Can you believe my 23 year old daughter loves this movie? And why not, next year it is 60 years old, and after watching it this afternoon with her and my wife, seems timeless to me, what is it about being judged by our peers?
In there this: “Speaking at a screening of the film during the 2010 Fordham University Law School Film festival, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor stated that seeing 12 Angry Men while she was in college influenced her decision to pursue a career in law. She was particularly inspired by immigrant Juror 11’s monologue on his reverence for the American justice system. She also told the audience of law students that, as a lower-court judge, she would sometimes instruct juries to not follow the film’s example, because most of the jurors’ conclusions are based on speculation, not fact. Sotomayor noted that events such as Juror 8 entering a similar knife into the proceeding, doing outside research into the case matter in the first place, and ultimately the jury as a whole making broad, wide-ranging assumptions far beyond the scope of reasonable doubt (such as the inferences regarding the “Old Woman” wearing glasses) would never be allowed to occur in a real life jury situation, and would in fact have yielded a mistrial (assuming, of course, that applicable law permitted the content of jury deliberations to be revealed).”
Sorry, but I have little respect for this Supreme Court Justice, nominated by Obama no less, who has made very outward comments about the role of ethnicity and sex in making judgments:
From HER: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,” said Judge Sotomayor, who is now considered to be near the top of President Obama’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees.”…
“Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences,” she said, for jurists who are women and nonwhite, “our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging.”
But, how hypocritical from someone of her position in our society to say that in the Wikipedia comment, while our peers have real biases, preconceived perspectives, and most of all, these days at least, are easily swayed by what is popular, easy, and most obscene in law, convenient. People more often than not don’t want to entertain real truths by in large, just look at this election.
Watch the movie if you haven’t seen it, or not seen it in a few decades. It is absorbing, riveting, and fascinating to watch how every juror starts to realize what is in fact “reasonable doubt”. Because when we make judgments on people over very intense and long lasting reasons, we should entertain reasonable doubts at times, and I have been guilty of that failure at times. Hopefully I have caught it and repositioned myself as called for…