Jesse Wilson (Juror #7)
JUROR #7 (Jesse Wilson). Here's a man with a plan: let's get this done and get the hell out of here. He has tickets to a ballgame. He's a nice guy, fun guy, a salesman. He's got this cheerful positive forward motion. He's a guy on the go. His knees are jiggling, his fingers snapping. He's got the city in him; he's only at home when he's on the move, caught up in something. A trial would not be that something. The defendent is clearly guilty. He makes no serious contribution to the examination of evidence and opts for a hung jury because that will spring him from this hot tedious room. Juror #7 is potentially the guy who most threatens the idea of our democratic system, not because he is the most prejudiced or the most aggressive, but because he'd rather not be there. He just doesn't care enough to get to the bottom of anything. There are a lot of him out there.
JUROR #8 (Brian Taylor). Thank your lucky stars. In a room too full of the bigoted, the restless, the aggressive, the heartless and the feeble, we have one man who fits the perfect juror profile. I like that he's an architect--a quiet pleasant man with a sense of structure, clarity, and patience for the long haul. He's not the foreman, but he's a natural project leader. Very calmly and intelligently he persuades the jury to examine all the evidence. He is the champion of reasonable doubt-- still a difficult concept. The defendant may indeed be guilty, and you might think him so. But Juror #8 reminds us that if there are other plausible explanations for the crime, and if some of the evidence is suspect, then a reasonable doubt of the defendant's guilt must be entertained. Juror #8 is almost always contained; he remains purposeful but rational; he gives others room for their own questions and interpretations. But he is a passionate man--he breaks up a round of tic-tac-toe saying "this is not a game!" And when he confronts Juror #3, his principal antagonist, calling him a sadist in one of his rare face-offs, you sense the steel in his temper. Quiet as he is, Juror #8 is a kind of jury chamber superhero--he's almost too good to be true. Without him, justice would not have been done. This is not a comforting thought.