Indifference Of The Law And Compassion: Contrasting Perspectives

1510 words - 7 pages

Staring somberly down from the bench, the judge instructs the Jurors: “You've listened to the testimony and you've had the law read to you and interpreted as it applies to this case. It now becomes your duty to try to separate the fact from the fancy. One man is dead. The life of another is at stake.” Every juror, hopefully, fulfills their duty to attempt to deduce the truth or as the judge put it, “separate the fact from the fancy”(Rose 5). However, each Juror will determine for themselves whether they hold the fact that “one man is dead” or that “the life of another is at stake” as more significant. In this instance both Jurors Four and Eight fulfill their duty to attempt to deduce the truth. Juror Four disregards the Judge's ethical appeal based on the shared human value of the significance of life. Contrastingly, Juror Eight's embrace of the fact that the boy's life is at stake compels him to consider the alternate side of the case. While both Jurors provide effective arguments, Juror Eight’s willingness to use emotional and ethical appeals reveal his sympathy towards the defendant which contrasts Juror Four’s indifference, revealed through his avoidance of the repercussions of his actions and his strict adherence to logos based argument.
Juror Eight’s use of emotional and ethical appeals reveals his sympathy for the defendant. Juror Eight's first attempt to stimulate sympathy for the defendant spring from a moment of indignation. Juror Eight responds to the claim that the “The man's dangerous killer. You could see it.”, with a short outburst: “The man! He's 16 years old”(Rose 11). Juror Eight emphasizes this information not as a logos based argument that youth are statistically less likely to commit murder and therefore the entire case deserves extra scrutiny, but rather offers the fact as an emotional and ethical appeal. Juror Eight makes note of the defendant's young age to plant the seed that since he is so young it would be a grave violation of the communities need to protect the young, if indeed the defendant may be innocent. Juror Eight goes on to justify his reasons for voting not guilty in an emotional appeal to the raw human desire to be given a fair trial: “There were eleven votes for ‘guilty’. It’s not easy for me to raise my hand and send the a boy off to die without talking about it first”(Rose 12). Juror Eight's justification for voting “not guilty” demonstrates his awareness of the effect of his actions. The use of the emotional appeal of raw human need, inherently stems from empathy. If Juror Eight did not recognize the parallel between what he would desire in the defendants position and what the defendant desires, the applicability of a common human needs appeal would not occur to him. In a similar example, Juror Eight appeals to the shared value of the significance of life and the emotional appeal of the raw human need for justice, “It's just that were talking about somebody's life here. I mean, we can't decide in 5...

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