Twelve Angry Men

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Does the play support the view that the legal system is admirable?

The play Twelve Angry Men written by Reginald Rose describes a dissenter forced the jury to reconsider a homicide case and eventually they get a unanimous verdict that the boy is innocent. The play celebrates the legal system in America but to some extent it also demonstrates there are some weakness exits. The legal system is just since the twelve jurors have to reach a unanimous verdict. However, the jurors may view the case with prejudice and therefore send an innocent person to the chair. The play supports the view that the legal system is fair, but not perfectly just.

Some of the plots illustrates the legal system is an adorable thing. First of all, the verdict must be unanimous. The defendant can only be punished until the twelve jurors all agree that he is guilty. Those jurors are from different places and have variable social backgrounds. They don’t know each other and have nothing to lose or gain by their verdict. They all view the case in a distinct way and therefore some of them may discover doubtful points about the case. It has a much lower possibility of miscarriage of justice compare to just have one person to decide whether the defendant is guilty or not. There are twelve people and the defendant cannot be sent to the chair even just one of the twelves votes he is not guilty. Juror 8 is the only one who votes not guilty in the beginning of the play. Although the evidences present in the court are all saying the boy is guilty. They cannot send the boy to the chair without a unanimous verdict.

The defendant is innocent as long as there is a reasonable doubt. The purpose of having a jury is not to find evidences to prove the defendant is innocent, but to find anything that is questionable of the case. In the play, juror 8 always emphasizes ‘it is possible’. He is saying that there are still many doubts about the case, like if the old man really saw the boy, why would he lie?...
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