Twelve Angry Men

Good Essays
Time: 1957
Place: New York City Courtroom
Case: An African-American teenager has been accused of murdering his father.

On April 14th, 1951, Reginald Rose, a thirty-one-year-old army veteran published his second, and most prominent dramatic work entitled Twelve Angry Men. This play is now admired as a momentous, eloquent and critical examination of the United States jury system. Twelve Angry Men examines key courtroom themes including civil duty and reasonable doubt. Through the voice of these twelve men, the audience must ask themselves imperative questions regarding the American court system, moral responsibility and the role of emotions in a verdict. The selection of jurors is indeed a very complicated process.
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After this introductory clash of morals and ideals, the jurors must now review the case and reach a unanimous verdict. This play, and a substantial amount of literature and research, demonstrates that the American system of jurisprudence is imperfect. “Twelve men are put in a hot, crowded room and asked to decide the fate of an accused murderer. In doing so they also return a verdict on the system itself” (“12 Best”) Despite attempts to create fairness and balance, “a jury of your peers” means that emotion and personal prejudice are part of the process. In Twelve Angry Men, the effectiveness of the jury process is questionable. “It’s great that the play is…critical of the fact that the juror’s personal baggage is not checked at the door. Many critics argue that the jury system works against justice because a jury
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