Twelve Angry Men Suggests That Justice and Truth Are Different

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’12 Angry Men suggests that there is a difference between justice and truth’. Do you agree?

In his play Twelve Angry Men, Reginald Rose demonstrates the importance of judicial integrity in determining whether justice will be found through the truth. Separated by the breach of individual agendas, Rose perceives a contrast between individual subjectivity and the objective foundations of society. Upon pursuing their own understanding of justice, thus, Rose shows how conflict can undermine the integrity of a democracy, fulfilling ulterior truths above the judicial grounds of reason. As such, Roses jurors learn to reconcile both truth and justice through means of a ‘reasonable doubt’, empowering both the judicial process and unification of moral empathy. Rose initially perceives a societal tension between individual truth and a common call for unity. Society’s expectation, Rose suggests, is to absolve preconceptions in the pursuit for a neutral and modal citizenship. Such concern is established in Rose’s judge’s speech, imploring the jury to ‘separate the facts from the fancy’, and to reach a common cause of a ‘unanimous verdict’. However, standing in the way of this model is an individual perception of truth and order, established by Rose in the domineering presence of certain Jurors. Juror 3 seeks to close the proceedings by isolating the facts of the case, stating “Let’s slap him down..save us a lot of time and money.” Furthermore, Juror 7’s self-interest manifests in his declaration “Let’s vote, who knows, maybe we can all go home.” The ability to become an active citizen, therefore, is seen by Rose as vital to a transparent and self-evident judicial system. Juror 8 consolidates this democratic purpose by stating ‘it’s not easy for me to raise my hand without talking about it first’. As such, Rose draws attention to a necessary unification and humility under society’s ideals, fulfilling the individual’s understanding of the judicial system. When manipulated...
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