Twelve Angry Men

Twelve Angry Men - After the final closing arguments are...

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After the final closing arguments are presented, the judge gives his instructions to the jury: The question they are deciding is whether the defendant—a teenage boy from a city slum—stabbed and killed his father. The jury is further instructed that a guilty verdict will be accompanied by a mandatory death sentence. The jury of 12 retires to the jury room, where they begin to become acquainted with each others' personalities and discuss the case. The film then revolves around the jury's difficulty in reaching a unanimous verdict, mainly due to several of the jurors' personal prejudices. An initial vote is taken, and 11 of the jurors vote “guilty," except for Juror number 8 ( Henry Fonda ), the lone dissenter. He says that the evidence presented is circumstantial, and the boy deserves a fair deliberation—whereupon he questions the accuracy and reliability of the only two witnesses to the murder, the fact that the knife used in the murder is not as unusual as testimony promotes (to prove his point, he produces an identical one from his pocket), and the overall shady circumstances (the fact that an elevated train was passing by at the time of the crime calls the two witnesses' testimonies into doubt). Having argued several points, Juror 8 requests another vote, this time by secret ballot. He proposes that he will abstain from voting, and if the other 11 jurors vote guilty unanimously, then he will acquiesce to their decision. However, they will continue deliberating if at least one juror votes “not guilty.” In a secret ballot, Juror 9 ( Joseph Sweeney ) is the first to support Juror 8, not necessarily believing the accused is not guilty, but feeling that Juror 8's points deserve further discussion. After hearing further deliberations concerning whether one witness actually heard the murder take place,
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Twelve Angry Men - After the final closing arguments are...

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