Twelve Angry Men Essay
The 3rd Juror says that “everybody deserves a fair trial.” Does the defendant in this case get a fair trial? Twelve Angry Men, a play by Reginald Rose, was written in 1955 at a time when America was involved in a cold war with communist countries. It shows the strength of a deliberative process that enables individuals, who have “nothing to gain or lose,” to reach a verdict. In the American jury system “everybody deserves a fair trial” and in Twelve Angry Men the defendant gets a very fair trial. All the jurors have their own opinions on the case but in the end a decision is made. The jury, and the audience, never discovers if in fact the defendant did murder his father. His guilt or innocence seems to be almost irrelevant. At the beginning of the play the vote was 11-1 in favour of guilty but the 8th Juror convinces the others to have another vote. As the play progresses more and more jurors being to change their vote and by the end of the play the vote was 11-1 in favour of ‘not guilty.’ The defendant does get a fair trial because throughout the play there was enough “reasonable doubt” for him to be guilty. The 10th juror had no intentions on giving the defendant a ‘fair trial’ and just wanted him to be sent to the “electric chair.” By the play’s end all twelve men had agreed to a “not guilty” vote. The 8th Juror had managed, by simply pointing out “sometimes the facts that are staring you in the face are wrong!” to convince even the strongest advocates of a “guilty” verdict that reasonable doubt exists and therefore the defendant gets a fair trial.
Throughout the play there is ‘reasonable doubt’ and this is what results in all the jurors being convinced that the ‘kid’ is “not guilty.” The 8th juror possesses a clear understanding of the law and he informs the other mean that “the burden of proof is on prosecution” and continually focuses on whether or not reasonable doubt exists as to the defendant’s guilt. The verdict would’ve been...
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