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Throughout the film, there is seemingly more than one “leader” throughout the jury as according to Nick’s definition of a leader being that there were multiple influences and instances that persuaded the decisions of others. Initially the situation is composed of a biased and opinionated jury that is almost unanimously convinced the defendant is guilty. Throughout the scene, there is a slow but sure change of mind throughout the jury as the protagonist, Juror #8, successfully persuades the other jurors who initially voted the boy guilty of murder to further investigate and examine the fact which eventually leads to the confirmation and agreement of reasonable doubt among the jury. Juror 8’s effective followership was best represented by his consistent approach and solution to the conflict that initially had nobody even listening.
Juror 8 knew what he was standing up for, proper justice, even in the face of adversity as he was challenged by everyone in the room and his willingness and courage to assume the responsibility and challenge the assumed (198). He is also seen as a leader of the group through the honesty and integrity he displayed by “acting in accordance with solid moral principles” (41) as well as a drive to reach an honest verdict by convincing the group to look at all the possibilities despite the obvious and assumed. Juror 3 would best be classified as an alienated follower as his prejudice against the defendant clouds his judgment, placing a bias on why he thinks the boy is guilty.
As it turns out, his own son that he hasn’t seen for 2 years had grown up challenging his authority and rejecting his morals providing the basis for the anger that is displayed so stubbornly until the very bitter end. As alienated followers “are capable, they focus exclusively on the shortcomings and have experienced setbacks and obstacles” (195) as did Juror 3 when initially, he had convincingly and mindlessly persuaded the others of the defendant’s guiltiness as a result of the anger he felt from the bitter relationship he had with his son.
Juror 10 could most definitely be classified as conformist follower as his stubborn belief in the defendant’s guiltiness was supported by a mindless and intolerant argument supported by his racist, bigoted comments. Initially Juror 10 willingly participated in the heated yet convinced discussion as there was little doubt about the defendant’s guilt and conflict was at a minimum. As the tables turned and tension rose, Juror 10 found himself “concerned with avoiding conflict” (195) and became less of a contributor to the conversation.
As with Juror 8, in any situation in which there is an uncertainty or doubt present, especially regarding a decision with such major implications such as the one presented to the “Twelve Angry Men”, I find it highly necessary to further investigate and take all things into consideration before coming to a decision. The suspicion of shady, questionable behavior of the CEO is to be examined and reviewed in the same manner that Juror 8 went about questioning the assumed “facts” and looked at all the possibilities.