12 Angry Men: is he guilty Essay

Submitted By itsmeyoudummy
Words: 739
Pages: 3

In the wonderful play, “12 Angry Men” by Reginald Rose, a group of strangers is recruited to form a jury where they must decide on the dramatic choice of life or death for a young defendant. At first, all but one juror believes the boy is guilty, but throughout the play, Juror Eight persuades the others, by showing them certain points like how the knife was common, or the witness downstairs couldn’t have known it was the defendant, to spare the man from the electric chair. With all the evidence against him, like the murder weapon and witnesses, it is clear that the jury was wrong and the accused murderer is guilty.

One of the arguments brought up in the story concerns the knife used to stab the victim after the argument between the Defendant and his father. The defendant, a 19-year-old boy from the slum, claims he that he lost the knife in the street right before the murder, and someone else found it and killed his father. This is far too big of a coincidence for the court and very improbable. In addition, it has been proven in court that the young man was in a major argument with his father a few hours before the gruesome murder and bought a switch knife (the murder weapon) soon before he came to his father’s apartment for the second time. Even if the weapon is common, it is still strange that an identical knife was used on the man’s father after he lost his own. This supports the idea that this character is guilty because not only does this prove that the defendant had the exact same knife, but also that he had a strong and emotional motive. Another point that was shown against the defendant was the lack of a strong alibi. After the man bought the knife, the young man says he went to the movie theater. The readers soon find out that nobody recognized the boy, and he didn’t remember what film he saw or any detail of the movie. One point brought up by Juror Eight was he could have snuck into the movie and was embarrassed to admit this to the court, even though it would save his life from the death penalty. Also, that still doesn’t explain how he could not remember both the name of the movie or any details. This is one reason why the entire alibi is flimsy. Just like most cases in court, the witnesses make up a key part of the prosecution. There were two witnesses who either heard or saw the actual murder. The first, an old man living downstairs, claims to have heard the defendant yell “I’m gonna (sic.) kill you!” right before the father’s body fell limp on the floor. An argument