The film 12 Angry Men is well known in Spain, not only to picture-goers but also to researchers examining the pros and cons of trial by jury. Had its plot faithfully reflected Spanish legislation on jury proceedings, the film would undoubtedly have ended very differently. Under the Spanish Jury Law of 1995, a verdict may be reached by a simple majority of the jurors, rather than by the unanimous decision that is depicted in the film. However, it is not the need for a unanimous verdict or otherwise, but for a "reasoned" verdict that has caused considerable controversy in Spain. The deliberations of a jury constitute the main theme of 12 Angry Men; however, the film also touches upon other issues (such as jurors acting as ex officio defense lawyers and the death penalty). The purpose of this paper is to discuss certain elements of that much-acclaimed film and examine the way in which Spanish juries reach their verdicts.

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