Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

12 Unjust Men

August 03rd, 2012 by G.

I’ve always believed this. 12 Angry Men is unwittingly a movie about how 12 jurors’ weak will and self-congratulatory image-making lets a murderer go free. Jury duty is not narrative, its not the enactment of a myth, its a civic job. Though to be fair, when actual criminal jurors fail to be tough-minded, it needn’t be in favor of the defendant.

Comments (3)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , ,
August 03rd, 2012 06:36:01

August 3, 2012

This looks intriguing, but there is a problem with the link.

[Ed. – Thanks. Fixed.]

August 3, 2012

I think they got it right. I work in the Indiana Dept of Corrections as a hearing officer. I judge offenders on a variety of conduct and criminal actions. My responsibility is not to prejudge, nor to judge according to my own preconceived notions. My responsibility is to follow the evidence. 12 Angry Men shows they are following the evidence, just as they should. To find someone guilty, requires evidence that justifies a guilty verdict. It requires the evidence to be beyond a reasonable shadow of a doubt. They brought up several issues that showed reasonable doubt. This either means that the person was truly not guilty, or the prosecution did not prove their case. Either way, it is a bigger danger to incarcerate innocent people than to let a few go. For this reason, we have Miranda rights, etc., to ensure we do not strip people of the concept of being “innocent until proven guilty.”

August 3, 2012

I think that in some cases, where the prosecution has not proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt, but the jury thinks the defendent is guilty, but _with_ some doubt, then the proper thing to do would be to deadlock.

If they return a non-guilty verdict, and then further evidence is later found with which the prosecution can use to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, then the defendent cannot be re-tried (double jeopardy). A guilty man would go free.

But if they deadlock, and then further evidence is later found, the defendent can be re-tried.

As I understand it, a not-guilty verdict permanently closes the case against the defendent. But a deadlocked jury leaves the case open, with the possibility for re-trial.

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