I feel that juror #8 is the hero of “12 Angry Men”. He is the only one to vote not guilty in the beginning. When they are in the jury room he is still standing when everyone else has already sat down to vote. He looks like something is bothering him. When he finally does sit down with the other jurors they take a vote and he is the only one to vote “Not Guilty”.
The other jurors are a little upset because they have to all agree on the verdict. So, they start to to try and talk him into voting guilty. He won’t change his mind yet. He tells them that he doesn’t want to just send someone to prison and the electric chair when he’s not for sure.
When I was telling my mom about the movie, she told me about the time she was on a jury where they had to agree on the verdict too. She said it was really hard because no matter what verdict they chose someone’s life was going to change a lot. If they voted guilty then the defendant would have their freedom taken away for up to 75 years. If they found him not guilty then the other family would be affected in a different way. She told me that you have to pay very close attention to all of the evidence and the witness testimonies. You have to be absolutely sure because you can’t change your mind later. She said that even after they all felt 100% certain of two guilty verdicts and one not guilty (60 years in prison) that it was still hard to know that she had that much power to change someone’s life she had never met.
I think this is what juror #8 may have felt like. I think he wasn’t one hundred percent sure that the boy was guilty of killing his dad because of three things: the knife, the old man, and the lady with the glasses. At first it kind of seemed like he was giving in by telling them he would vote their way if everyone else did. I wonder if he knew that some of the others were not certain too. So, when they voted again and another juror changed his vote to, I think juror #8 got a little more confident and began to explain his reasons.
He explained to them that the knife might be different, but basically wasn’t one of a kind since he was able to buy one himself. (Except I’m not sure how he was able to have his own knife in the jury room).
He talked about how the man would not be quick enough, since he was old, to actually see anyone leaving the scene of the murder. He seems to do a really good job of explaining this because more and more jurors start to change their minds.
The last one was the lady who said she saw him do it, but he asked them how she could have seen it if she wasn’t wearing her glasses.
When I was still talking to my mom about it, she mentioned again that when you are given power over someone’s life you have to make sure that you are okay with your decision because you have to live with it for the rest of your life.
I think he would have really been upset for a long time if he had changed his vote and didn’t even try to look at everything.
My mom said that even though he wasn’t sure and did a lot of explaining why he thought the defendant might not be guilty, that during the conversation it could have easily gone the other way and he could have been convinced that the boy was guilty.
I think juror #8 is the hero because he didn’t give up. He tried to make sure that the boy was getting a fair trial. I don’t think he is a hero for being able to convince the other jurors, just that he made sure they all paid close attention and really thought about it.
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