Thesis statement: The jury has the responsibility to look deeper into a case than what the Crown and defence attorneys give them; there is always room for human error both on the lawyers' side and the jury's side and it is not right to put an innocent man away because the jury did not look deeper into all sides of the case.
"Expect anything from anyone; the devil was once an angel" – Drake Graham. It is easy to look at a defendant in court an automatically assume him guilty; the police picked him out as a suspect, he made it all the way to the trial, and there is evidence that is very compelling to his guilt. However, a jury should not become fixated on how guilty the defendant may seem to them. The jury also bears the responsibility of considering both sides of a trial. The jury has the responsibility to look deeper into a case than what the Crown and defence attorneys give them; there is always room for human error both on the lawyers' side and the jury's side and it is not right to put an innocent man away because the jury did not look deeper into all sides of the case.
In the movie 12 Angry Men the jury had to go over every piece of evidence presented in the trial and deconstruct it – a reasonable expectation of the jury. The jury should look over every piece of evidence presented and, once again, consider it from every angle. In the movie one of the jurors became very fixated on a testimony that later fell through. It is the responsibility of the jury to, as a whole, go over the evidence and present this fixation from happening, easy though it may be. The jury is only human and if something compelling is presented, that may be what their mind gets stuck on, no matter what the other evidence is saying. The jury should be able to assist one another in looking past their original, and surface, thoughts of the evidence and accept the possibility that their original impression is not always the right impression.
In the movie 12 Angry Men the jury made several points about how the defence attorney seemed to be lacking in his job of creating reasonable doubt – something that one of the jurors was able to manage better. It is the responsibility of the jury to recognize that attorneys are only human, plagued with their own bias and life troubles. This does not excuse slopping attorney work but they should not base their opinions singularly on what one side is presenting because that side appears to be more passionate or put together – despite showboating, it is only the solid evidence that the jury should be looking at. The jury should go over the case with reasonable doubt, with questions. If all of their questions about the case have been answered by the end of their deliberations, then they have properly listened to the evidence that has been presented not how the attorneys presented it.
The jury bears the responsibility of a person's life when they ponder over a case. While in 12 Angry Men the man would be facing the death penalty if found guilty and that is not always the case, even going to jail for a short while can severely hinder how a person lives out the rest of their life – facing bias and stigma from society as a whole. The jury has the responsibility to the person on trial to look over the evidence with an unbiased mind and with the assumption that they are innocent until proven guilty. It is not the fair trial the defendant has the right to if this is not done. The jury must bear in mind that how deep they go into a case controls the outcome of a person's life and that is not something to be taken lightly or shallowly.
Juries are human; attorneys are human; defendants are also human. Every human has rights and responsibilities. The responsibility of the jury is to go over every piece of evidence in detail and to not take anything at face value, as the defendant has the right to a fair trial. The jury has a responsibility to consider their own human error, the human error and grandstanding, or lack thereof, of an attorney, and to protect the life of a human being by not simply going with a gut instinct. As is illustrated in 12 Angry Men original instinct is not always correct and the jury must keep that in mind while they deliberate.
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