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Insisting Equality Essay

1965 words - 8 pages

During the time Reginald Rose wrote the play Twelve Angry Men America was not an equal place for all people. A democracy is founded on the ideology that all Americans should be given a fair trial in court before being declared guilty. The twelve jurors in the play come from various backgrounds but initially, all but one vote in favor of the boy’s unforgivable sentence; while two other jurors lift two strong social stigmas and overcome their bias. One juror decided to stand up and take the time out for proper reasoning that resulted in teaching the others two jurors a lesson. Final verdicts should be made on justifiable grounds or the foundation of America’s society could be left at risk for collapse. Justifiable final verdicts are skewed when people follow the majority and that appeared to be a problem in the beginning of the play. The three jurors that stood out for their realism were the 7th, 8th, and 10th jurors because the 7th and 10th showed how society can be prejudice but an unbiased mediator can solve that harsh problem. In order to raise awareness, Reginald Rose presents three characters in his play Twelve Angry Men, and proposes that they are realistic jurors through their reasoning towards a unanimous verdict.
The 10th Juror was realistic because of his racism towards the young boy even though he did not know him, yet the juror eventually overcame his prejudice through reasoning. Rose showed that race had nothing to do with this case when in Act II; the 10th juror snaps but is quickly ignored by the whole group when he shouted, “Now you goddamned geniuses had better listen to me. They’re violent, they’re vicious, they’re ignorant, and they will cut us up. …I say get him before his kind gets us”. ..2nd Juror: I’ve heard enough. Now you just stop all this” (Rose 65). In this part of Act II the 10th juror showed his ulterior motive in voting against the boy’s favor, through racism. The rest of the jury showed that no one else ever voted for the same reason that the 10th juror did because, after he admitted his fault, no one wanted to hear his opinion anymore. The rest of the jury realized the boy’s race was not a fact of the matter. The condition the boy was raised was not completely certain but as the jury even walked through every witness’s perspective; they were attempting to be as realistic as possible. The 10th juror was a racist but his perspective was useful nonetheless by teaching a lesson. This responsible approach resulted from an impartial jury with different perspectives and in law reviews such as, “Diversity and the Civil Jury”; it is made clear just how legal and important impartial juries can be. “The right to an impartial jury drawn from a fair cross section of the community has mostly been expounded upon in the context of the Sixth Amendment's right to a jury trial in criminal cases, but has been applied to civil cases as well.’ In order to ensure that juries serve “as instruments of public justice,” this requirement is...

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