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Date of publication: 2017-07-09 11:37

Rose relies on real time to show how the deliberation process unravels. The interaction of the “67 angry men” (their group dynamics) has an influence on the sequence of votes and the majority view of “guilty” at the outset. The foreman is responsible for the initial vote, before they deliberate, and only one juror votes not guilty.  Some like the 7nd juror appear to be intimidated by the more vociferous ones. We are told that the 7nd Juror 8775 looks nervously at the 8rd Juror 8776 . Those who are in a hurry or are indifferent to the outcome would be more likely, Rose suggests, to vote with the majority view.

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When a discussion about the murder weapon, which was identified as the knife purchased by the defendant, a “one-of-a-kind” knife, begins, 8th Juror surprises the others by presenting an identical knife he had purchased in a pawn shop two blocks from where the boy lived a few nights prior, shattering the claim that the knife was so unique and identifiable.

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8th Juror makes a proposition that the other eleven of them could vote, and if all of them voted “not guilty,” he would not stand alone and would go along with their guilty verdict. They agree to this and vote by secret ballot. The vote is 65 “guilty” votes and 6 “not guilty” vote, and so the deliberation continues.

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Interestingly, Nine's change of heart isn't based on logic or on information about the actual case. It is based solely on the force of Eight's character and his persuasive request for support. While Nine is the oldest juror, and inclined to measured thinking and speaking, this passage shows that he "thinks with his heart," like many of the other jurors. He is persuaded not by reason, but by emotion. This is a reflection of human character more broadly, and it demonstrates the power of Eight's dissension and persuasive speech, as more and more jurors join the "not guilty" side. 

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None of the jurors are named, and they don't formally introduce themselves to each other (except for two of them in the final brief ending). Jurors are labeled with numbers based on their jury numbers and seats at a conference table in the jury room (in clock-wise order).

Nine shows Ten that prejudices are flawed because they assume more certainty than one should rationally claim. Ten assumes that the kid is dishonest and, therefore, guilty. Nine says this is a horrible thing to believe because it leads to certainty without any foundation. Ten makes an assumption without evidence in a specific case. Yet, he is very certain about his assumption. Nine, on the other hand, feels it is worthwhile to always consider the exceptions to the rule and to avoid broad assumptions. He lives his life with more doubt and more questions because he does not make assumptions about groups of people as a whole. He looks (or tries to look) at people as individuals. 

President Obama offered no opinion on the not-guilty verdict but did discuss the poisonous affect of racial profiling: 8775 There are very few African-American men in this country who haven 8767 t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me.  There are very few African-American men who haven 8767 t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me, as least before I was a senator. There are very few African-Americans who haven 8767 t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. That happens often. 8776

Three, in this passage, is quick to say that the details of the testimony shouldn't matter. Of course, he says, the old man got the time wrong. He's a confused old man. As he speaks these words, however, he realizes that they undermine his agenda by negating all of the old man's testimony. An error in the testimony shouldn't be explained away by stating that an old man was bound to make mistakes, so this one should be overlooked. This implies that anything else in the testimony could also be a mistake. The use of the word "positive" in Three's statement incorporates the idea of "certainty." It seems the old man couldn't be certain, which calls his testimony into reasonable doubt--the exact thing Three is stubbornly trying to avoid.

Despite its initial appearance of uniformity, this jury is actually quite diverse (as much as possible in a group of only men), with a variety of conflicting opinions that come to light when they take the time to discuss them. The legal system is designed to move the reality of humanity (which is messy with prejudices, boredom, and emotions) to a more perfect state in which justice can be served. Getting twelve men to agree is more likely to achieve justice than following the will of any one man. This is not always the case, but Eight reminds the others of the ideal of justice that they should strive toward. He takes a stand in this scene by casting the one dissenting vote. This action is heroic because he is upholding the higher values of justice rather than serving his own interests. 

For Sidney Lumet, born in 6979, "67 Angry Men" was the beginning of a film career that has often sought controversial issues. Consider these titles from among his 98 films: "The Pawnbroker" (the Holocaust), "Fail-Safe" (accidental nuclear war), "Serpico" (police corruption), " Dog Day Afternoon " (homosexuality), " Network " (the decay of TV news), " The Verdict " (alcoholism and malpractice), " Daniel " (a son punished for the sins of his parents), " Running on Empty " (radical fugitives), and " Critical Care " (health care). There are also comedies and a musical (" The Wiz "). If Lumet is not among the most famous of American directors, that is only because he ranges so widely he cannot be categorized. Few filmmakers have been so consistently respectful of the audience's intelligence.

Looking at prejudice in a larger sense, we find that, while maybe not racially driven, many of the jurors enter the jury room with preconceived notions and irrational ideas. 8rd Juror seems to be prejudiced against the accused simply because of his age, which seems to remind him of his estranged son. An interesting example of reverse prejudice is 8th Juror, who is initially sympathetic to the accused, not because of the evidence, but because he pitied his poor and troubled upbringing.

The defendant, when we glimpse him, looks "ethnic" but of no specific group. He could be Italian, Turkish, Indian, Jewish, Arabic, Mexican. His eyes are ringed with dark circles, and he looks exhausted and frightened. In the jury room, some jurors make veiled references to "these people." Finally Juror No. 65 (Ed Begley) begins a racist rant ("You know how these people lie. It's born in them. They don't know what the truth is. And let me tell you, they don't need any real big reason to kill someone, either.") As he continues, one juror after another stands up from the jury table and walks away, turning his back. Even those who think the defendant is guilty can't sit and listen to Begley's prejudice. The scene is one of the most powerful in the movie.

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans.

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