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Juror 12 in 12 Angry Men: Character Analysis

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Laura Foist

Laura has a Masters of Science in Food Science and Human Nutrition and has taught college Science.

In this lesson, we'll examine Juror 12 and his character in ''12 Angry Men.'' We'll see how his peacemaking and wishy-washy nature affect the outcome of this case. Updated: 02/22/2021

Juror 12 Background

How would you feel if you were chosen to be on jury duty for a murder case? How would you like to make that decision of life or death for another person? Would you fight for justice and ensure there were no prejudices? Juror 12 just wants to get out of court as quickly as possible.

Juror 12 works for a marketing agency. He doesn't really understand people; instead what makes the most sense to him are graphs and figures. All that he really cares about is getting a decision made and getting out of the room. He doesn't pay much attention to the discussions and is doodling through the entire proceedings.

Sometimes this attitude leads him to act as a peacemaker, trying to stop fights so that they can get back to the business at hand. It also leads him to change his opinion frequently, seemingly to whichever vote seems to get them out of there quickly.

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  • 0:04 Juror 12 Background
  • 0:56 Juror 12 as Peacemaker
  • 2:41 Juror 12 Is Wishy-Washy
  • 3:45 Lesson Summary
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Juror 12 as Peacemaker

When the first vote is taken and Juror 8 gives the verdict ''not guilty,'' this causes everyone to start lashing out at Juror 8 wondering how he could possibly think he is not guilty. All of the facts seem to point to this boy's guilt. Yet he, Juror 8, votes not guilty. It soon becomes obvious that they aren't getting anywhere.

Juror 12 doesn't participate in this heated discussion. The most he ever adds to the debate are comments such as ''If you look at the graphs...'' As a marketing agent, graphs and figures are typically how he makes decisions. He doesn't need to think about how people react; instead he makes decisions based on what the figures tell him. This is the same way that he decides to go about making the decision of guilty or not guilty.

Juror 12 is doodling through the debate and doesn't even say anything until someone directly asks him what he's doing. Then Juror 12 finally gives his first idea to try and lead to a quicker decision and more peace. He says, ''Maybe if we each took a minute or two'' to convince Juror 8 that he is wrong and they are all right. He is trying to put some order and find a way to efficiently convince Juror 8 to vote guilty.

This seems to be a good idea, and so they proceed. Yet it still leads to disagreements and arguments. Juror 12 doesn't say much, except when they seem to be getting too far off topic. He makes sure everyone knows whose turn it is in the ''two-minute convincing'' in order to keep things moving forward.

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