It is now your duty to separate the facts from the fancies. One mans dead another mans life is at stake. If theres a reasonable doubt in your minds as to the guilt of the accused a reasonable doubt then you must bring me a verdict of not guilty. If however there is no reasonable doubt then you must in good conscience find the accused guilty. However you decide your verdict must be unanimous.
Twelve Angry Men is in many ways a love letter to the American legal justice system. We find here eleven men, swayed to conclusions by prejudices, past experience, and short-sightedness, challenged by one man who holds himself and his peers to a higher standard of justice, demanding that this marginalized member of society be given his due process. We see the jurors struggle between the two, seemingly conflicting, purposes of a jury, to punish the guilty and to protect the innocent. It proves, however, that the logic of the American trial-by-jury system does work.
The play “Twelve Angry Men” shows that relying on twelve people for a life sentencing situation could be bad for the justice system. The justice system could be bad in at least three ways by people being biased, fighting for the wrong side, and people having no common sense. Usually others opinions cause the justice system to be worse than it has to be. A danger of relying on twelve individuals in a court system means that there are some that would be biased about the case. Juror 5 was biased for relating this case to himself because he was from the slums and so was the boy on trial.
The justice system that relies on twelve individuals reaching a life-or-death decision has many complications and dangers. The play Twelve Angry Men, by Reiginald Rose, illustrates the dangers of a justice system that relies on twelve people reaching a life-or-death decision because people are biased, they think of a jury system as an inconvenience, and many people aren’t as intelligent as others. The first reason why Reiginald illustrates dangers is because people can be biased or they can stereotype the defendant. The Jurors in Twelve Angry Men relate to this because a few of them were biased and several of them stereotyped the defendant for being from the slums. The defendant in this play was a 19 year old kid from the slums.
Miller uses irony to demonstrate the flaws, the corruption, within the court’s justice system. In this case, it’s emphasized when Giles is found guilty; even though, he did have evidence to prove his accusation. He states, “if Jacobs hangs for a witch he forfeits up his property that's law! And there is none but Putnam with the coin to buy so great a piece”( Miller 89). In addition, he has a witness that heard Putnam thanking his daughter after she cried out on Jacobs.
Our life experiences make our present, our values, our way of behaving and thinking. Although no one is perfect, we are prone to develop prejudice against those who are totally different from us. For most of the time, prejudice only affects us personally. But if an individual is given a power to be responsible for another person’s live or death, prejudice can turn into a deadly weapon.
In the movie 12 Angry Men, the jurors are set in a hot jury room and they are trying to determine the verdict of a young man who is accused of committing a murder. The jurors all explain why they think the accused is guilty or not guilty. As they are debating back and forth, the reader begins to realize that each juror brings their own judgement of the world and their own biases. The viewer can see that the jurors have their own distinguishable personalities, but all of their personalities intertwine with each other to create a perfect character balance for a great movie.
Within society, people are motivated by self interest and self gain rather than concern for other members of the society. In moments of high crisis On the Waterfront directed by Elia Kazan and Twelve Angry Men written by Reginald Rose both depict characters driven by self interest rather than compassion. However On the Waterfront and Twelve Angry Men both have a character that defies the social norms of self Interest. The play script and film portray similar themes through different devices. The characters within the film and novel cast a similar picture of greed and corruption.
In the play Twelve Angry Men there was a man prosecuted with the stabbing his father at the chest. 12 Jurors had to decide if the boy was guilty or not, I would say he is not guilty for two main reasons. First a quote in the book stated “I think it’s logical to say that she was not wearing her eye glasses to bed, and I don’t think she put them on to casually look out the window” (page 61). This quote shows that the witness from the plaintiff could not have seen the crime happen without her glasses on. My last reasoning on why I think the boys not guilty is because Juror 5 said “ who’s ever used a switch blade befor would never stab the knife downward” (page 56).