The jury in a trial is selected to examine certain facts and determine truth based only upon the evidence presented to them in court. It is assumed that the jurors will judge fairly and without any personal bias. In spite of this assumption people will be people and in some cases, logic and emotion will collide. An excellent example that shows precisely what Im talking about is in the movie Twelve Angry Men. Twelve men who initially are strangers to each other have the fate of a young boy resting in the palm of their hands. In the beginning everyone is convinced he is guilty except one who has one reasonable doubt in his mind. The single man on his own was able to convince each of them by using logic to examine the testimony of each witness. After a few hours of reasoning the jurors were eventually won over allowing the facts to overcome their personal issues.
During the arguments in the jury room the issues of race, age, social class, personal experience and stereo types are discussed a number of times. I presume it is because those are the personal issues that people have and sometimes that is what they base their judgment on. When you are in a jury you have the responsibility of setting all of that aside. Through the reasoning of the not-guilty voters the guilty voters are slowly realizing that despite their passed and personal reasons they have to take into consideration the more important actual events that occurred. Part of the problem the jurors are having is that they have their own issues that are causing them to vote guilty. Theyre voting guilty for all the wrong reasons. Not because of fact but because of past experiences and other issues. That is why today in our legal system the jurors are now questioned to ensure they arent racist or hold a personal bias against anyone.
During certain points in the arguments of the jurors it is obvious through what they say that peer pressure plays a small part in deciding whether the defendant is innocent or guilty. When the first vote was cast and only one juror voted not guilty he was under intense and hostile scrutiny. The entire group cannot see why he voted not guilty and they simply say, tell us what youre thinking and well tell you where youre all mixed up. The way I see it they are implying that the defendant is definitely guilty and the juror who voted not guilty is just simply confused. Some of the jurors even vote guilty because they dont want to be the one who keeps the other jurors from being able to leave.
There is a system of voir dire which i learned about last year in bus/ law . Some lawyers use it to their advantage and hire jury consultants, who try and come up with the best jury for their case, they look for things such as race, gender, and past experiences to help them determine the persons biases. That is the lawyers advantage and our disadvantage. That is exactly the opposite of what a jury is supposed to be made up of. However sometimes voir dire helps to rid the jury of the racist people and helps to make it a fair trial.
I believe the best way to achieve justice is to have a jury of your own peers. I think they should have a background check and that we should be able to view their surroundings and be able to ask their friends, family, and co-workers about how the personality of the person is. This movie makes a few statements about our over all system of justice, but I believe that the overall statement it is making is that the lawyers who have the capability to question the jurors have there advantages but the advantages are frequently surpassed by decisions that fail to see truth. In life your professions reflect on your personalities.Twelve Angry Men is an example of where this occurs. Twelve men are brought together in a room to decide whether a boy is guilty of killing his father. Whether they brought good or bad qualities from their profession, they all affected the outcome.