Every person may have his own way of defining the term “reasonabledoubt. ” In the play “Twelve Angry Men”, by Reginald Rose, onejuror, number Eight, stands alone against 11 others to convince them that theboy is not guilty. He looks beyond the given testimonies in order to give theboy a fair trial, though this is more then the others think the boy deserves.
Ifthe jury finds a “reasonable doubt”, it must declare an innocentverdict. A young man stands accused of fatally stabbing his father, and his fatenow lies in the hands of his “peers:” 12 men from all walks of life,each with his own agenda, fears and personal demons. At first, based on theirconversation, it seems that it will be a unanimous conviction. The first vote istaken and one man stands out; his confidence to stand alone is strong.Order now
He is theonly man voting not guilty. His opinion is reasonable; he feels that there is noway to prove it was the boy, saying the testimonies given were shaky. The othersdo not agree on this, arguing that the boy comes from a slum and one can’texpect more from someone with this upbringing. Eight goes into the case assumingthe boy is innocent, while the others attribute guilt to him.
He first brings ina knife directly like the one used in the killing, to prove that it was not oneof a kind. He discounts the testimony of the old man, saying it was impossiblefor him to hear the boy scream over the roar of the passing El-train. He alsomakes a point of demonstrating that it was impractical for him to reach his doorin 15 seconds, in order to see the boy running down the stairs. To some this andother logical arguments proved to be a “reasonable doubt”, and inconsequence they changed their votes to not guilty. By the end, Juror Eight haseveryone convinced, besides Juror Three, who holds true to his ground. Eight wasthe juror responsible for giving the boy a chance.
If he would have given intothe others in the beginning, the boy would have been falsely convicted ofmurder. Juror Three is the last juror to change his vote; nothing anyone sayscan convince him that there is a “reasonable doubt” in the case. Thisman was the most stubborn of all. He refused to pay attention to things thatwere being stated in order save the defendant from death. It was as if the wordguilty seemed to dwell in his mind and was unable to be altered. He becomesoutraged that the others are changing their votes and letting this kid”slip through their fingers.
” He says that the whole case is based onthe testimony of the woman across the el-tracks. The jurors play out the murderto themselves, and talk about the lady across the street. They notice severalthings about her. The lady claimed that she saw the murder through the last twocars on the train that was passing. A juror also noticed that she had indents inher nose which means she wore glasses.
She never mentioned the glasses in thetrial. It was finally agreed with eleven jurors that there was “reasonabledoubt” that the lady could not have successfully seen the murder withouther glasses, and through a train. Everybody is angered and the votes graduallychange to not guilty, some come from people that honestly believe it and otherswho just want to leave and get it over with. Juror Three, who deadlocked thejury, was full of anger.
He finally gave his plea of not-guilty when, angered,he shouts out that he is entitled to his opinion and shall have it. A coupleminutes later he caves in, most likely due to the anger he has combined withfrustration. He had gone into the case thinking the boy is guilty, before anyevidence was even resgistered into his head. The Juror acted as if no onesopinion counted but his, and talked above everyone else. Juror Three gave intothe pressure of the jury, realizing that he shouldn’t have voted guilty topunish the boy for the memories he had of his son. He brought his personal lifeinto play, following his heart instead of his head.
There are some people inlife who like to make things more difficult for others, the way Juror Three did.He was .