The movie “12 Angry Men” (1957) by Brian Rathjen, deals with a case of capital murder involving a youth of Spanish- American dissent. The chief premise of this movie is to prove his guilt or innocence in front of a deliberating jury. This mini drama comprises of the prejudices and misconceptions of the jury in trying to arrive at the proper solution in the trial of first degree murder. The accused is a Hispanic - Latino, 18 years of age and the crime is the killing of his father by stabbing.
During the trial, many of the incidents pointed towards the Latino being guilty. For example, the lost knife is found at the scene of the crime, the running away of the youth from the murder spot, while some witnesses heard screaming or saw the killing. In lieu of all this evidence, eleven members of the jury vote the boy guilty, except for Mr. Davis, one of the jury members who calls for a detailed discussion before granting his vote. This deliberation by the jury becomes a sort of study of the complex personalities of the jury members. It ranges from empathetic to merciless and from prejudiced to sheer arrogance. The leadership of this group can be best explained by the ‘Situational Theory’ ...
o details of the facts involved, forming their own opinions in the judgment of others, some of the group showed a lack of interest and just wanted to conform to a particular situation. The group resolved these problems by a wider participation by the entire group in the decision making process, leading to better solutions to the problem. For example, all the eleven jury members join together in finding the accused guilty, but one juror Mr. Davis opposes this decision and calls for further investigation in order to arrive at the correct decision. 3. Climate: Describe the communication climate throughout most of the jury’s deliberations. What specific verbal and nonverbal behaviors contributed to this climate? The Climate during the jury’s deliberations was mixed. While some of them were more vocal about their opinions, there were others who were laid back during conversations and preferred to conform to a particular side. Since each member of the jury come from different backgrounds, they have their own frustrations and prejudices 3 which may prevent them from making the right decisions due to irrational thinking. Both verbal and non- verbal group behavior contributed towards the climate of communication of the jury. For example, juror number 7 displays a lack of interest in trying to reason out and find the right solution, while a few of the members felt that jurors five and eleven did not communicate much because of the backgrounds from which they came. 4. Conflict: Provide examples of substantive, procedural, and affective conflict. What were some of the conflict styles of group members? How successfully were conflicts resolved in the group? The first primary conflict in the case was disagreement on the verdict of guilt or innocence. While 11 jurors join together