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12 Angry Men

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The movie Twelve Angry Men begins with an eighteen year old boy from the

ghetto who is on trial for the murder of his abusive father. A jury of twelve

men are locked in the deliberation room to decide the fate of the young boy.

All evidence is against the boy and a guilty verdict would send him to die in

the electric chair. The judge informs the jurors that they are faced with a

grave decision and that the court would not entertain any acts of mercy for the

boy if found guilty.

Even before the deliberation talks begin it is apparent most of the men are

certain the boy is guilty. However, when the initial poll is taken Juror #8

(Henry Fonda) registers a shocking not guilty vote. Immediately the room is in

uproar. The rest of the jury resents the inconvenient of his decision. After

questioning his sanity they hastily decide to humor the juror #8 (Henry Fonda)

by agreeing to discuss the trial for one hour. Eventually, as the talks proceed

juror #8 slowly undermines their confidence by saying that the murder weapon is

widely available to anyone, and that the testimony of the key witness is suspect.

Gradually they are won over by his arguments and even the most narrow minded of

his fellow jurors hesitantly agrees with him. Their verdict is now a solid not


Arriving at a unanimous not guilty verdict does not come easily. The jury

encounters many difficulties in learning to communicate and deal with each other.

What seems to be a decisive guilty verdict as deliberations begin slowly

becomes a questionable not sure. Although the movie deals with issues relating

to the process of effective communication this paper will focus of two reasons

why they encounter difficulties and how they overcome them. First, we will apply

the Johari grid theory and see how it applies to their situation. Then, we will

see how each individual's frame of reference and prejudices effect their

perception which cause difficulties in the communication process.

If we analyze the Johari grid of each juror we see a large hidden area in



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