In Twelve Angry Men, before the jurors are locked in the deliberation room, what is the last thing they hear that might influence their thinking in forming a verdict on the defendant's guilt or innocence?

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At the start of the play, the jurors are sitting in the courtroom and are addressed by the judge. The judge tells them one of the primary principles of the court : if any reasonable doubt exists, then they need to declare that the defendant is not guilty. However, they...

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At the start of the play, the jurors are sitting in the courtroom and are addressed by the judge. The judge tells them one of the primary principles of the court : if any reasonable doubt exists, then they need to declare that the defendant is not guilty. However, they must also carefully consider the facts of the case before concluding. Specifically, the judge says,

Murder in the first degree—premeditated homicide—is the most serious charge tried in our criminal courts. You've heard a long and complex case, gentlemen, and it is now your duty to sit down to try and separate the facts from the fancy. One man is dead. The life of another is at stake. If there is a reasonable doubt in your minds as to the guilt of the accused . . . then you must declare him not guilty. If, however, there is no reasonable doubt, then he must be found guilty. Whichever way you decide, the verdict must be unanimous. I urge you to deliberate honestly and thoughtfully. You are faced with a grave responsibility. Thank you, gentlemen.

It is telling that this is the last thing said to the jurors before they are locked in the room for deliberation, because it spells out precisely what should happen during deliberation. However, if it were not for Juror Eight, there would have been no careful consideration of the evidence, and there would have been no consideration of the burden of proof in the case. The judge’s instructions help to justify the work of Juror Eight, because the judge reminds us, the audience, of the court's duty.

We, as an audience, are then able to remember the point of a jury and, in turn, judge the reactions and actions of the different jurors based on their adherence to carrying out their duties faithfully. The judge's words also let us know that all the jurors have to agree, so we know the stakes later on in the play. Without that bit of information, the audience might not realize what has to happen to stop the injustice of the trial.

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Interestingly, the drama of Twelve Angry Men begins after all the proceedings of the trial of a youth accused of killing his father, who is charged with first-degree murder. As the jurors wait to move to the deliberation room where they will be sequestered from news media and any other contact with the outside world, they are instructed by the judge about the seriousness of the charge of first-degree murder and their approach to reaching a verdict because the life of a person is at stake. The judge adds,

If there is a reasonable doubt in your minds as to the guilt of the accused...then you must declare him not guilty. If, however, there is no reasonable doubt, then he must be found guilty. Whichever way you decide, the verdict must be unanimous. I urge you to deliberate honestly and thoughtfully.

It is these words that the man of integrity, Juror No. 8, recalls when he alone votes "not guilty" on the initial vote.  In fact, he admits that he does not know at this point if the youth is not guilty, but he cannot conclusively say "guilty" either. He simply explains that it is not easy for him to raise his hand and "send a boy off to die without talking about it first." Fortunately for the defendant, at least one man has recalled the instructions of the judge. Later, Juror No. 8 leads the others to discuss and reason and counter-argue objections that are biased and prejudicial and emotional. Finally, he asks the pointed question, "Does anyone think there still is not a reasonable doubt?" and the other eleven men concede to the only  logical conclusion about the defendant.

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