was a murder case the lawyers would have gotten a fair amount of chances to get the jurors out and have it be fair. But again back in that time period a lot of things played into the effect of the trial. I am actually really curios to know if a lot of different jury deliberations go on like this where someone will express their expertise or opinion in an area and how much that effects the other jurors around them. Because had some of the people on this trial not had the certain upbringings they did the trial would have gone differently. Overall a very good film that im sure most law students and psych students should see atleast once.


The entire movie focuses on the deliberation process. The conditions that these jurors were put in were horrible. In a way this affected the initial verdict that most men took. Most of them decided guilty quickly as a way to get them out of the hot, stuffy and rundown room they were placed in. In a way this situation relates back to the field of industrial and organizational psychology. This field is concerned with making sure environments are comfortable enough so that employees are able to do a good job. In this situation these men’s job is to be a fair juror. This environment that they are placed in was not conductive for them to do an adequate job.

Even before the trial began there were some serious screw-ups in the jury selections. One man in particular seemed to have a biased against anyone who grew up in a low-income neighborhood. Also, there was a man who had a horrible relationship with his son. This created tension and brought up some extreme emotions that swayed his opinions. There were also no women present on the jury, younger people, and not many minorities. This did not create an impartial jury, which is your right appointed by the 6th Amendment.

Since this trial held the possibility of the death penalty the jury has to have a unanimous verdict. When the jury first met it seemed the boy was going to be sent to death row. All of the jurors found him guilty, except one. This juror believed that there was reasonable doubt associated with the case. Automatically the other men started talking about a hung jury. Meaning, they would never come to a decision. It was obvious that these men were not thinking things through and just wanted a decision. This one juror never backed down from his position. He pushed through the biases related to the stereotypical defendant characteristics. After going through the evidence that was presented the decision was changed from a verdict-driven orientation to that of an evidence-driven orientation.

The evidence that was presented to the court included the murder weapon (a knife), and eye witness testimony, and the defendant’s background information. The boy’s background did not work in his favor. The abuse he suffered as a child, at the hands of his father, gave him motive. Also, he had several misdemeanors on his record. His main downfall in the case was the eye witness testimony. His neighbor said that she turned exactly at the right time to see the boy stab his father with the knife and then run. To me this seemed like too much of a coincidence. Also, going back to the chapter when we talked about eye witness there was something called the weapon focus effect. If I were to witness a murder I wouldn’t be looking at the perpetrator, I would be looking at the weapon and/or the person being killed, aka weapon focus effect. There is also the factor of shock. The shock of seeing your neighbor being killed has an overwhelming affect on the brain. This can cause confusion and distortion of facts.

With all of this being said, I feel like the final decision made (acquittal) was the right decision. There was no solid evidence linking the boy to the murder. The shakiness of the eye witness testimony provided enough sway for reasonable doubt. Overall, this movie was a good example of what goes on in a jury deliberation. There are obviously conflicts that will arise between jurors that need to be resolved. I also feel it shows the importance of making sure the jurors are placed in a quiet, safe, and comfortable place that is void of distractions to make a concrete verdict.

Terms: reasonable doubt, acquittal, confusion and distortion of facts, weapon focus effect, perpetrator, eye witness, coincidence, misdemeanors, record, motive, court, eye witness testimony, murder weapon, evidence-driven orientation, stereotypical defendant characteristics, evidence, hung jury, verdict-driven orientation, case, reasonable doubt, death row, unanimous verdict, death penalty, 6th Amendment, impartial jury, minorities, opinions, biases, jury selections, environment, industrial and organizational psychology, guilty, deliberation process, defendant, and jurors.

I watched the old version of this movie. Usually I am not a fan of older films, but this one was actually pretty interesting to me. The main thing that this film focused on that we have discussed and read about in class is obviously the jury and the importance of their deliberation and decision. The film opens up with the judge explaining to the jury before they go in for deliberation that their decision is what determines if the boy on trial lives or dies and that the responsibility they are faced with is huge. He also explains to them that if they come up with any reasonable doubt, then he expects a “not guilty” verdict to be returned. Also in the opening scene with the judge, he discusses how the jury needs to return with unanimous verdict. This is the aspect that is the foundation for the film and that causes the issues in the deliberation room. One man is unsure on how he feels about the case and therefore the jury is unable to return a unanimous verdict. After this point, the entire movie takes place in the jury deliberation room for the most part. The plot of the movie revolves around the process of the jury decision-making. I think that the jury in this film is using the story model to try and make a decision. They listened to the evidence as the trial went on, heard the judge’s instructions on how to come up with a verdict, and then made their decisions once in the jury room. This is when it became clear that one of the men had a different idea about what happened and was not comfortable saying the boy was guilty. I think that this film was a pretty accurate depiction of what really goes on behind the doors of a jury deliberation, even though we can never be sure unless we get the opportunity. There is more than likely always a juror (or more than one) that doesn’t agree with the others or who isn’t quite convinced enough to say the defendant is guilty. These jurors who make a strong stand one way or another are considered the strong jurors, and I think that this film had 2 very strong jurors. There was the juror who took a stand at the beginning of the film who ended up convincing the rest of the jury, and then there was the juror who stood his ground throughout the entire movie until the very end, where he switched his verdict to “not guilty” to match the rest of the jurors. It was interesting to see how such deliberations could play out when not everyone agrees. I also think that the 3 phases of the deliberation process were represented nicely in the film. The open conflict phase was focused on the most with the discussions that took place, but the process was depicted in its entirety at some point or another throughout the film.
Also, chapter 13 of our book discusses that even the strongest critic of juries would not be able to argue that they use the evidence to heavily influence their verdict. In the film, the knife that was used to commit the murder was talked about for quite some time and this discussion was one of many that started leading some of the jurors to start having reasonable doubt about the case.
The topic of jury selection also plays a role. While we didn’t actually get to see the jury selection take place, it becomes clear during the deliberation what the prosecution and defense were trying to do when picking the men that they did. There were a few men on the jury that had strong biases towards people living in the slums. These men were obviously choices by the prosecution because they would hopefully be able to convince the rest of the jury of their opinion. There were also a few men lived in or around the slums and knew what it was really like. These men were selected to stay by the defense in hopes that they could educate the rest of the jury on what the slums are really like, and that the defendant isn’t what their stereotypes might make him out to be. Then there are the rest of the jurors who don’t swing either way and will more than likely be easily convinced (minus the juror who stands up against the rest, of course). What happened in the deliberation room in this film would be a prosecutions worst nightmare. If they knew how strongly the juror who stood up felt about the situation, they would have had him removed. I do find it interesting, however, that the defense didn’t try and have the biased members of the jury removed. Especially the juror who stood his ground for so long regarding the “guilty” verdict. Seems like he was someone that they really would not have wanted on their jury.
While discussing the witness that supposedly witnessed the crime and saw the boy kill his father, one juror brings up the fact that her eyesight may not be that great and that she could be very wrong on what she thought she saw the night of the murder. This brings up the popular topic of eyewitness identification. The witness can be very sure on what they saw, but so many different factors could be interfering with their ability to accurately recall what they saw. In this film, it was her eyesight. If she was unable to see very well, then her testimony will be very inaccurate and her reliability will suffer from that. This was something that got brought up to the jury by a juror that really continued putting reasonable doubt into their minds and continued their transition towards the “not guilty” verdict.
An element of psychology that played a role in this film is social psychology. There was so much group interaction in this film. That was what the entire film was focused on. Seeing how one man could convince one juror after another to view the case as he did is a classic example of how humans can influence each other. I also feel that there was a lot of sensation and perception going on. The jurors constantly had to sense and perceive what the other jurors were putting off. I think a great example of this was when they did a written vote on their verdict and one man put in “not guilty”. The other jurors accused one man of putting it in because they were picking up signals from him beforehand that he would be the one who did it. They ended up being wrong on their perception in that case because it was actually a different man who put it in.
Just as I mentioned above, I think this film as a fairly accurate portrayal of a jury deliberation. I think it may be a little extreme, but there are undoubtedly disagreements in a deliberation room that need to be figured out and talking things through and making your views known is the only way to do this.

Terms: reasonable doubt, unanimous verdict, evidence, process of the jury decision-making, story model, strong jurors, open conflict phase, social psychology, sensation, perception, deliberation, eyewitness identification, guilty, not guilty, jury

The small talk at the beginning of the movie once the men are asked to start deliberating is very realistic. Because every one is most likely a complete stranger, it would be very awkward to be locked into a room before they started to talk to about the case. There is a clear strong juror who tells everyone to take their seats and begin deliberation. As we know, his opinion may have some real influence upon the deliberation style and verdict. They take a verdict-driven style in their deliberation, and vote first. When they initially vote, the majority rule certainly takes its toll when all the men who didn’t raise their hands at first saw how many of the others had voted guilty and slowly raised their hands as well.
It’s very interesting that the one juror who doesn’t vote guilty brings up the point that he can’t just raise his hand and condemn a man to death within five minutes in order to get home to see the ball game. I don’t think that enough study or research has been done to truly understand how jury members cope psychologically when someone’s life hangs in the balance. I also think it’s accurate that since the nerdy shy juror raised his hand much later than the others can not explain why he thinks the kid is guilty, only that he thinks he is. It is very possible in this case that this juror doesn’t truly believe in the guilt of the defendant, merely that he was pressured into believing it because of the majority rule.
We also have to consider the social aspect of the whole situation. Whenever one person is pit against the rest, it becomes an argument of who’s right, and no longer what the facts convey. Luckily, during this deliberation in the beginning when all the men are going around the table they do their best to focus on the facts, but they all portray the facts based upon biases about his upbringing and where he was born. Then when one of the jurors reveals that he’s from a slum, many of the man back track and tell him not to take it personally right after they insulted the whole of the families that are from slums. This aspect of interaction and the need to be courteous and accepting of others while they’re in the room, even though you have such biases built up in your mind based upon the stereotypes that you’ve been taught all your life. How often do these simple stereotypes affect the proceedings of such jury deliberations, especially if no one steps up to offer another perspective or contradict the popular idea.
They also discuss the difference between the connotations of the words “slapped”, “punched”, and “hit”. As we know from many psychological experiments simply changing one word in a phrase or question can alter your entire perception of the situation. In this movie, the man describing the facts claims that he was slapped, then another juror pipes up and says, “no punched. He said punched, there’s a difference” And we know from experiments done about car crashes, when asked the speed of the vehicle when it hit an object, simply by changing the adjective used in the question the estimated speed altered greatly. This same principle applies to this situation based on the connotations of the words.

The old man brings up the idea of memory of the old man who lived below where the murder occurred. He suggests that perhaps the man who heard the screaming wasn’t lying, but convinced himself that he heard it. Later in the discussion they discuss how he could have gotten from his bed room to his front door in 15 seconds, one of the men on the guilty side yells that he was old and confused, how could he be believed in any respect. There is a moment of silence, as they all realize that if he couldn’t be believed to judge the time correctly, then how could he be trusted to have heard the scream, or been able to clearly identify the voice while the train while passing. We also know that humans as a species are especially bad at judging time, and even more so whenever we are confronted with a stressful situation, and an assumed murder would be one good stressor if you ask me.
They also bring up the idea of why the lawyer may not have done a great job. He was court appointed, and did that possible affect his defense. Did he not want the case in the first place, was he tired or sick over the six day trial? There are a lot of factors when you consider the fact that being a public defender and taking on an extreme case load may cause them to deliver a subpar defense of their client. It is also possible that if the defender didn’t believe that the person was innocent; even though they aren’t supposed to it may affect the defense they give, especially in a murder trail.

Terms: deliberating, strong juror, verdict, verdict-driven style, majority rule, jury members, cope psychologically, guilty, defendant, social aspect, biases, psychological experiments, memory, stressful situation, stressor, court appointed lawyer, defense, trial, public defender, case load, client, murder trail,

I had to watch 12 Angry Men in my American Government class senior year of high school. In that class I watched the original 1957 version of the film and I found it rather boring, but now I feel that was mostly because American Government was my last class of the school day and I was just really anxious to get out of there and go home. This time around I watched the 1997 remake of the film and now 12 Angry Men is more appealing to me. Also take into consideration that the whole movie takes place in one setting and you feel that can get very boring but it grabs your attention to what takes place in that setting. I compared both versions of the film and I noticed how the script or the entire movie for that matter, had no changes made, they are identical to each other. I found that surprising considering when film makers get their hands on the rights to a movie and want to film a remake, they butcher the movie to pieces and don't take into consideration that they pratically destroyed a classic movie, but enough of that rant... I just think it is neat how the two versions are exactly the same even thought they were released 40 years apart.

The film focuses on twelve very different men participating in a jury for a murder trial. A young hispanic man is accused of brutally stabbing his own father to death. The very first thing I want to point out is that the jury didn't consist of any women, no women at all. You's think that with the way society has changed some of their views on the roles of women they would be able to participate in a jury in the late 1990s. Within the men participating in the jury there are different levels of class, ethnicities, and beliefs. So it is very evident that the attorny deciding the jury selection went by stereotyping. One juror looked to be a wealthier man than some others on the jury and was well groomed, where as one juror was a man who grew up in the slums. This film connected to psychology and law in so many levels. each of the twelve men in the jury displayed very different personalities and different beliefs, especially when deciding if the defendant was guilty or not guilty. For example juror #3 definitely showed traits of authoritarianism due to his rigid beliefs. His belief is based on the shaky relationship he has with his 32 year old son, with whom he hasn't been in any contat with for nearly 16 years. So he feels that the defendant is foolish and should receive the most cruel punishment. Where as juror #8 feels that the defendant is innocent due to the fact that the defendant was abused by his father so he attacked in more of self defense rather than anger pent up inside. So at this point you start to see the personalities of the men unleashed in this grueling decision making process.

At first, the men wanted to more of a verdict- driven style approach to this orientation. They just wanted to take a vote and not discuss any parts of the trial at all. For example, juror #7 was complaining about wanting to hurry up and get this over with because he had tickets to a baseball game that he absolutely couldn't miss. This ends up going into a nasty direction in the form of evidence- driven style where yelling and arguing ensues and some men are persuaded to switch sides. The men examine the evidence that was given in the trial and came up with different scenarios pertaining to the eyewitness testimony on the night of the murder and deciding if those testimonies are indeed inaccurate or not. I recognized this as the story model, a method used in the decision making of the jury. We previously learned in chapter 13 of our textbook that this model is used to allow the jury to make more sense of the evidence at hand but in this case the jurors discuss on more on how the eyewitness testimonies are indeed wrong. As we have learned before in class that an inaccurate eyewitness testimony can greatly impact judgement and the overall outcome of a court trial. Eyewitnesses are rarely accurate when trying to recollect important past events despite the status of a eyewitness testimony being very convincing in the courtroom. About halfway through to towards the end of the movie, a majority of the jurors ended up switching their own votes from guilty to not guilty, they end up seeing eye to eye that there was no evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. A psychological component I would like to point out is the similarity- leniency hypothesis. The similarity- leniency hypothesis is defined as jurors who are demographically similar to the defendant will be more sympathetic to the defendant. This is evident in juror #5, a African American man who grew up in the slums. He easily relates and empathizes with the defendant, who also grew up in the slums. At one point in the movie when juror #4 is giving his input which is directed to stereotypes and offensively at juror #5. He says that anyone who is born and raised in the slums is automatically a criminal. Juror #5 takes serious offense to this so you know how inconsiderate people on a jury can be at times. Another point to notice is that juror #11 is hispanic and the defendant is hispanic as well, so juror #11 is able to relate and empathize on the level of ethnicity. So the jury comes to an agreement and all vote the defendant as not guilty.

Overall this turned out to be an interesting movie. I honestly never thought I'd ever have to watch this movie again but now I'm glad I had the opportunity to do so because I can understand better the tension that members of a jury can go through when trying to make a critical life changing decision. I just feel more appreciation towards this subject matter because of my growing interest in psychology and the criminal justice system.

Key Terms: stereotyping, guilty verdict, not guilty verdict, authoritarianism, verdict- driven style, orientation, evidence- driven style, story model, eyewitness testimony, beyond a reasonable doubt, similarity- leniency hypothesis

The first thing that was interesting to me while watching 12 Angry Men was that were no women in the jury and women have been able to serve on juries for a long time. I really enjoyed this movie because at the beginning I heard the evidence against the offender and I actually believed he committed the crime, but after listen to what those men talked I started to change my mind. I have a hard time believing that juries break down evidence in a case like they did in this movie and people go at each other like they did. I can understand how tensions were high in the jury, many wanted to get it over it and get out of there. Putting 12 men in a small room that is very hot, in uncomfortable seating, and talking about a troubling subject would of course lead to high tension.
From the start of the movie we see great examples of how juries deal with making a hard decision in a high profile case. With the judge giving them the pre-instructions at the beginning the jurors must take into consideration that they are putting a man to death. Once the men are put into the room they take a pre-vote just to get an idea of where everybody stands. Most of them are using the mathematical model in their decision making. They considered all evidence against the offender and completely believe he is guilty. The one juror that stands alone at first seems a man that believes in a just world and that offender deserves some consideration. Most of the juror believed that this kid had this coming and showed internal locus of control. This made his own life and they considered his past as evidence that he committed the crime. Two jurors stood out to me as authoritarianism, the African American that was pretty racist and in the end agreed to not guilty because everybody was going along with it. The second man had deep values and seemed to have personal connect in the case. He wanted the kid to pay and believed the kid deserved to be punished. When they broke down every piece of evidence and one by one each started to have reasonable doubt that the offender had committed the crime.
The entire movie was based on the deliberation process and how each junior would have their own personality and bring different aspects to the decision making process. Of course right from the beginning a foreman and consider the verdict-driven style or evidence-driven style. When they started to break down the evidence from the eyewitness who actually saw the murder take place was a good example of Manson Criteria. The witness’s opportunity to see what happened what blocked by the train and she lacked the ability to see clearly. When considering the offenders story of what happened, he does seem like he was under a lot of stress at the time, and his emotions played a key role in his alibi.
Then go into the second phase and have a major open conflict and at times it gets pretty heated inside the room. The older man that at first didn’t think the offender was guilty slowly was able to use informational influence to persuade each juror to change their verdict. I wonder if jurors were to put themselves into the shoes of the offender, like the older man did, would they change their verdict and maybe understand the situation a lot better. I can’t believe that some were willing to just give up and change their verdict because everybody was. Then others wanted to go with a hung jury just to get the process over and put the pressure on other people. Many of the jurors were great examples of the similarity-leniency hypothesis, such as the juror who was from a similar rough neighborhood. Also the juror that was Mexican might have made the connection because of they were the same race. Few of the jurors made personal connection to the offender and after hear evidence they believed the kid deserved another chance.
In the final phase of the process we see the jurors come to an agreement and give their verdict to the judge. The conflicts were all over and the jurors finally understand why the older man was unsure whether the kid committed the crime. They all didn’t get along in the end but to see how a jury can break down all the evidence and slow change everybody’s mind one by one was surprising.
Key Terms: pre-instructions, mathematical model, internal locus of control, authoritarianism, open conflict, hung jury, open conflict, similarity-leniency hypothesis.

I watched the 1957 version of 12 Angry Men and thoroughly enjoyed it! One of the first things I noticed that I found by today’s standards was the fact that the jury was made up of entirely older males. Given the time period that the film takes place in I suppose it’s not too odd especially for how our society was at that point. Still that composition would lead to the first of many jury biases that will be found in the film. Another point of contention comes in the background of the jury members. If they hadn’t shown the deliberation process once could have assumed that all the jury members would have a similar background of being middle to maybe even upper middle class working men. In that deliberation we find that one man is almost xenophobic against those that live in the slums. I don’t know if that juror just hid it well or what but you would think that in the Voir Dire questioning that would have come up and he would have been eliminated via a challenge. There was another juror ( I believe it was seven, I’m typing this with our internet being out so I’m going off of memory) who was could be sympathetic to the defendants cause as he grew up in the slums. That would be another juror that I would have thought to have been eliminated from the juror pool via Voir Dire. I would define this under race bias for lack of better term as they show the bias to the defendents status as a slum resident.
After Juror 8 starts bringing the doubt upon the trial being so clear cut (After all that was said by the end I thought it was crazy that only one person said not guilty!) I liked how they walked through the testimony and the evidence to see just how this would have happened. They used the mathmatical model to weight each piece of evidence and testimony. They tested the witness’ statement and proved that she couldn’t be counted upon as being reliable as she wore glasses. So what she thought was the defendant fleeing could have been really anyone as she was impaired at the time as she most likely didn’t have her glasses on! Then there’s the point where the older man heard I’m going to kill you and took it rather literally. I’m not sure if that being jokingly applied in the later 50’s really happened in the 50’s but by today’s standards it can sometimes be seen as a rather morbid joke. This goes to show that while eyewitness’ can be a boon if at some point that a flaw can be exposed about them, whether its age or a disability of some sort they can lose all credibility because of that. I guess they can be a double edged sword they can seal a case or damn it. Another point of contention was the weapon focus on the part of the jurors. They were told it was a "rare" weapon but one of the other jurors pointed out it was really just a common switchblade, that could have been disastrous to the defense.
A final point I noticed was how frayed they became, which I suppose is apparent in a movie called 12 Angry men. It really showed though with the one juror who got incensed that another of the jurors went and changed his vote just to make his baseball game. He of course I believe wasn’t a natural born U.S citizen and couldn’t believe that someone would just throw away that right that he most likely didn’t have back in his home country. I think it’s a bit of commentary on how in our society of just how much we take for granted in our fights to defend gun laws, who can and can’t marry that in this case we even have the right to argue those claims. Overall this movie was an interesting watch because of all the tension going on between all the jurors. It was also interesting to see what a deliberation process would go (well could go I should say) as for both times I’ve been called for jury duty I’ve been eliminated after Voir Dire.
Terms: Voir Dire, Bias, Race Bias, Witness Bias, Eye Witness, Mathmatical Model, Weapon Focus, Social Psychology.

12 Angry Men
My roommate and I watched this movie together and it was the old one from 1957. I was a little hesitant about it because I’m not a big fan of old black and white movies, but it actually turned out to be quite interesting. It was also easy to follow. Halfway through the movie, it did get a little bit boring... I feel like that could have been due to the fact there was no change in scenery though. It had many psychological aspects to it that related to chapter six and seven of the text book.
These jurors were picked from a jury pool and then selected for the voir dire. I found it interesting that the jury was not very diverse, they were all middle-aged men. There were no girls, no teenagers, and only one elderly. Plus they all seem fairly educated. The movie was mostly about all of the jurors and how they handled the process. During this process there were many arguments that broke out between them. Belief in a just world seems to bear a logical relationship to verdicts and sentencing. They each had their own reasoning’s as to why they picked the verdict they chose. Some were logical and others were not. There is a personality trait called authoritarianism that may also come into play when jurors are deciding cases. People with “authoritarian personalities” have the following characteristics: They tend to have conventional values, their beliefs ten to be rigid, they are intolerant of weakness, they tend to identify with and submit to authority figures, and they are suspicious of and punitive toward people who violate established rules and norms. Out of the 12 jurors there were some that were quite authoritarianism and stuck to their beliefs. There was also a guy to ran the meeting and in order to do that he had to be a strong and non permissive person. In criminal cases, a defendant must be judged guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, while in civil cases, the standard of proof for being held liable (responsible for causing the alleged harm) is usually preponderance of the evidence. If there is reasonable doubt (like many of the jurors in the movie thought) then they shouldn’t convict.
The process of jury decision making can be described through the use of mathematical models. In many models jurors are assumed to use a sort of “mental meter” that persuades towards guilty or not guilty verdict based on the evidence. In the movie 12 angry men the facts were strong and each of the witness had a story that made sense so that made 11 of the jurors mental meters go to guilty. They had all thought that based off of the evidence they heard the young man committed the murder and he should be put away. We can also use the story model to help explain the juror decision making process, which is when the jurors create a story to make sense of the evidence presented at trial. They defiantly made a story line up for this trail and then once the strong juror (which is a jury leader who seem likely to have a disproportionate influence on the deliberation process.) He had started to challenged them with “what if” questions and state different story lines that also made sense. I thought that it was so amazing how he stood up for what he believed in and ended up getting everyone to change their mistaken guilty votes. He is the kind of person that everyone should have on a jury panel. He did not know what was right or wrong but he made no assumptions and challenged every piece of evidence, making his own story and time frame. Also, testing out theories… like the old man walking from his bed to the hallway in 15 seconds, when actually it was 45, or the train outside the window and not being able to hear anything because of the loud sound. This phase when they were discussing everything was considered open conflict because they all voiced their differences in opinion among members of the jury. And coalitions can form between members of the group, like the strong juror and also the elderly man.
Pretty much all of the jurors had changed their vote, they were swayed by a process called informational influence which is when they change their opinions because other jurors make compelling arguments. (ex- the noise of the train, switch blade, and amount of time for the old guy to walk) Some jurors may have also changed their vote due to normative influence which is similar to peer pressure, but we can not be sure of that.
I thought that this was a great movie, and it wasn’t even bad watching it in black and white. At some point in time I would like to see the newer version of it too. It was kind of cool to see how the jurors can react to one another behind the scenes. Very interesting movie!
Key terms- informal influence, normative influence, open conflict, strong jurors, story model, mathematical models, voir dire, jury pool, belief in just world, authoritarianism, reasonable doubt

Twelve angry Men
I had never heard of the film Twelve Angry Men, before until this class. I watched the 1950’s one, and I feel that much of what occurred between the juries still happens today. In the beginning after final statements had been made, the twelve jury members went and deliberated. Of course all the jury members felt that the boy who had allegedly murdered his father was guilty. Everyone felt that way expect for one jury member. He mentioned how there is a lot riding on this case and how they need to talk about it. Other members of the jury felt that this was unnecessary and that there were more important things to do, like go to a baseball game. One of the jury members assumed that since the defendant was from the “slums” that then this kind of act is not unlikely. If those members of the jury where chosen for a todays trial there would have been a substantial number of issues. First off, they are all men, none of which represent any similar background, or class to that of the defendant, and secondly the jury members really don’t care about the trial, and also express bias. All the members of the jury must come to an equal agreement; guilty or not guilty. As the movie continues we see that the jury continues to struggle on developing a verdict. The jury members continued to express personal bias against the ruling of the defendant, and the one jury members had reasonable doubt that the boys conviction. How we would describe these jury members is a hanging jury or a deadlock jury, as in a fair, reasonable verdict could not be decided. Interesting enough, a secret ballot is held, and another jury member votes that the boy is not guilty. This reminded me of the group conformity study taken when everyone in the group, except for one, was an actor and the members of the study answered wrong on every line question. The member who was not an actor conformed to the group because everyone else was answering the same way. When the jury finally became willing to discuss the evidence, eye witness testimonies, and what the witness said they saw, one of the jury members acted out and wanted to defendant to be convicted and killed. This jury member wanted the defendant to be guilty due to his own personal experiences, and or problems. The jury members debate of the boy’s testimony stating that he was at the movies with friends when the murder happened. Jurors didn’t believe it because the boy could remember the movie he went to. But the one radical jury member stated that when someone is under such physical stress and emotional stress that their memory is depleted. I felt that this reminded me of the interrogation chapter/videos, when adolescents are being interrogated that it’s hard for them to remember and explain themselves due to the fear put on them from the investigator. However, even though the votes of the jury members being to change from guilty to not guilty, one jury member is still aggressively hostile towards the verdict. He continued to show explain how people from the slums are bad, and can’t be trusted and that they kill each other off all the time. This major example of prejudice, this can deeply affect the court system in ruling out a verdict. Much of this is why you will see many African Americans in prison, than you will those who are white. People who are in a higher class tend to be more available to resources such as a good lawyer, then those of a poorer class. In the end, the lawyers put aside their own personal issues and biases and voted not guilty.

Psychological terms: bias, personal bias, reasonable doubt, verdict, hanging jury/deadlock jury, secret ballot, conformity study, interrogation, prejudice

I felt this movie was a great representation of the terms discussed in our textbook. There were many different things that were psychological based. The first one I saw was the need for the unanimous guilty verdict for the death penalty. Our textbook states that a unanimous decision must be made when it is a capital murder trial. This shows that there is absolutely no doubt that the person is guilty of their crime. Several times throughout the movie, a few members threatened to tell the judge they were a hung jury. However, another stated how the judge would not accept that decision because they had not been in deliberation for very long.
The next thing I saw was the three steps involved in the deliberation process. The men of the jury unofficially elected one of them to be the foreman in charge. He happened to be the one at the end of the table. When tempers got out of control, he seemed to be the one to get everyone back on task. I also saw that they had a verdict-driven style in where they voted at the beginning and then throughout the deliberation. Once everyone realized where members stood in their decision, there was discussion. This showed the second stage, open conflict. Throughout this stage, the men were shown arguing their points and bringing up points that would conflict other points. During this whole stage men were changing their votes once they had one reason of doubt the defendant did not commit the crime. One man was convinced by informational influence. Another man convinced him that the woman who declared she saw defendant murder his father could possibly not have been wearing her glasses when the murder happened. This convinced him that the witness could have possibly been wrong. However, there was another man who was more concerned about getting to the baseball game he had tickets to. He changed his vote halfway through the deliberation process due to the majority now being in favor of acquittal. When the other members asked him why he changed his vote, he said that it was clear that the boy was innocent. This could have possibly been due to normative influence. Normative influence is changing a vote to a different verdict in order to vote with the majority. We never found out if the man really felt the defendant was guilty or not guilty. The third step is reconciliation. We never saw this part of the jury deliberation. During this time, juries try to help everyone feel satisfied with the decided verdict. However, once the final man in 12 Angry Men changed his vote to not guilty, they all filed out the room and into the courtroom while the last man cried.
Another psychological factor I noticed was how the architect, the man who had reasonable doubt from the beginning of deliberation, took his position as a jury member seriously. He said that night before deliberation he took a walk around the area the boy was from. He also found a knife exactly like the one used to kill the defendant’s father. This discredited the store owner’s statement that the knife he sold to the defendant was one-of-a-kind. This proves that most jury members take their position seriously.
Our textbook also discusses strong jurors. These are members of the jury who are disproportionately influential in the deliberation process. They tend to be of higher status (which can include occupational status) and well educated. The man who changed his vote last had a very strong/forceful personality. He felt he could yell at the other jurors when their opinion/votes did not match his. Another one of the strong personalities was the man who was very ignorant towards lower-class people. When all the men got up and turned their backs on him when he was ranting about “slum people” being lower than him, his strong personality showed. When this was occurring, the man who grew up in the slums became very confident in what he had to say about the trial. The textbook states that people with strong personalities are very rare in jury situations and that jurors tend to be accepting of other peoples’ opinions. The movie was an example of an extreme situation.
Keywords: unanimous verdict, orientation, foreman, open-conflict, informational influence, normative influence, reconciliation, strong jurors

Last night I watched the movie 12 Angry Men for today's blog. Overall I thought it was an interesting movie that displayed many of the aspects of the last few chapters we have read over eyewitnesses, trials,and juries. It showed the role of the jury as fact-finders and decision-makers. It also stressed the importance of a guilty conviction without a reasonable doubt and what that meant. Without a reasonable meant that the men voting guilty had to have no doubt in their mind that the kid was guilty.

The movie begins after the trial as the members of the jury filter into a room for the deliberation process. In the first stage of the deliberation process, or orientation, where they elect a foreperson, discuss the procedure, and raise issues. Here the jury decided to take a verdict driven style and vote first, after a short deliberation. After eleven jurors vote guilty and only one votes not guilty, the style changes to evidence driven, as the next vote becomes postponed until after a discussion of the evidence.

The one juror who votes not guilty doesn't necessarily think he is not guilty, he just doesn't know. He raises the question of the cost of a man's life and how they can just condemn a kid who is 18 to death without first discussing it. I thought this was a great point because some times people are too quick to make important decisions like this without first thinking and talking it over while weighing the facts.

After the jurors realized they weren't going to get out of the deliberation process that easily, they entered the open conflict stage of deliberation. Here, the differences in opinions began to surface and coalitions began to form between the jury members. They first tried to use normative influence on the lone juror to get him to give in to group pressure and agree with the majority. When they realized that wasn't going to work, the method changed to informational influence as both the lone juror and eleven who voted guilty tried to change each other's opinions with compelling arguments.

It was in this open conflict stage of deliberation that most of the movie dealt with. Points were raised as to the complex evidence and the validity of eyewitness reports, which we learned in class are not always accurate. Setbacks to the eyewitness reports were found, such as the old mans script of what he thought happened, even though they proved he couldn't really have known for certain what happened. Unconscious transference or post identification feedback could also have caused him to accuse the wrong person. They also concluded that the woman who actually saw the stabbing probably couldn't have seen it that accurately. There was also a possible weapon focus effect in that she may have focused too much on the knife. They also questioned the validity of the expert testimonies of the psychiatrists diagnosis of the kid as having killer tendencies.

This movie also dealt a lot with social psychology in how all these men interacted with each other. Some jurors conformed to others, while some stood alone or with the minority. It was interesting to see what each juror held on to as the main reason for a conviction, whether it was the eyewitness reports, the murder weapon, the expert testimonies, the motive, or the defendants background. As the deliberation process went on, we saw just how peoples biases, prejudices, and own past experiences can shape how they view a trial and defendant. The one black guy wanted to execute the kid just because he was racist against Mexicans and the old white guy wanted to because of his prior past conflicts with his own son. This stuff made me angry because you can't just judge a person based on that criteria when their life is in your hands.

In the end, as the jury moved into the reconciliation stage of the deliberation process, they worked toward and understanding and agreement as to where everyone was satisfied with the verdict. At one point I thought they were going to go to the judge with a hung jury, but others didn't agree. They all eventually voted not guilty because in the end they all had reasonable doubt. This movie showed just how important one strong, educated juror can be in the deliberation process. One man can be enough to ask question and make eleven others see that they were making the wrong call with a man's life on the line.

Terms: Jury, Deliberation Process, Complex Evidence, Expert Testimony, Strong Juror, Orientation, Verdict Driven Style, Evidence Driven Style, Open Conflict, Informational Influence, Normative Influence, Reconciliation, Validity, Eyewitness Report, Weapon Focus Effect, Unconscious Transference, Scripts, Post Identification Feedback

In the movie 12 angry men, I watched the older version, there were numerous aspects that we have read about in our book. One thing that really bothered me about this movie was the fact that even though the men were the jury they kept saying the boy on trial was getting a fair trial and it wasn’t their fault they thought he was guilty. The point of the jury is to be completely sure that he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This is what frustrated me; the majority of the group would have just voted guilty because they had things to do and wouldn’t even consider the fact that he may not have done it.
When it comes to the actual evidence there was a lot of room for doubt. When talking about the woman who was positive she saw the stabbing, they realized that she had not had her glasses on, this doesn’t say that she was lying, only that she had trouble when it came to the encoding of her memory. If you cant see it is hard to get an actual description of the person, and it is easy to fill in the memory with people that you know.
As the story progressed there was a lot of obvious bias. When it came to the area that the boy had grown up in many of the jurors automatically threw him out as trash, as people had done the boys entire life. This is a good example of why juries need to be diverse. The one juror that had grown up in a similar place contributed, and it shifted the opinion of a few jurors, where the others just tossed off the new information.
When they couldn’t come to a decision the option of calling a ‘hung jury’ was thrown about, meaning that the jury cannot come to a unanimous decision. The head juror was frustrated because they had only spent a couple of hours trying to decide the outcome. Finally they come to a consensus of not guilty and the only reason that the final juror was holding onto the guilty verdict was the fact that he was acting as if this boy was his son and was frustrated with the fact that he hadn’t spoken to him in so long, as well as regretting the fact that he had been so rough on him. All in all I thought this movie was good and I really enjoyed how it portrayed the responsibility that jurors face.

Key terms: guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt, right to a fair trial, witness, encoding, memory, under oath, bias, diversity within juries, hung jury, not guilty

According to the Jury Selection and Service Act of 1968 the court must assemble a jury that constitutes a fair cross-selection of the community. This act was introduced after 12 Angry Men was made and it is unclear whether twelve men were actually assembled as a jury back in those days. The twelve men are obviously not a representation of the larger population and some of the events that unfolded during the film may explain why twelve men in a room got so heated. It would be interesting to see whether the presence of some females or a person of a different cultural background would have changed the atmosphere of the room.

The first half hour of the film is important to watch and analyze because you hear each person's rationale for their decision. In those monologues you get an understanding of their individual personalities. The best example of this is the man who has the tickets for the baseball game. From the onset of the film he show minimum attention to the case and spends half his time looking out the window. Clearly he doesn't care about the outcome. As long as a unanimous decision is made he can leave and attend the game. Even when others are talking we see this character sigh heavily and show displays of sarcasm. The book has a section where it discusses different personality traits of individual juries. Nearly all of the juries claim the defendant as having an internal locus of control. They are so set on proving the man guilty that they have no regard for any other motives. The man who is holding out and trying to find a rationale for the man being innocent discusses more of an external locus of control. Perhaps other events that happened that night may have put the boy in the wrong place at the wrong time. The other jurors have a belief in a just world. After hearing all of the evidence the remaining jurors feel that the boy “brought it upon himself.”

It's important to bring an understanding of the mathematical models to 12 Angry Men. At the beginning of the the film we see the meter essentially pointed towards guilty or otherwise known as a hung jury because they couldn't reach a unanimous vote. Overtime after careful persuasion and with the careful examination of further evidence we see the meter shift along with the rationale's of the jury. It was interesting to see that back in the day they needed to reach a unanimous vote instead of a majority rule. If the majority rule was established in the legal system during that time, this movie wouldn't exist because it would have essentially been over after the first count.

Lastly, I would like to point out the various styles used in the film during and after the deliberation process. We were told that they had been working on the case for six days and the exhaustion shows on the faces of some of the jurors. Furthermore, we see more of a evidence-driven style in their negotiations rather than a verdict-driven style. Basically the jurors will examine all of the evidence available at trial and then decide which way to vote. According to the text, postponing the first vote after all of the evidence has been examined allows for better discussions and that is what this movie is all about.

Terms used: Jury Selection and Service Act of 1968, internal locus of control, external locus of control, belief in a just world, mathematical model, hung jury, unanimous vote, majority rule, verdict-driven style, evidence-driven style

I watched the 1997 version of “12 Angry Men”, and I also had to watch it in high school but we didn’t ever talk about the psychological aspects of the movie. One large aspect that this movie addresses is the amount of power that the jury has, and how much responsibility they hold on their part. First off, the Judge says that she will require a unanimous decision, because the defendant faces death by lethal injection. Right off the bat, eleven jurors vote guilty and one person voted not guilty. It is the job of the jury to try and decide all possible questions of the case.

This jury went through the typical stages of deliberation. The first phase is known as orientation, where they pick a foreperson. Next is called open conflict, where everyone gives their opinion about the guiltiness of the defendant. The old man that voted not guilty to begin with starts to get the other men to change their verdict. At this point, every jury member gets the change to try and sway his opinion. The jurors know that the defendant must be guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Probably one of the most important factors in this movie is the evidence brought forth against the defendant. The prosecutor has used the knife used to kill the father, an eyewitness who lived below the kid and father, and another witness who claims she saw what happened while passing by the apartment in a train. Evidence is what jurors rely on to reach a verdict decision. When the jurors go through the orientation state of deliberation, they may either adopt the verdict-driven style where they tend to sort the evidence into two categories: supporting conviction or supporting acquittal. They may also take an evidence-driven approach in which they don’t vote on guiltiness until after they have completely discussed the evidence. During the open conflict state, they all start to have their differences in opinion, even opinion of other jurors. When juror sways another juror, it is called informational influence. In the movie, the old man who voted not guilty has a very good sense of informational influence because he starts to single out jurors who seem to have weaker opinions, and one-by-one he starts to have a strong influence on others. Normative influence starts to take place near the end of the deliberation process. This is when jurors look past their own personally opinion and conform to the groups verdict because of group pressures. This also takes place at the beginning of the conflict stage when everyone but the old man say guilty, they all try and weigh In their opinion as a group and try to get him to conform. According to our book, there are usually a few people stand out who like to dominate discussion during the deliberation process. We see this in the movie, because there are about three or four people who like to lead the discussions.

As stated before, the jury in the movie needs to have a unanimous decision. During the movie, one juror asks another if he is trying to make them a hung jury, which is simply a jury that cannot come to a unanimous verdict. Our book says that hung jury means the system is doing its job. If every jury had a unanimous decision, it would mean that there is a large majority. Most hung juries happen when there is inconclusive evidence or when there are too many differing opinions. In the movie’s case, every one starts off with a relatively similar opinion, but slowly start to rethink their decision.

This particular jury from the movie has a few strong jurors. The old man who votes not guilty is probably the most obvious strong juror because he was the only one to initially vote not guilty. These kinds of jurors are essential to a case because they help protect from majorities. Strong jurors are usually well-educated, articulate, and have high occupational status. These types of jurors are really rare though, like in the case of the movie, no one would really be willing to stand up to eleven other men and try to persuade their almost “unchangeable” opinions. In the end, the brave lone juror persuades all of the other eleven jurors to change their decision on the kid who supposedly stabbed his father to death.

Terms: unanimous decision, defendant, jury, deliberation, orientation, open conflict, verdict, beyond reasonable doubt, prosecutor, verdict driven style, evidence driven style, informational influence, normative influence, hung jury, strong jurors,

I watched the original 12 Angry Men, for multiple reasons. The original of a movie is always the best. I also really enjoy old black and whit films. They represent a type of lost American culture. The first thing I noticed from 12 Angry Men was the lack of women and African Americans throughout the entire movie. This wasn't surprising; for a film produced in 1957 it had to be expected. That was part of the reason I chose to watch the original version. The simplicity and characteristics of old films are completely different from modern films.
In 12 Angry Men there were multiple connections to psychology in the court room. Many of which we have already discussed in class. This film in particular makes reference to many different psychological and legal parallels. The first of which being eyewitness testimony. Eyewitness testimony, like in many criminal trials is necessary. However, just because it is often necessary doesn't mean it's always perfect. The main character and juror in this film exploits that point to the rest of the men. The original not guilty juror explains to the men they are basing their entire judgment on two eyewitness testimony. The rest of the evidence is circumstantial The eyewitness testimony is what 11 men are willing to accept as true. Like in many criminal trials the eyewitness testimony has a large impact on the final verdict. In 12 Angry Men this is not different. In this case, the eyewitness testimony of the old man down stairs is eventually taken as false because of his timing to get to the door and his inability to hear the murder due to the passing train. The second eyewitness across the tracks also has a pretty weak testimony stating she witnessed the murder through the windows of the passing train. At any rate, the psychological impact of the eyewitness testimony is enough the 11 men to sen the young man to the execution chair. Without contradiction by the 1 not guilty juror, this could have very well happened.
The jury of men eventually become hung. With and even 6 men for guilty and 6 men for not guilty. This is a critical point in the movie. The psychological fatigue is starting to set in on the 12 men. They have been in the deliberation room for many hours now and nerves are starting bend. The point soon arises that many of the guilty men have there belief of guilty not based on the facts, but on there own beliefs. The psychological battle turns from deliberating the facts to arguing over what some of the men's intentions. This is referred to as an open conflict. As stated in the textbook; open conflict takes place in the deliberation room with open discussion and questions. This open conflict of the 12 men really escalates into a psychical brawl at one point. The psychological stress of the 12 jurors starts to show with their emotion and short fuses. I also notice as things got more heated and controversial, the men started to show more perspiration. I thought that was neat added tough for a 1957 film.
To see the evidence and psychological reasoning start to change every single juror one by one was intriguing! I found it interesting how the main not guilty juror used evidence and deductive reason to prove to the other 11 men that, in fact, there was not enough evidence to convict. His main point all along wasn't that the kid was innocent, but there simple wasn't enough evidence there to prove he did. With knowledge and psychological persuasion he eventually bestowed that same doubt into the minds of the 11 other jurors.

Key Terms : psychological, evidence, psychological reasoning, open conflict, deliberation, jurors, convict, innocence, guilty, not guilty, hung jury, eyewitness, eyewitness testimony, psychological reasoning.

I watched the old version of 12 Angry Men, because it’s one of my favorite classics. The book defines a trial as an elaborate, highly structured method of providing a jury or judge with the information necessary to make a considered, impartial decision. We did not get to see any of the trial, but throughout the movie we were able to gain a lot of information regarding the trial. It is clear that the trial did not do a very good job of providing the jury with the information necessary to make their decision.

Juries have a very difficult job, and the verdict they decide on may have extreme consequences on someone’s life. In this case, they had to decide the fate of an 18 year old boy who was being tried for first degree murder. The judge made it clear to them that premeditated murder was the most serious charge tried, and the defendant was found guilty, death sentence was mandatory. Like most juries, the 12 men on this jury had little in common and no established relationships. Every human has biases, and all 12 men brought in different biases that impacted their individual decisions and ultimately, the group decision. The hope is that jurors will rely on the evidence, be guided by the law, and that any biases or misunderstandings will be counterbalanced or corrected during group deliberation. This movie was an excellent example of that.

The book describes two ways that jurors might go about making individual decisions. The first is a mathematical model, where jurors use a sort of mental meter that moves toward either a “guilty” or “not guilty” verdict based on the weight of the evidence. Strong pieces of evidence have stronger impact on the mental meter than less convincing evidence. A persuasive eyewitness testimony may be so heavily weighted that the meter becomes “frozen” and further evidence does little to shift the juror’s overall judgment. This seemed to be the case with most of the jurors. They heard two persuasive eyewitness testimonies, their mental meters swung to the “guilty” side, and no other evidence (or lack of evidence) had any impact at all for them. One juror, Davis, seemed to use a story model as opposed to the mathematical model. This model includes creating a story, or causal chain of events, to make sense of evidence presented at the trial. He carefully thought about initiating events that caused characters to have psychological responses and motivated actions, and the consequences that followed. He used this story approach to convince the other jurors to think twice about their verdicts.

For example, he provided an answer to why the boy couldn’t remember the movie that he saw the night of the murder, using the story approach. He explained that the boy came home from the movie, saw his father was dead, and was questioned while still very close to his father’s dead body. The boy must have been under great emotional stress when he was asked to recall the facts about the movie he had seen earlier, which made it hard for him to recall. When we think about facts in this story approach, it can be easier to understand why people acted in certain ways. Another example of the story approach being helpful is seen when Davis is talking about the old man that claimed he saw the boy run down the stairs of the apartment. Instead of just accepting this man’s testimony, Davis thought carefully in terms of a story, or causal chain of events. He first described how the old man had seen the father hit the boy earlier in the night. When he heard commotion and a body hit the floor, he assumed it was the boy who killed his father because of his earlier witness of their interaction. Davis then played out the story for the other jurors – showing them that the old man would have had to get out of his bed and walk down the long hallway with a bum leg, which would have taken too long for him to have seen the person who ran down the stairs. Viewing the facts as a story can help us see inaccuracies, or at least get a different perspective. Davis was smart to use this story approach.

Eyewitness testimonies can be extremely crucial to a case – such as the one in 12 Angry Men. With two eyewitness’s claiming to have seen the boy commit the crime, it was difficult for the majority of the jury to see any way the boy could be innocent. The eyewitness’s were definitely the most compelling pieces of the evidence; the last juror to change his vote to “not guilty” was solely basing his vote on the eyewitnesses. During the entire deliberation, many of the jurors had the belief that eyewitnesses could neither make a mistake nor lie. This is a common misconception that psychology helps us to understand. In most cases that an eyewitness is not telling the truth, they are not intentionally lying. They actually believe the story they are telling, and become more and more confident as time goes on. The oldest juror hit it right on the money when he said, “He didn’t intentionally lie, but rather made himself believe he heard those words and recognized the boy’s face.” Our memories are imperfect and very vulnerable to revision and corruption. The old man knew that the boy and his father had been fighting earlier. Later, when he heard someone yell, and a body hit the floor, his brain pieced these two situations together and believed that the voice he heard was the boy’s. When he saw someone running down the stairs, he was predisposed to the idea that it was the boy. Since he did not see the face and therefore had no information to contradict his idea, it was confirmed even more. He suddenly was confident of his belief, and eager to be “noticed” and listened to in court.

Terms: jury, judge, verdict, impartial, trial, first degree murder, bias, evidence, mathematical models, eyewitness testimony, story model

If I hadn’t just read a chapter on juries and judges I would have probably found this movie a little boring. But, I liked to see it from a different view after reading Chapter 13. There were several things that corresponded with the chapter when I was watching this movie.
The most obvious aspect I saw that correlated with out chapter was the jury using the story model. The jurors used the evidence they saw and created a story of their own out of it. They used their story to decide whether or not the boy was guilty or innocent. Their story changed throughout the movie even though the evidence never did. This goes to show that you can take anything and put a twist on it with little information.
Next thing I noticed was the information influence. There was one man who believes that the kid was innocent, it was one against eleven. He wasn’t going to let another persons’ life get pushed under the rug for any reason. He wasn’t letting them go until they at least heard what he had to say. It’s not that he thought the kid was innocent, he just wasn’t sure. He merely wanted to look at the evidence and talk about the evidence. Also, the jury used a verdict drive style in deliberation. They decided to cote first before reviewing the evidence just to see who stood where on the verdict. The eleven against one thought it would be easy to convince one man that the boy was guilty.
Another thing I noticed was something we discussed in class, here say. In the movie one of the men said “He heard the boy say “I’m gonna kill you!” There was a witness who claims to have heard the boy say that to his father. I think that this would count as here say. When we discussed this in class we said that it was a witness saying that he/she said this. I believe this would count as here say, now I don’t remember when this term was brought into the legal system but I feel as though the defense could have gotten it stricken from the record. That he could have gotten in as inadmissible evidence and the jury wouldn’t be able to take that into consideration while in the deliberation room.
Another thing I noticed was when the men were discussing the witness who claims to have seen the boy running down the stairs, through the windows of the L train. They discussed it as if there wasn’t anything wrong with it. I don’t know if it was just because it was a different time and they don’t do it like we do today but I feel as though that would be a very weak witness on the prosecutions side. We also discussed in class about vision. Dr. MacLin stated that in court if you’re a witness the defense will ask you about how well your vision is, if you wear glasses or contacts, how up to date you keep them, and if you were wearing them .I feel as though the defense should have been able to use that in his argument instead of the jurors having to figure this out on their own. Without the findings of this, the boy may have gotten the death penalty for something he didn’t do. All because the defense wasn’t doing his job well enough.
I also don’t think that either of the lawyers did a good job when it came to jury selection. One man was so wrapped up that he was willing to change his vote to the popular vote just to catch a game on TV. The defense should have gotten rid of him. Also, the man who fought till the end of the boy being guilty all because he wanted to use this as if it were his own son getting punished instead of the actual boy who was on trial. The defense should have gotten rid of him as well.

Terms: juries, judges, story model, guilty, innocent, evidence, deliberation, verdicts, information influence, here say, witness, defense, inadmissible evidence, prosecution, jury selection.

“It is better to risk saving a guilty person than to condemn an innocent one.”
― Voltaire, Zadig

"12 Angry Men"`

The most influential chapters of our book that I will be using for this weeks assignment are chapters 4, 7 & 13 and I will be using them as the foundation of my analysis. 12 Angry Men was a great movie that provided so many psychological and legal aspects.

First of all, in the first few minutes the judge makes sure that the jurors understand that a verdict must be obtained beyond a reasonable doubt. And that is the most important thing that I will take from this movie. Beyond a reasonable doubt, every case, every trial must follow this one rule.

Lets begin with the first chapter that I want to compare the movie with which is chapter 4. This chapter dealt with many aspects involving evidence and the the psychology of physical trace evidence. From the movie that would be the knife that was used to commit the crime and that crime is considered a homicide and if convicted the defendant could sentenced to life in prison. There was also a discussion about the discrepancy of the forensic identification which was about the amount of time it took for the eyewitness to walk to the window from his bed. That was a very important point because if he couldn't get up in time then he couldn't have seen the crime being committed. A very large point that I find conclusive is how the jurors in the movie really thought about the trace evidence and what their understanding of it is really was. The movie really portrayed what we as a society would want a jury to really go through. It is a fact that the judicial system or legal system places a lot of responsibilities on jurors and that is why the selection of jurors is very important.

I really enjoyed how the movie portrayed how one juror who would be considered a strong juror, how he alone began to persuade the others to at least think about what they were doing as a group; a person's life was at stake and that was a fact that in itself needed to be discussed.

The next chapter referenced in the movie that I want to discuss is chapter 7 which is about eyewitness identification and their testimony. How strong is the witness confidence? I really liked how one juror almost interrogated another and he couldn't remember all the details of his movie date with his wife. Yet, when the defendant couldn't remember a few details of his evening the other 6 jurors believe he's lying. And what about the testimony of what on witness heard, "I'm gonna kill you!!". And how that could be interpreted. Does it really mean that you are going to kill somebody just because you say it? That is the psychology of the testimony. I really like how he even made one juror say it and then asked, "just because you said it doesn't mean you really mean it, does it?"

Chapter 13 covers the process of jury-decision making and the group dynamics of jury deliberations. Truly those are two very important concepts and the basis of the movie. Right at the beginning this movie showed the viewers that most jurors assume the mental meter which is described in the chapter as mathematical models. This means that either a guilty or not guilty will be weighed upon the evidence. There is the impact of the evidence which sometimes follows the liberation hypothesis process which means in most trials, jury verdicts are determined by the strength of the evidence because the evidence for conviction or acquittal is usually so compelling. I really liked how the movie also portrayed how the defendants characteristics became a factor and even the jurors personalities came out because of it. The wealth, the status of their social statue, even the defendants race is a factor is this case being pointed out by one juror, which actually back fires. And finally the jury as a group really does paint a picture of how different people truly are. Their will always be strong jurors, weak jurors and then the ones that just question everything. That is how reasonable doubt was probably found. We definitely can see the stages of the deliberation process. The the first phase which is considered orientation to the verdict-driven style. The second phase which is the open conflict when all the jurors begin to talk about their point of view. This was a normal size jury where the decision rules and it must be unanimous. When it went from 11 to 1 then 10-2, 9-3, etc, in favor of guilty to not guilty and then it went completely opposite 3 - 9 in favor of not guilty is when the movie begins to discuss the possibility of considering being called a hung jury. Another very interesting concept that is discussed in the chapter.

As I conclude my analysis I want to reaffirm how difficult it most be for a jury to filter through all the rules, responsibilities, and procedures that are expected of them during a trial. The psychological aspects of the movie as well as the legal points are combined perfectly in the aspect of how a juror, jury and the legal ramifications.

Terms: guilty, psychological, legal, judge, verdict, juror, beyond a reasonable doubt, trial, evidence, psychology, defendant, judges, homicide, murder 1st degree, case, law, crime, prison, eyewitness, judicial system, deliberate, legal system, not guilty, jurors, testimony, unanimous, conviction, death penalty, acquittal, orientation, verdict-driven style, deliberations, mathematical models, liberation hypothesis and hung-jury.


“It is better to risk saving a guilty person than to condemn an innocent one.”
― Voltaire, Zadig

"12 Angry Men"`

The most influential chapters of our book that I will be using for this weeks assignment are chapters 4, 7 & 13 and I will be using them as the foundation of my analysis. 12 Angry Men was indeed a great movie that provided so many psychological and legal aspects.

First of all, in the first few minutes the judge makes sure that the jurors understand that a verdict must be obtained through the "beyond a reasonable doubt" aspect. And that right there is one of the most important thing that I will take from this movie. Beyond a reasonable doubt; every case and every trial must follow this golden rule.

Lets begin with the first chapter that I want to compare the movie with which is chapter 4; this chapter dealt with many aspects involving evidence and the psychology of physical trace evidence. From the movie this is where the knife comes into play which is what is to commit the crime and that crime is considered a homicide and if convicted the defendant could sentenced to life in prison or the death penalty. There was also a discussion about the discrepancy of the forensic identification which was about the amount of time it took for the eyewitness to walk to the window from his bed. That was a very important point because if he couldn't get up in time then he couldn't have seen the crime being committed. A very large point that I find conclusive is how the jurors in the movie really thought about the trace evidence and what their understanding of it is really was. The movie really portrayed what we as a society would want a jury to really go through. It is a fact that the judicial system or legal system places a lot of responsibilities on jurors and that is why the selection of jurors is very important.

I really enjoyed how the movie portrayed how one juror who would be considered a strong juror, how he alone began to persuade the others to at least think about what they were doing as a group; a person's life was at stake and that was a fact that in itself needed to be discussed.

The next chapter referenced in the movie that I want to discuss is chapter 7 which is about eyewitness identification and their testimony. How strong is the witness confidence? I really liked how one juror almost interrogated another and he couldn't remember all the details of his movie date with his wife. Yet, when the defendant couldn't remember a few details of his evening the other 6 jurors believe he's lying. And what about the testimony of what on witness heard, "I'm gonna kill you!!". And how that could be interpreted. Does it really mean that you are going to kill somebody just because you say it? That is the psychology of the testimony. I really like how he even made one juror say it and then asked, "just because you said it doesn't mean you really mean it, does it?"

Chapter 13 covers the process of jury-decision making and the group dynamics of jury deliberations. Truly those are two very important concepts and the basis of the movie. Right at the beginning this movie showed the viewers that most jurors assume the mental meter which is described in the chapter as mathematical models. This means that either a guilty or not guilty will be weighed upon the evidence. There is the impact of the evidence which sometimes follows the liberation hypothesis process which means in most trials, jury verdicts are determined by the strength of the evidence because the evidence for conviction or acquittal is usually so compelling. I really liked how the movie also portrayed how the defendants characteristics became a factor and even the jurors personalities came out because of it. The wealth, the status of their social statue, even the defendants race is a factor is this case being pointed out by one juror, which actually back fires. And finally the jury as a group really does paint a picture of how different people truly are. Their will always be strong jurors, weak jurors and then the ones that just question everything. That is how reasonable doubt was probably found. We definitely can see the stages of the deliberation process. The the first phase which is considered orientation to the verdict-driven style. The second phase which is the open conflict when all the jurors begin to talk about their point of view. This was a normal size jury where the decision rules and it must be unanimous. When it went from 11 to 1 then 10-2, 9-3, etc, in favor of guilty to not guilty and then it went completely opposite 3 - 9 in favor of not guilty is when the movie begins to discuss the possibility of considering being called a hung jury. Another very interesting concept that is discussed in the chapter.

As I conclude my analysis I want to reaffirm how difficult it most be for a jury to filter through all the rules, responsibilities, and procedures that are expected of them during a trial. The psychological aspects of the movie as well as the legal points are combined perfectly in the aspect of how a juror, jury and the legal ramifications.

Terms: guilty, psychological, legal, judge, verdict, juror, beyond a reasonable doubt, trial, evidence, psychology, defendant, judges, homicide, murder 1st degree, case, law, crime, prison, eyewitness, judicial system, deliberate, legal system, not guilty, jurors, testimony, unanimous, conviction, death penalty, acquittal, orientation, verdict-driven style, deliberations, mathematical models, liberation hypothesis and hung-jury.

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