Social, racial, and personal prejudices enter quickly into the jury room.
Immediately after some of the jurors enter the room where they are to deliberate over all that they have listened to for the last six days, there is evidence of prejudicial thinking:
No. 7 How did you like that business about the knife? Did you ever hear a phonier story?
No. 10 Well, look, you've gotta expect that. You know what you're dealing with. (He implies the socio-economic level and race of the defendant.)
Then, when the foreman asks all the men to be seated, No. 7 trivializes his duty and the magnitude of the decision about the life of the defendant with his flippant remark:
No. 7 This better be fast. I've got tickets to The Seven Year Itch tonight....
Later in the deliberation, No. 10 comments that he has lived among "them" all his life. "You can't believe a word they say. You know that." His lack of concern for the fate of the young defendant indicates his lack of respect for the boy's life. The boy is from the inner city and he has a past in which he has been arrested for car theft, mugging, and knife fighting. He has also gone to reform school for knifing someone. Juror No. 7 also forms opinions quickly, mainly because he wants to get out of the courthouse and do what he desires.
Other jurors demonstrate prejudice. For instance, Juror No. 3 is described by author Reginald Rose as "extremely opinionated. . . intolerant of opinions other than his own. . . [and having] a streak of sadism." Wrongly, Juror No. 3 brings his bitterness over his relationship with his son, as well as his racial prejudices, into the jury room. At one point he turns on Juror No. 8, who only wants to be conscientious and give the defendant fair treatment.
No. 3 You come in here with your heart bleeding. . . about slum kids and injustice and you make up these wild stories. . . . I'm getting real sick of it. . . . This kid is guilty! He's got to burn!
Juror No. 8 accuses this juror of wanting to see the boy die because he "personally want[s]" this to happen, "not because of the facts." Juror No. 3 screams, "I'll kill him."
If the unbiased, objective, and conscientious Juror No. 8 were not persistent in his pursuit of a just verdict for the defendant, the verdict would have been determined by men such as the biased jurors.