The film revolves around the story of a teenager who has been accused of murder of his father. All proof seems to be pointing out that the teenage boy was responsible for the death of the father. The case seems pretty clear. In order to reach a decision quickly, twelve jurors were gathered to take a decision as to deciding upon the verdict, a unanimous verdict, one way or the other.
Out of all the twelve jurors who had been gathered, eleven out of twelve of them wanted to see him dead and were biased that he must be the one responsible for the death of his father. Only one of them called Davis is still doubtful about the teenage boy being guilty and feels that he still needs to be given the benefit of doubt. Although he does not say that he is completely innocent he feels that he should be given the benefit of doubt and he also feels that it is important to run through the entire case once more to be able to examine whether the boy really had committed the crime or if he was being framed for murder.
The entire jury consisted of men who belonged to various frames of their lives. The entire title of the film sort of stands for the film itself and although all of these men think that they are impartial, they are all affected by the attitudes and it is this attitude of theirs that compels them to influence their attitudes towards the accused, the witnesses, and the justice system itself. All the twelve jurors who have been appointed are different individuals with their own individual personality.
Although if thought about rationally, most of them come across as fabricated individuals, with one of them being a capitalistic boss, another being an old racist, and another individual who is only bothered about attending his base ball game. Each of these individuals are putting across different character traits in such a format that there is no other alternative than for the ideas and thoughts of these individuals to crash and be contrasting.
The way the ideas are put forward, shows the real spectacle, an exposition of the diversity and complexity of human nature. It also helps us to get an idea about the legal system, the entire institution itself and its objective and the varying affect of the human element in it. This is implied because of the kind of people who have been chosen for jury--twelve men who have been chosen at random to play their part in the implementation of justice. These individuals do not seem to be even bothered about the fact whether the young boy is really guilty or not. Al they seem to care about is their selfish thoughts and do not even grant the boy the benefit of doubt and they seem to have already painted him as to be guilty.