movie examination of felony justice film essay

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Twelve Upset Men

Film Analysis, Eyewitness Testimony, Lottery, Film

Excerpt from Essay:

Twelve Angry Men

Criminal Rights

Courts and procedures inside the film type of 12 Angry Guys (1957).

The title of the film Twelve Furious Men (1957) is to some degree misleading: there are actually eleven angry men depicted in the film and one rational guy who is competent of finding the facts. Typical courtroom drama depicts twelve male jurors who have recently heard a trial where a young Puerto Rican boy stands falsely accused of the murder of his father. At the start of the film, all of the jurors (and the weary judge) seem settled to convict the accused. They believe the truth is available and shut. The one exclusion is a single juror who have refuses, based upon his perception that when a man’s life is at stake, not any decision may be made gently. The movie (actually a shot stage perform, given their static nature) dramatizes the way the other jurors come to doubt all their original situation and recognize what the film implies may be the truth, which the boy is usually innocent.

Criminal prosecution

The prosecution in the film could be considered the ‘villain’ of the piece, since it seems likely which the prosecutor made a fortune upon social prejudices to secure a conviction. “Clearly, Reginald Flower, who published the original teleplay as well as the film script, meant the unnamed defendant – we’ll merely call him The Kid, as the jurors generally carry out – to get innocent. There is not some hidden twist that nobody’s ever noticed up to now. But in attempting to make the scenario as remarkable as possible, Went up inadvertently and unwittingly achieved it almost impossible to get The Kid to never have wiped out his older man” (D’Angelo 2012). Dependant on the evidence recounted by the jurors, it seems probably that throughout the trial this individual prosecutor suggested that the young man had a determination (he was overheard intimidating to eliminate his father shortly ahead of the murder required place) plus the means to make the criminal offenses. There are also two eyewitnesses: a classic neighbor whom saw the boy fleeing from the apartment and a woman who believed to actually have experienced the tough committed. The boy’s diversion is that he was at the videos but this individual cannot bear in mind the movie he saw and he confesses he is the owner of a switchblade like the murder weapon. (Since the play is set through the 1950s, there is not any DNA data to connect the boy towards the specific cutter used in the crime). The prosecutor has been the more persuasive attorney of the two, given the frustrating desire to convict of the many the jurors at the beginning of the play.


Neither the prosecution neither the protection is actually portrayed on display screen. There is a recommendation that the defense was lacking, however , offered the extent to which every one of the jurors (even the more sensible ones) happen to be aligned resistant to the defendant at the outset of the film. It lies in the palm of the lone, doubting juror (Juror No . 8) to supply the accused Puerto Rican boy’s defense more so than his genuine defense lawyer. Juror Number 8 reenacts the criminal offense, doubting the supposedly watertight eyewitness account. “We observe as Pensión imitates the shuffling step of the old guy, a heart stroke victim, to see if he would have gotten to the doorway in time to see the murderer fleeing” (Ebert 2002). Although this is certainly an extremely dramatic moment in the film, an excellent defense attorney should have featured this during the trial. There is certainly little indication that the most clear holes in the case the prosecution presented had been highlighted by the defense. In one level, Juror No . 8 even points out that he purchased a similar switchblade to the defendant’s in the same neighborhood. This kind of seems like a really unlikely coincidence and is more along the lines of the investigation that a defense lawyer might carry out, versus a great impartial juror. The film seems to place greater pounds and self-confidence in the jurors to sift through the evidence than the actual attorneys.


Relating to film critic Roger Ebert, the judge from the film can be portrayed within a deliberately dismissive, cold fashion to indicate how all of the elements of the legal justice program are lined up against people like the offender. “The film shows all of us nothing in the trial on its own except for the judge’s perfunctory, almost bored, charge for the jury. His tone of voice implies the judgement is a foregone conclusion. We listen to neither prosecutor nor protection attorney, and pay attention to of the proof only second-hand, as the jurors issue it” (Ebert 2002).


The depiction of the jury in the film is equally cynical and idealistic at one time. On one hand, you will find clear samples of how the prejudices of a juror can get when it comes to his ability to view the details in an target fashion, as is the case with the racist juror who assumes that all Hispanic people are prone to violence and they are hot-tempered. Different jurors tend not to take their duties seriously, as is the truth with the man who is more worried about about getting to a hockey game punctually vs . spending some time to deliberate the guilt or purity of the accused. However , the truth that one gentleman is happy to hold out and convince his fellow jurors that another look at the details is called for clearly demonstrates that the film believes in the principle that if twelve people are summoned together, this can be at least enough to acquire one (or two) people act as a counterweight to mob rights.

It should be noted that in retrospect some people include questioned perhaps the doubts of Juror Number 8 happen to be justified: “What ensures The Kid’s guilt for practical purposes, though neither the prosecutor neither any of the jurors ever describes it (and Rose seemingly never regarded it), is definitely the sheer improbability that all evidence is incorrect. You’d must be the jurisprudential inverse of any national lotto winner to face so many apparently damning coincidences and misidentifications” (D’Angelo 2012). The strengthen of the film clearly facilitates the defendant’s innocence however the circumstantial evidence is very wonderful. The racism of the jurors most emphatically in favor of certainty, however , obviously sways the viewer inside the other path.

Sentencing Desired goals and Set ups

According to the evaluate, death is definitely the only appropriate punishment in case the verdict is usually guilty; this can be one of the reasons that Juror No . 8 is really concerned about the verdict. Having less seriousness with which some of the jurors treats the verdict is among the distressing aspects of the film. One of the jurors has entry pass to a snowboarding game and it is more interested in arriving at the game on time than giving careful deliberation to the consensus: he is initially happy that there seems to be considered a majority in favour of a decision – the decision barely matters, almost all he is concerned about is giving as quickly as possible. It will not seem to subject to him that the your life of a person hangs in the balance.

The amount of proof demanded by Juror No . 8 seems much larger than the common of ‘reasonable doubt’ particularly called for by the judicial system in criminal cases. Nevertheless , his level of scrutiny appears worthy, at least in line with the film, must be man’s existence hangs in the balance. Perhaps, Twelve Upset Men is equally as much an argument against the loss of life penalty as it is against misjudgment.

Judicial sentencing options, sentencing disparities, and appeals

While not specifically resolved in the film, it is often supposed that minorities often suffer disproportionately tough sentences because of the status. The film makes it clear that prejudice runs very profound within the legislativo system. Even the jurors who are eventually convinced to consider a reasonable and unbiased location towards the accused are primarily inclined to find him guilty, based on the attitude with the judge and the location where the crime happened. The accused is lower course, not white, poor, and probably not specifically articulate. He likely does not have a very great defense legal professional, else the arguments shown by Juror No . 8 would likely have already been presented by trial, certainly not mused in the juror’s room.

It will be easy that in the event the defendant was convicted he could have become a huge hit the consensus based upon the simple fact that his lawyer was incompetent, in the event that his attorney did not shown any of the fights which afterwards arose inside the jury room. Still, the very fact that they are not presented speaks volumes of the frame of mind of the copy writer in regards to the disparities inherent to the American approach to justice.


Today, 14 Angry Males is considered a vintage film. This showed the dark side in the American judicial system whilst still recommending that the system does essentially work, also for a person of color. While the film’s ending is very idealistic it still does not shy away from bringing up uncomfortable aspects of the juror system which might be still relevant today. Adding aside

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