Twelve Angry Men Essay

Submitted By camirami
Words: 865
Pages: 4

Our judicial system is inadequate because people can still be biased even with the knowledge of facts and evidence. This is conveyed in the play, Twelve Angry Men by Rose Reginald. People are confused as to why we leave one’s life in the hands of those who are inexperienced and untrained. Many factors influence and contribute to our opinions, some may cause us to stray from the right verdict.
Everyone came from different backgrounds and had different experiences, resulting in the various views and responses from the jurors in the play. Some votes were based on evidence, but some were derived from their own biases. When asked to discuss the facts and defend his vote of guilty, all Juror Seven was able to throw out was the boys’ past. “Look at the kid’s record. At fifteen he was in reform school. He stole a car. He’s been arrested for mugging. He was picked up for knife-fighting. I think they said he stabbed somebody in the arm.” (Rose 558). It was evident here that he had already labeled the boy as a delinquent. His statement caused Juror Eight to comment about his own past: “You’re right. It’s the kids. The way they are-you know? They don’t listen...I’ve got a kid...When he was fifteen he hit me in the face...Rotten kid!” (Rose 558). The fact that he had a broken and unhealthy relationship with own son impaired his ability to make impartial and unbiased decisions and assumptions. He immediately assumed that his son and the boy on trial were the same because of their being teenagers. Here, Rose shows us that even small matters, such as merely knowing one’s age, can easily create prejudiced opinions. In the end, I found that Juror Three never really had any reasonable points or a rational argument. He was not fighting for justice; he was fighting for his pride.
People can’t help but be biased. Humans instinctively make judgements towards others upon what they have heard, seen or experienced. Towards the end of Act III of the play, most of the jurors have been convinced that the boy on trial is innocent, although jurors number three, four, and ten continue to defend their vote in favor of the boy being guilty. Ten finally breaks and shares his opinion. “Look, you know how those people lie...they don’t know what the truth is...don’t need any big reason to kill someone...they get drunk...violent!” (Rose 585). Earlier in the play, he also argues: “Look at the kind of people they are--you know them.” (Rose 554). With these kind of prejudice-tinted views, one’s judgement becomes clouded, and they lose the ability to decipher right from wrong, and justice from biases. Juror number Ten bases his vote on his belief that all impoverished people are ill-mannered alcoholics that have no social perception whatsoever. He also refers to them as “they”, as if they were of a different being. The man is convinced that they are oblivious of the importance and worth of life. His view doesn’t pertain to the evidence at all; it only reflects his unjust supposition towards those of the lower class. Rose conveys that there will be bias in the jury room no matter what. Personal opinions and problems will continue to affect and