Twelve_Angry_Men_Study_Guide[1]

Twelve_Angry_Men_Stu - The drama depicts a jury forced to reconsider its nearly unanimous decision by the single dissenter who sows a seed of

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The drama depicts a jury forced to reconsider its nearly unanimous decision by the single dissenter who sows a seed of reasonable doubt . The story begins after closing arguments have been presented in a homicide case, as the judge is giving his instructions to the jury. As in most American criminal cases , the 12 men must unanimously decide on a verdict of "guilty" or "not guilty". (In the justice systems of nearly all American states, failure to reach a unanimous verdict, a so-called " hung jury ", results in a mistrial .) The case at bar pertains to whether a young man murdered his own father. The jury is further instructed that a guilty verdict will be accompanied by a mandatory death sentence. These 12 then move to the jury room, where they begin to become acquainted with the personalities of their peers. Throughout their deliberation , not a single juror calls another by his name because the names are unknown by the jurors. Several of the jurors have different reasons for discriminating against the witness: his race, his background, and the troubled relationship between one juror and his own son. PLOT SUMMARY Act 1 Twelve Angry Men takes place in a jury room in the late afternoon on a hot summer's day in New York City. After the curtain rises, the judge's voice is heard offstage, giving instructions to the jury. He says that the defendant is being tried for first-degree murder, which carries a mandatory death penalty. The judge adds that if the jury has reasonable doubt about the guilt of the accused, they must acquit him. The verdict must be unanimous. The jurors, all men, file into the jury room and sit in straight-backed chairs around a long conference table. The weather is hot, and there is no air-conditioning; some of the men are irritable. From the initial chitchat, it is clear that most members of the jury regard the man as guilty. Jurors Seven and Ten ridicule the defendant's story. Apparently, a young man has stabbed his father to death with a knife. He admits that he bought a knife that night but claims that he lost it. The jury takes a vote. Eleven jurors vote guilty, and one juror, Juror Eight, votes not guilty. 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
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This note was uploaded on 12/10/2010 for the course PSY 200 taught by Professor Hughes during the Winter '10 term at Lawson State Community College.

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Twelve_Angry_Men_Stu - The drama depicts a jury forced to reconsider its nearly unanimous decision by the single dissenter who sows a seed of

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