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Character Review from the Movie 12 Angry Men - Essay Example

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Summary
James Svara shows us in the Ethics Triangle how we as managers, leaders, and ethical people can handle situations by applying key elements of principle, greatest good, and character around duty. In 12 Angry Men, the application of this method is put to the test - especially with juror 8, played by Henry Fonda, and his example shows us how we can utilize all three ethical approach methods.
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Character Review from the Movie 12 Angry Men
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Download file to see previous pages Based on the knife, the inability to remember details of a movie, fighting with his father earlier in the evening, and eyewitnesses who saw him kill his father and leave the apartment, the young man should by all accounts sent to the electric chair.
However, in this case, one juror, number 8, doesn't believe the defense case was convincingly portrayed and while not necessarily believing the boy to be innocent, needs to understand the facts of the case, and cannot in good conscience vote to send this young man to die. He has reasonable doubt, and voices it by voting not guilty.
Juror 8, in 12 Angry Men, works from a place of virtue, principles, and good character at all times. By knowing his duty as a public servant, he does not allow idle chatter to distract him from the task, his selfish reasons to overpower, and he comes from a place of fairness and equality. Even when presented with the facts of the trial, his intuition continues to question what is right and wrong and stands by his principles. Using the virtuous approach to ethics, he listens to his inner voice, and listens to each fact once again in order to understand.
As they begin to speak about the case, a number of facts exposed as exaggerated or untrue reveal themselves. The first piece of evidence being a knife so special the shopkeeper has never seen one like it before. Not quite believing the knife to be one of a kind, and following his instincts cause him to break the law by going to the kid's neighborhood and buying a similar knife. Now a lawbreaker, we may think his credibility shattered; however, he informs the other jurors of his intention of a greater good, and choosing to do something wrong in order to obtain it.
In the Utilitarian approach, we see the consequence of the action is what determines right and wrong not the act itself. Was the result a good consequence for all and justifiable to produce the equality for all If so, then it was the right course of action. However, if Juror 8 continued to break the law in order to prove his point, the balance of ethics tipped, and the ends would not justify the means.
An eighteen-year-old kid whose father beats him daily should be a prime suspect in the father's murder; however, juror 8 does not believe he seems like the type. Placing himself in the kid's shoes, juror eight tries to feel what the kid feels, and advocates why each fact does not convince him. Principled actions of compassion and empathy are universal and good by themselves. As a good leader would, juror 8 requests each person put themselves in the shoes of the accused - by posing questions and making it personal.
"It's possible" is a favorite phrase of juror 8, and recommending another vantage point to each "fact", he shows each man a human side of things. He asks them if they have ever lived near an "L" train, if they have ever said they would kill someone without meaning it, and not remembered details of a day.
Again, if the balance tipped to the principle side of ethics, analysis of each act and consequence would cause us to not move toward a resolution or ask entirely too many questions in order to understand.
Eleven jurors believe themselves to be good-hearted people who are there to perform a duty. Good people do not necessarily make good decisions as mentioned in the reading. Juror 8 asks them to look at the consequences of their own actions - voting to send a kid to die ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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