Example research essay topic: Theme Development In The Film 12 Angry Men – 1,767 words

In the movie 12 Angry Men a verdict of not guilty
was given to the boy after the fact that
apparently all the jurors except one thought that
the boy was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. All
of the key evidence presented in the court was
rejected by the jury, which led the jurors to have
a reasonable doubt about the boys guiltiness. I
will present this evidence in chronological order
and support why there is a reasonable doubt that
would lead each juror to change their view of the
case. In my opinion some of the counter evidence
presented was kind of weak, but the whole point of
this paper is to show the trail of evidence to
lead the jurors to a reasonable doubt. The first
key idea, and probably the most important, is that
the boy was poor and couldnt afford a decent
attorney. He had a court appointed attorney who
probably had many other cases to argue.

This
attorney had no attachment to the client; there
was no glory that the attorney could look towards.
The attorney would really have to believe in the
client in order to deliberate the case properly.
It was pointed out in the movie that the boy had a
very poor attorney and didnt ask the right
questions. If the boy had a good attorney, he
would of brought up all the points that countered
the key evidence that some of the jurors pointed
out. There are a few points about the knife that
would lead to reasonable doubt. One point made in
the courtroom was that the person who sold the boy
the knife said it was one in a kind. It would be
highly unlikely that another person would have the
same knife. However juror #8 went to the area
where the boy lived and bought the same exact
knife from a pawnshop.

This would prove that the
knife wasnt one of a kind, it was fairly common.
This means that anyone could have bought the same
knife and used it to kill the boys father. This
evidence proves that the knife that the boy
purchased wasnt necessarily the murder weapon. An
interesting question was brought up by one of the
jurors. Why did the boy show the murder weapon to
his friends just a couple of hours before the
murder actually occurred? If he were planning on
killing his father then he wouldnt show it to his
friends, where it could easily be identified after
the murder occurred. The murder weapon is the only
thing that could link the boy to the murder. It
just doesnt make sense to me that the boy would
show off the murder weapon hours before he
supposedly murdered his father.

At this point of
the movie these three points leads juror #9 to
change his vote to not guilty. One of the ideas
pointed out by one of the jurors was motive. The
father was noted to have an antisocial
personality. He was in prison for crimes unknown.
He was a drunk who liked to gamble and was always
around tough guys and always got into fights with
others. As far as motive, anyone of the people who
the father was in contact with could have had a
motive to kill him. He could have cheated someone
out money while gambling, or beat someone up who
wanted revenge.

This proves that the boy isnt the
only person who would have a motive for killing
the father. In the courtroom, the old man
testified that he heard the boy yell out Im going
to kill you! then he heard the body hit the floor.
It was also proven that the old man supposedly
heard this while the L-train was passing just
outside the window of the apartment. Juror #8 said
that he use to live next to an L-train, and when
it passed it was so loud that he could hardly hear
himself think. How could the old man hear the boy
say, Im going to kill you! with the noise of the
L-train passing by. Juror #6 refutes the evidence
that it would be nearly impossible for the old man
to hear this, because he worked in a house next to
an L-train and said it would be too loud. Even if
the old man did hear the muffled voice, how was he
so sure that it was the boys and not someone
elses? One idea that juror #9 pointed out was that
he thought the old man might be lying.

He made the
accusation that the old man looked lonely,
starving for attention. The old man probably has
had no recognition all his life, and after 75
years he finally gets attention. The juror said
that because of the attention the old man was
getting, he made himself believe what he witnessed
that night just so he could be listened to. This
does seem to question the old mans testimony. At
this point in the movie juror #5 changes his vote
to not guilty. One interesting point brought up by
juror #11 was why did the boy return to the murder
seen 3 hours after it happened.

If he really did
commit the murder, wouldnt he be afraid to go back
to the murder seen because of being caught by the
police. I know if I murdered someone and there was
an eyewitness I surely would not return to the
murder seen for any reason. It doesnt make sense
for the boy to return to the murder seen if he
knew that there were going to be cops there to
arrest him. This does lead up reasonable doubt
about the boys innocence and juror #11 changes his
vote. Another point that was brought up dealt with
the old mans testimony. According to the old man
he woke up to hear the boy yelling, and as soon as
he heard the body drop he claims it took 15
seconds for him to get up and walk 55 feet to the
door where he saw the boy running down the stairs
and out of the apartment.

The old man had a bad
limp because of a stroke he had, he even needed
assistance in the courtroom. Juror #8 conducted a
little experiment by timing himself walk 55 feet
with a limp. This experiment showed that it took
42 seconds, which was much longer than 15 seconds.
I believe that the old man really didnt see the
boy actually run out, but only heard him run down
the stairs and assumed that it was the boy. The
old mans testimony actually is only an assumption,
which would lead to reasonable doubt about the
boys guiltiness. At this point in the movie jurors
#2 and #6 change their votes based on the evidence
presented. One thing that confirmed the boy guilty
was the fact that he could not remember the movie
he saw the night of the murder.

The fast that the
boy could not remember the movie makes perfect
sense. When the boy returned home for the night to
discover his father dead, he was interrogated by
the cops in the next room and obviously under
extreme emotional stress. If I saw a parent dead
and I was interrogated, my mind surely would not
be on the movie I saw. Also, it was noted that the
boy and his father were involved in a heated
argument and the boy stormed out to go to the
movies. While in the theater the boys mind could
have been entirely focused on the conflict he just
had and not on the movie, thus having no
recollection of the movie. Juror #8 proved that it
was logical that the boy couldnt remember the
movie by asking juror #4 what movie he saw two
days previously.

Juror #4 could not remember what
movie he saw. One key testimony brought up was
that of the psychologist who administered a
psychological test on the boy. The test revealed
that the boy had homicidal tendencies. However,
one of the jurors commented that anyone is capable
of committing murder, and that any one of the
jurors could take the same test and reveal
homicidal tendencies. I do believe that anyone in
the world is fully capable of murder, and have
subconscious homicidal tendencies. Just because a
person can show homicidal tendencies doesnt mean
they are going to kill someone.

The type of stab
wound on the father was another topic of
discussion among the jurors. According to the
movie the stab wound was made in a downward motion
into the chest. If the father was over six inches
taller than the boy then how could the boy stab
the father in the chest at such an angle. One of
the jurors brought up that the boy could use the
knife overhand and stab the father at such an
angle. However, juror #5 comments that the knife
was a stiletto and it was made to be used in an
underhand motion the way experienced people did in
knife fights. Since the boy was an experienced
knife fighter, it would only make sense that he
would use it in this fashion.

At this point jurors
#7, #1, and #12 change their votes to not guilty.
During the movie juror #9 comments about the marks
on the womans nose. Juror #4 can relate to this
because he wears eyeglasses and he has the same
exact marks. The marks could have only appeared
through continued use of glasses, however the
woman wasnt wearing glasses in the courtroom. She
testified that she actually saw the boy commit the
murder through the L-train. Her whole testimony
relies on her vision, and now her vision is in
question. During the night of the murder the woman
claims she was asleep and woke up to see the boy
stabbing his father.

If she was asleep, it would
only make sense that her eyeglasses would be off.
Who goes to sleep with glasses on? In my opinion
she only saw a blur and assumed that it was the
boy who killed the father. With this evidence
juror #4 changes his vote because he says that he
now has reasonable doubt about the boys
guiltiness. These twelve points I have listed show
the progression of reasonable doubt about the boys
guiltiness. At first I thought that the best kind
of evidence in a case was eyewitness testimony.
This movie changed my opinion showing that
eyewitness testimony can be fallible. However,
there was other key counterevidence in the movie
that was kind of weak, which would seem that the
boy was guilty. Nevertheless the point of the
paper was to discuss the evidence that leads the
jurors to reasonable doubt..

Research essay sample on Theme Development In The Film 12 Angry Men