Ethics Locked in a Hot Humid Room Term Paper

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Ethics

Locked in a hot humid room 12 men with different personalities begin deliberations in the first degree murder trial of an 18-year-old Spanish American boy who is accused of stabbing his father in a moment of rage. At first the case seems open and shut, all the evidence pointing towards the boy's guilt. The young boy has a week alibi, a knife he claimed to have lost is found at the murder scene and there are several witnesses who claimed to have seen him murdering his father and fleeing the scene. Every men vote guilty but juror number 8, which is played by Henry Fonda, makes everybody angry when he casts a not guilty vote.

angry men" is a film produced in 1957 and directed by Sidney Lumet, and tells the story of twelve jurors bound by the acceptance of their civic duty. The murder case becomes a mini - drama of each of the jurors' prejudices and preoccupations about the trial, the accused and each other.

The film focuses on a jury's deliberations in a capital murder. As the deliberations unfold the story quickly becomes a study of the juror's complex personalities: the thinker, the sensitive man, the arrogant bully, the opportunist, the mentally challenged loud mouth, the slime ball, and the sheep.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Only juror number eight has doubts. At first even he does not truly believe the young man to be innocent but he underlines that the case for the defense might have been presented a not such convincing manner and that the boy deserves to be given the benefit of a doubt. After he votes not guilty and all the other eleven jurors are astonished that after all the evidence which incriminates the boy somebody can still dare to vote not guilty, Mr. Davis (juror number 8 played by Henry Fonda) reasons that the last they could do is talk about the case a bit. He explains that all the jurors must believe beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. His desire is to make the other jurors talk, express exactly what they feel about the case, he wants them to be one hundred percent sure that the boy is guilty. The eleven jurors agree to make Mr. Davis change his mind by telling one by one what evidences presented in the trial made them sure about the young boy's guilt. Number eight is not convinced and he has arguments.

The movie appears like a study of contrast in human character under the course of grave responsibility. The juror's complex personalities, which range from wise, bright and empathetic to arrogant, prejudiced and merciless, their preconceptions, backgrounds and interactions, all this provides the backdrop to Mr. Davis' attempts in convincing the other jurors that a "not guilty " verdict might be appropriate.

The film clearly succeeds in presenting the characters of the 12 jurors. Juror number one is a simple man and doesn't understand the full complexity of the task and tries not to give himself up; juror number 2 is unaccustomed to giving his opinion and in his mind he thinks that his views are of no importance; number three is a businessman and an emotionally distraught father; juror number four is very rational, imperturbable, self assured stockbroker; a young men from a violent slum is juror number five; number six is a painter which is principled, taught and respectful, number seven is a superficial and indifferent, number nine is a wise, observant old man; number ten is a loudmouth garage owner; the immigrant watchmaker who is proud to be an American is juror number eleven, and juror number 12 is an indecisive advertising executive. Juror number eight is the one who takes over the group, he becomes a leader in order to prove and convince the others that the boy might not be guilty; he is the only one who has put more thought into the case than any of the others. He is a caring man and he tries to do his best even in the face of seemingly impossible odds.

The problems presented underline the complicated personalities of the jurors and more is learned about each juror individually. Their personalities extend from a loud mouth bad tempered person to very calm accountant who remains very aloof. Human nature unfolds and there is a revelation about the distinct personality characteristics and the reasons why the jurors have the reason to feel and action the way they do as the case solves.

The jury is a group of people; they must reach a conclusion regarding the boy's life. All members have to be efficient and build on step-by-step their decision.

Bruce Tuckman is an educational psychologist who described the four stages of group development in 1965. He observed some distinct phases groups go through and he emphasized that these groups need to experience all four stages before they achieve maximum effectiveness. As the team develops maturity and ability and relationships are established, the leader changes leadership style.

A good leader must know the stages of group development. Tuckman named these stages: forming, storming, norming, performing and ten years after he underlined these stages he added a last stage called adjourning.

According to Wickipedia free encyclopedia "leadership is the ability of an individual to influence, motivate and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organizations of which they are members" (House, R.J. 2004: page 15). Mr. Davis has the quality of a leader, he understands every member of the jury and the whole jury as a group. He is aware of the group development in time; he is patient and listens to every point-of-view.

The jury gathers in the deliberation room and the members get to know one another and form as a group. Storming is the second stage, in this phase there is a chaotic rivalry for leadership, conflicts and confrontations take place. Mr. Davis who leads the group in order to reach a fair verdict for the boy, receives, in the storming stage of the group development, arguments and challenges from the team members. He wins on his side at least one of them when he takes out of his pocket a knife exactly like the one assumed to have been used by the boy to stab his father, it was supposed to be a one of a kind knife, very difficult to purchase.

Norming is the stage in which eventually agreement is reached on how the group operates. Juror number 8 gains more attention and respect. In this phase leadership is more shared by the team. There is a noticeable collaboration from the others members of the jury.

Performing is the forth stage, the group practices its craft and becomes effective in meeting its objectives. The team begins to have a shared vision and knows clearly why it is doing what is doing. Mr. Davis demonstrates by acting, that the old man who testified that heard the boy screaming that he will kill and then saw him down the stairs, couldn't have reached the door in 15 seconds in order to see the boy fleeing down the stairs. The others seem to agree with his vision, and more of them appear to reconsider their initial vote.

The final stage of group development is called adjourning, it is the process of "unforming" the group, letting go of the group structure and moving on. The jury breaks up, every member moves on with his life, goes separate ways, they all feel good about what has been achieved, a verdict has been reached and the task has been successfully accomplished.

The group, which is a jury, exists to accomplish objectives, in this case decide a sentence. The jury can be regarded as an individual, it has specific characteristics. The main trait of the jury presented in "12 angry men" is that it is a heterogeneous group; the members have few or no similar characteristics. The group composition is very important because it can influence a number of other characteristics and outcomes.

As a leader of a group it is important to be aware of the certain stage your group is in because there are conflicts that might arise in every phase and also possible approaches of getting through and establishing a common ground. Group development takes time and as it evolves through the stages the target is accomplished. It takes an able leader who can diagnose and understand phases of group transition.

In the real world, groups are often changing and forming, and each time that happens, they can move to a different Tuckman stage. A group might be in the phase of norming or performing, but something or someone, an extern "agent" might force them back into storming. Leaders must understand this and will help the group get back to performing as quickly as possible." (Website: (http://www.chimaeraconsulting.com/tuckman.htm)

All people are members of a group; weather is a work group or a family group. But some groups bring out the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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