Twelve Angry Men – American Legal Justice System

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The story I chose was 12 Angry Men by Reginald Rose written in 1957. Twelve men were picked to sit on a jury for a murder trial. The accused was an 18-year-old boy.

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He was on trial for murdering his father. If he is convicted, he’ll receive a death sentence. This sets the tone for the Play. Bothered by the heat making the room uncomfortable, the jurors had to cast a preliminary vote which came out to eleven guilty and one not guilty. Juror Eight was the only person to vot not guilty and demanded that they discussed the case further. Juror Eight began to question the prosecution’s arguments. The knife was originally was thought to be a unique knife and narrowed it down to the accused. He argued that the knife was a common knife and that anyone could’ve had that style knife and killed his father. This was explained by the following text in the play:

(EIGHT reaches casually into his pocket and withdraws an object. No one notices this. He stands up quietly.)

FOUR. Aren’t you trying to make us accept a pretty incredible coincidence?

EIGHT. I’m not trying to make anyone accept it. I’m just saying it’s possible.

THREE (shouting). And I’m saying it’s not possible.

(EIGHT swiftly flicks open the blade of the switch-knife and quickly jams it into the table next to the first one. They are exactly alike. There are several gasps and everyone stares at the knife. There is a long silence.)

THREE (slowly, amazed). What are you trying to do?

TEN (loud). Yeah, what is this? Who do you think you are?

FIVE. Look at it! It’s the same knife!

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