The year 2007 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the movie 12 Angry Men. This movie offers a portrayal of jury deliberations that is rare in the history of American filmmaking. One interpretation of the movie is that it portrays the jury as a group of twelve ordinary men who learn in the course of their deliberations what it means to be a jury. The jurors, led by the persevering Juror #8, played by Henry Fonda, eventually learn to put aside indifference, prejudice, and personal enmity to piece together the evidence with a critical eye, and to deliver a verdict of not guilty based on their reasonable doubt. However, that is only one interpretation. The movie continues to raise questions, spark debate, and invite multiple interpretations fifty years after it was released. This Symposium draws from a diverse group of contributors—academics, judges, and a former juror—and invites their views. They offer creative, and at times conflicting, interpretations of a movie that has endured for fifty years, and that will likely endure for another fifty years.

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