12 Angry Men Essay
12 Angry Men is a play set in New York City in 1957. It takes place in a court of law jury room and begins with the Judge instructing the jurors that if the murder case is proven guilty, the defendant will be sentenced with the death penalty. The case involves the son being accused of murdering his father. As a result, the twelve jurors begin voting on if the defendant is guilty or not. All of the jurors vote guilty except for Juror #8. Due to the requirement of a unanimous vote by all jurors, they have to sit down and discuss about the matters of this case. Therefore, the audience can see that this demonstrates the idea of “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”
The key term “reasonable doubt” is the standard of evidence needed to certify a criminal conviction in the legal systems. Consequently, the prosecutions have to provide proof that meets this standard. In the American criminal system, the people who are charged of committing crimes need to be proven “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.” In this play, Juror #8 is the one who puts enough doubt into the rest of the jurors. Since Juror #8 provides enough evidence, he is able to challenge and persuade the other jurors that they are not confident enough to convict the defendant. This then leads the twelve of them to process through this case together and determine the final outcome, which in the end, is concluded that the defendant is not guilty.
Furthermore, a major topic present in this play is the idea of innocent people going to jail. As a society, it is agreed upon that sentencing innocent people to jail is worse than letting guilty people be