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12 Angry Men

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CASE STUDY: 12 ANGRY MEN

In the grand jury room, the jury takes a vote. Eleven jurors vote guilty, and one juror, juror eight renders a not guilty vote. Jurors three, seven, and twelve criticize him, but juror eight says that he does not know whether the man is guilty or not but that it is not easy for him to send a boy to his death without discussing it first. After some argument, they agree to discuss the facts of the case. Juror three reviews what they know. An old man who lives underneath the room where the murder took place heard loud noises just after midnight. He heard the son yell at the father that he was going to kill him. Then he heard a body falling and moments later, saw the boy running out of the house. Juror four says the boy's story is flimsy. He said that he was at the movies at the time of the murder, but no one remembers seeing him there. Also, a woman living opposite looked out of her window and saw the murder through the windows of a passing elevated train. During the trial, it was verified that this was possible. Further facts emerge: the father regularly beat his son, and the son had been arrested for car theft, mugging, and knife fighting. He had been sent to reform school for knifing someone.
Juror Eight states that too many questions were not asked during the trial. He asks for the murder weapon to be brought in and says that it is possible that someone else stabbed the boy's father with a similar knife. Several jurors insist the knife is a very unusual one, but then Juror Eight produces from his pocket a switchblade that is exactly the same. He says that it is possible the boy is telling the truth. The other jurors ridiculed at this, but Juror Eight calls for another vote, a secret one this time. He says that he will withhold. When the votes are counted, there are eleven guilty votes and one not guilty.

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