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12 Angry men: The role of Ethics - Movie Review Example

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12 Angry Men, follows the murder trial of a teenaged Hispanic boy who is being tried for the murder of his father and focuses on the juries deliberation of the case. The boy has little in the way of an alibi, and all evidence proveshim being akiller. …
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12 Angry men: The role of Ethics
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Download file to see previous pages If he is found guilty, the boy will receive the death penalty. The twelve jurors are tasked with determining whether or not the boy is guilty, and all but one are prepared to immediately declare the boy guilty. Juror number 8 (who is later identified as Mr. Davis) is the only member of the jury to cast a not guilty vote, forcing the jurors to consider the case in more detail. He does this despite believing that the boy is probably guilty because he feels that the process is important, as the jurors are supposed to reach their verdict beyond reasonable doubt. As the film progresses, the jurors review the case in detail and one by one come to the conclusion that the boy is in fact innocent of the charges. They eventually give a unanimous vote of ‘not guilty’, acquitting the young man. The 12 jurors are ordinary people who are strangers to one another and a brought to the same place to weigh up the evidence and to draw a unanimous conclusion. They bring with them their own biases and opinions. The main character in the movie, juror 8 is faced with an ethical dilemma, while he believes that the boy being accused is guilty of the crime, he feels that as a jury, him and the other jurors have a responsibility to consider the case that was presented to them, and whether the evidence supports the case. Under the United States Constitution, any accused of a crime is entitled to due process before a verdict or punishment is given. Juror 8 feels that not evaluating the case in detail is violating those rights, and persuades the other jurors to examine both the case and their personal biases surrounding it. The dilemma faced by juror 8 is to find a verdict for the crime that is reasonable, while he has to work with the individual personalities and biases of the other jurors. Ethically, juror 8 relies heavily on deontology . While his personal opinion is that the boy is probably guilty, he feels that as a jury they are obligated under law to give the case a reasonable consideration. As a consequence of this he casts an initial vote of ‘not guilty’. He does not cast the vote because he believes it, at this point he does not know one way or the other, but instead casts it in order to force the other jurors to discuss the case in more detail. It becomes evident as the film progresses that juror 8 and some of the other jurors begin to believe strongly that there is not sufficient evidence to convict the boy, and indeed that the boy is innocent of the crime. Here he exhibits strong evidence of virtue ethics . He believes that it would be wrong to convict the boy of murder when the evidence does not clearly support the fact. To solve this dilemma, juror 8 resorts back to the ethics of the law, evaluating each piece of evidence systematically and discussing with his fellow jurors. An example this is the evidence given by an eyewitness, who said that she had observed the boy murder his father. One of the jurors observed that she had marks on her nose indicating that she normally wore eyeglasses. Juror 8 presented a logical chain of thought to the other jurors, arguing that it was unlikely that the witness slept with her glasses on. The witness had reported casually looking out the window and seeing the murder, while the lights went out a second later. Juror 8 argues that she probably did not put her glasses on between waking up and observing the murder, as they were said to occur immediately after each other, and as a consequence saw the murder without glasses, in the dark, from 60 feet away. This argument was sufficiently strong to cause most of the jurors who did not already believe so to have reasonable doubt. A second dilemma that juror 8 faced was one particular ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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