12 Angry Men and a Time to Kill
The play, 12 Angry Men, and the film, A Time to Kill, have a similar theme. In 12 Angry Men, a Latino is accused of stabbing his father to death, where a guilty verdict would mean a death sentence. In A Time to Kill, a black man took the law into his own hands, killing two alleged rapists and the sentence for this man, if found guilty meant death in a gas chamber. The play and film both involve prejudice against two commonly accused minorities in America. All jurors were white and with the combination of racism it made it seem like injustice was certain. For example, Jake Brigance, the lawyer for Carl Lee filed for a change of venue. The reason for this was that he knew the jury would be comprised of white jurors, where his client was of African American decent. He knew that a white jury would be racially prejudicial towards an African American defendant. At this time in America, such an assertion would not have been unfounded. Similarly, in 12 Angry Men racial prejudice towards the Latino boy was also apparent. At one point of time it seemed like the Latino boy would be executed, because nearly everyone would have found him guilty. It was stated that “So far eleven jurors are predisposed to convict him of the murder charges, only one juror, Mr. Davis believed his innocence.” If the jury system was not based on unanimous consent, then the Latino boy would have died. This is simply due to racial prejudice and it is purely unjust. In a court of law, the jury is the fact finder and not a social commentator. Similarly, most of the jurors in A Time to Kill were inclined to convict Carl Lee, because the film showed several scenes where the jury was discussing the case and a show of hands in regards to a guilty verdict was requested and most lifted their hand. This is very similar to 12 Angry Men where the race determines innocence or guilt. Justice in both cases was nearly decided on the color of...
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