12 Angry Men is Not an Archetype: Reflections on the Jury in Contemporary Popular Culture

21 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2007

See all articles by David Ray Papke

David Ray Papke

Marquette University - Law School

Date Written: August 2007

Abstract

Fifty years after its initial release, 12 Angry Men (1957) remains an important cinematic and political work. But alas, 12 Angry Men is fundamentally atypical as a pop cultural portrayal of the jury. In the standard portrayal individual jurors do not come alive as characters. They are seen in the courtroom rather than in the deliberation room. And, most importantly, the jury does not emerge as a symbol for the larger democratic process and concomitant rule of law. Assuming that popular culture indirectly indicates the public's attitudes and expectations, the flat, uninspiring portrayal of juries in contemporary American popular culture may indicate the public's abandonment of the idea that juries are important manifestations of popular sovereignty.

Keywords: popular culture, jury, juries

JEL Classification: K4, K40, K41

Suggested Citation

Papke, David Ray, 12 Angry Men is Not an Archetype: Reflections on the Jury in Contemporary Popular Culture (August 2007). Marquette Law School Legal Studies Paper No. 07-08. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1005401 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1005401

David Ray Papke (Contact Author)

Marquette University - Law School ( email )

Eckstein Hall
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201
United States

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