CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE MOVIES TWELVE ANGRY MEN AND RUNAWAY JURY Twelve Angry Men is a black-and-white film produced in 1957 that presents the “imperfections” in the American jury system. It is a courtroom drama set in a deliberation area as a jury of twelve men convenes to make a decision on the fate of an ethnic young man accused of stabbing his abusive father to death. A common vote is necessary to either convict or acquit the accused. Otherwise, it will be a hung jury and one more trial will be required. Eleven of the men vote guilty except for one man who votes not guilty. The rest of the film is about the men going over the proof of the case, a procedure that causes tension among the men and casts doubt on the case.
The film does have a lot of merit, such as a few good performances. Yet, the movie is seems like a crash course in the passages of the Constitution that assures defendants a fair trial and the assumption of innocence. The films major flaw is the total misinterpretation of the law concerning jury commands. A jurys responsibility is to pay attention to the evidence of a case and either the jury acquits the defendant or finds the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Evidence that beyond reasonable doubt is proof of such a persuasive nature that one would be eager to rely and act upon without uncertainty. However beyond a reasonable doubt does not mean complete confidence or a total lack of any doubt.
... or symbolises something about that character. In his 1949 Film Noir The Third Man, Carol Reed uses a variety of cinematic techniques ... the illusion that it is dark. Gangster and detective films are often underexposed so characters appear shady and mysterious only ... non-diagetic zither music establish the moral ambiguity of the films setting and atmosphere. The obligation of betrayal is centrally shown ...
This film, though, interprets it to mean beyond any doubt at all which is a huge mistake of the law. Owing to this blunder, this film is comprised of diverse characters in the jury that casts any doubt at all on the cases witnesses and evidence. The most horrible instance is Juror #9, the old man with 20/20 vision, who totally slanders the old man witness based wholly on how his appearance. This is not only pure assumption that the witness made up his testimony, but exhibits prejudice against the elderly as people who fabricate stories to merely get attention which is weak for a film that so heavy-handedly stood up against discrimination in another scene. Some minor flaws are the melodramatic and un-cinematic nature of the movie as well as the impossibility of an all-white, all-male jury which is very unlikely even in the 1950s. Another minor flaw is the depiction late in the film of the jurors in favor of acquittal as fine upright individuals, while a couple of men still voting guilty are darkly painted as an upset father projecting his anger towards his son on the defendant and an extremist attacking the defendant due to his personal prejudice.
Such is a small piece of simple-minded moralizing. The movie is out-of-date and over dramatized. It may be granted that the director effectively used the restricted space of the jury room plus the harsh heat to suggest a feeling of uneasiness, which emphasized the tension of the jurors. But this slight effect was entirely overshadowed by the melodrama that it follows. Granted, this film was made in the mid-1950s when acting was approached in a different way than nowadays, but the yelling among the jurors was not only disturbing, it was irritating. Maybe the director was trying to show the serenity of Henry Fonda compared to the unpredictable Lee J.
Cobb, but it didnt work for most viewers. In the end, it only makes one feel that the interactions among the jurors didnt ring true as total strangers wouldnt use such personal attacks as seen in the movie. There are also some flaws in the sequence shown when Lee J. Cobb spends the entire movie berating other jurors and swearing that the defendant is guilty. Viewers finally learn that he is the only holdout since he is trying to punish his own son in some strange Freudian way. The end culminates with Cobb radically tearing up his a picture of his son and having a total breakdown on the jury room table. The whole sequence is somewhat unbelievable distracting considerably from the rest of the film.
... Men Film and Book Contrast In my essay I will explore similarities and differences of the novel Of Mice and Men ... was represented and played somewhat differently in the film. Stanley Kauffmann in his article in The ... and freedom of expression in art. Unlike the film, the novel stats with the two main ... characters - George and Lennie - in the film, supporting my argumentations with the citation of the ...
Many may feel that it is not possible for a juror to leave his or her personal experiences/baggage at the door. Peoples experiences do outline how they view unusual situations. However, Cobbs personal anger at his son would so blind him that he would be incapable to distinguish contrary evidence when that evidence was presented. Even if it is true that people have a hard time altering their defined views, it is not acceptable that Cobb was unable to tell apart between his own son and the defendant. Twelve Angry Men may have been informative on jury deliberations in the 1950s but it has no bearing on juries today. It is just strange that no women were on the jury, just a minority juror, an alien born citizen, a blue-collar type, and more than a few professionals.
The existence of women and minorities would have changed the entire dealings among the jurors. The fundamental theme of the film is that men are unstable and when angered, fly off the handle. Minorities and women would have changed the situation. The men perhaps would have felt more self-conscious yelling in front of or at women, and the racial prejudices that were obvious in the film would have been directed at the minority jurors. While this criticism may seem somewhat minor, the lack of these groups from the jury critically dates the film. Twelve Angry Men leaves a message that even though the system is defective, justice can still be achieved.
There is a relief seeing that one man is eager to confront what eleven other jurors have regarded as settled at the outset. We see that the system works and think justice is achieved when this mans doubt becomes every mans uncertainty and reasonable doubt. Meanwhile, The Runaway Jury delves on the case of Celeste Wood, widow of Jacob Wood, who dies from lung cancer because of the abuse in smoking three packs of Bristols a day. The story begins weeks before the selection of the jury. Both sides try to unearth the identity of the jury. These tobacco companies are able to win majority of their cases because they have a special Fund which they use in order to fund their expenses in defending lawsuits. It is Rankin Fitch who controls The Fund.
... research in jury behavior over the past half century which includes the play “Twelve Angry Men” (Twelve Angry Men, P.g299) Juror #Three is ... to his death without discussing the facts of the case.(Twelve Angry Men,P.g290). And it was the right thing to ... acquittal, on the first Ballot. In ninety five perfect of cases, the majority on the first ballot persuaded the minority to ...
He is adamant about getting the results that he wants. A young widow holds a civil suit against a powerful corporation for her husbands death. However, there is manipulation on the part of the jury. Fitch is a jury consultant who is able to know and assess potential jurors to his own advantage. He is able to research on the lives of the potential jurors and eventually turn the tide in his favor. Nick Easter serves as one of the jurors too and he has his own plans of swaying the jury.
While the case is being processed in court, there is a dangerous alliance that plays at the New Orleans French Quarter. Fitch tries to conceive of all kinds of means just to make his plans materialize. Juror #9, Nicholas Easter, a small-time worker at a videogame shop is also caught in the complexity of the case. Wendell Rohr remains out to remain clean by not stooping to the level of the jury-rigging people. Judge’s knowledge and legal skills are impressive, but his/her people skills need improvement. His/her control of the courtroom would be no less effective if he/she would speak louder. The control technique of almost whispering is both annoying and insulting.
He/she does not treat lawyers with as much respect as other judges do. He/she clearly sees lawyers as lower in the hierarchy of the court and treats them that way. Judges maintain a level of personal (as opposed to aloof) communication with the jury. We of the jury become very much a part of our judicial system and are made aware of our importance to the proceedings. The decision to prosecute is not a conviction for a crime. What it says is that it has a prima facie case to prosecute one for a particular crime. A case can always be appealed. Besides when one is prosecuted, he is not yet convicted or exposed to jeopardy. There is always a judge and a jury to decide who can always overrule the prosecutor.
It is also possible that a professional Justice Departmentfreed of corrupt partisan influencescould prosecute a case and uphold the law. Take the case of the violations of the Privacy Act committed by Pentagon officials in the Linda Tripp file case. U.S. Sen. James M. Inhofe said that it was unbelievable that both the Justice Department and the Secretary of Defense had refused to exact any accountability for the violation of the Privacy Act which was committed by the Pentagon public affairs officials Kenneth Bacon and Clifford Bernath in disclosing confidential information from Trippss government file. (FreeRepublic.com).
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But in most cases, it is the prosecutor who decides on the prosecution. According to the Fair Trial and Free Press of the ABA Criminal Standards Part I on Conduct of Attorneys in Criminal Cases, (Standard 8-1.1 Extrajudicial statements of attorneys) any statement relating to the existence or contents of any confession, admission or statement given by the accused could be tantamount to a substantial likelihood of prejudicing a criminal proceeding. In the Functions of the Defense Counsel, it is stipulated that the defense counsel should not intentionally misrepresent matters of fact or law to the court. Thus, when the defendant outrightly admits that he committed the crime but does not want life imprisonment and then concocts all kinds of ways to justify what he did, then it is the duty of Defense Counsel to know and be guided by the standards of professional conduct as defined in codes and canons of the legal profession applicable in Defense Counsels jurisdiction (Standard 4-1.2The Function of Defense Counsel).
Under the Standard 4-4.2 on Illegal Investigation, the defense counsel should also not knowingly use illegal means to obtain evidence or information to employ, instruct or encourage others to do so. The act of asking a friend to testify for the defendant is uncalled for and must be executed with utmost caution since that man is the defendants friend. In the same manner, Plea Discussions posits that the defense counsel must not knowingly make false statements concerning the evidence in the course of plea discussions with the prosecutor. By consenting to the defendants wishes, defense counsel is not exercising the right and proper behavior here (Plea Discussion).
This tie in with the functions of the prosecutor. He is supposed to exercise sound discretion in the performance of his duties. If he does this, he is not being guided by the standards of professional conduct as defined by applicable professional traditions, ethical codes and the law in the prosecutors jurisdiction.
... number of days to select a complete jury for a case of this importance should be about 2 ... York City covering this major case. Another big issue is who the jury members will be for this ... very important case. Statistics show that the average ... be lots of confusion in the selection of these jury members. The lawyers representing both Captain Smith and ...
That is why the defense counsel here must know what and how to conduct himself given this kind of client (Functions of the Prosecutor) As member of the jury, one must be impartial in the execution of the case. Even if the defendant identifies a well-known person, the jury must avoid impropriety in all activities related to the case. He is obliged to conduct himself or herself in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary (Standard 6-1.6 Duty to maintain impartiality) no matter how tempted he may be to act otherwise. This would be quite difficult for him because he may know or even be a friend of this key witness. Yet, he must act properly at all times. Meanwhile, The Runaway Jury delves on the case of Celeste Wood, widow of Jacob Wood, who dies from lung cancer because of the abuse in smoking three packs of Bristols a day. The story begins weeks before the selection of the jury.
Both sides try to unearth the identity of the jury. These tobacco companies are able to win majority of their cases because they have a special Fund which they use in order to fund their expenses in defending lawsuits. It is Rankin Fitch who controls The Fund. He is adamant about getting the results that he wants. A young widow holds a civil suit against a powerful corporation for her husbands death. However, there is manipulation on the part of the jury.
Fitch is a jury consultant who is able to know and assess potential jurors to his own advantage. He is able to research on the lives of the potential jurors and eventually turn the tide in his favor. Nick Easter serves as one of the jurors too and he has his own plans of swaying the jury. While the case is being processed in court, there is a dangerous alliance that plays at the New Orleans French Quarter. Fitch tries to conceive of all kinds of means just to make his plans materialize. Juror #9, Nicholas Easter, a small-time worker at a videogame shop is also caught in the complexity of the case. Wendell Rohr remains out to remain clean by not stooping to the level of the jury-rigging people.
The case goes into the root of gun violence and how crimes are perpetuated because of peoples easy access to guns. The different interactions between the main characters give color to court proceedings that are colorful. In sum, the main theme of the story is summed up in what one of the characters uttered, “Every jury has a leader, and that’s where you find your verdict” (p. 65).
... time and listen closer to both of the stories. Jurors are told when in court that they have to judge by the facts ... themselves with an offender. One example of a preferred jury was a case that took place on the night of February 26 ... the case took place in Florida only 10 percent of the population are African American. Even though when selecting a jury there ...
This is a loaded saying because it seems to imply that it is up to the people to judge the outcome of a case by just looking at the personalities of those composing the jury. Both stories tell of the sanctity of the work of those who serve as part of the jury.
It highlights what the consequences are in cases when the jury is biased and prejudiced to one party. As an issue on ethics and morality, the story is bigger than the issue of regulating firearms. Mainly, it dwells on the process where many large firms do business and practice law and circumvent the law by playing all kinds of tactics and strategies. There is nothing like being in the side of truth in anything one does, and this is most critical in court cases. WORKS CITED ABA criminal standards. Retrieved March 22, 2008 at: http://www.abanet.org/crimjust/standards/home.html Free Republic.com.
Inhofe says new Administration can Prosecute Violations in Tripp File Case. (2000).
Retrieved March 22, 2008 at: http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/htm.