Twelve Angry Men

The 3rd Juror says that “everyone deserves a fair trial.” Does the defendant in the case get a fair trial?

In the play Twelve Angry Men, Reginald Rose endeavours to attain true justice by twelve individuals within a jury panel. The story unfolds in a jury room within New York Court of Law in 1957, a period strife with the dangers of communism as discerned by the Cold War between America and the USSR. It can be said that through his usage of the jury system in his play, Rose is implying the commendable merits of Democracy in regards to justice. According to the 3rd Juror, “everyone deserves a fair trial” which instigates a sense of irony as throughout the preponderance of the play, the defendant receives nothing but a fair trial due to the fallibility and prejudice of a majority of jurors, notably the 3rd, 7th and 10th Juror. However, through the collaborative efforts of both the 8th and 9th Jurors, we see a gradual change in regards to the proceedings of the case – culminating in the defendant finally receiving a fair trial devoid of bias and personal prejudice. This strengthens Reginald Rose’s contention that true justice will be an eventual outcome in the presence of human virtues in the judicial system.

It becomes palpably evident in the initial stages of the case that the majority of the jurors have already established pre-empted conceptions in regards to the defendant’s guilt. This is seen by the 3rd Juror’s comment of “it … amazes me the way these lawyers talk and talk, even when the case is as obvious as this one”. It is through this comment in which we see how easily we form a rigid perception in regards to an issue, thus making it difficult for us to shatter these unyielding walls of preconceptions in the pursuit for true justice. It is by the 8th Juror’s efforts that the 3rd Juror along with the others sees that “nothing is that positive” in regards to the boy guilt, prompting them to discard their personal feelings in regards to the case. The...