Analysis Of 12 Angry Men: Critique Of The Legal System

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To what extent is 12 Angry Men a critique of the legal system?

The 1957 film, 12 Angry Men, revolves around the discussion in a courtroom regarding the alleged killing of a Hispanic boy’s father. Reginald Rose, through some of his characters, showcases the flaws in the legal system and how prejudice influences the men’s decisions. The film shows the racist, personal biases that sway the decisions of the men, as well as the un-cooperation between the jurors. The film also explores the wanton destruction of life that the jury room presents, as well as how easy it is to accuse someone erroneously. Thus,12 Angry Men critiques the legal system by exposing the shortcomings of the jurors themselves.

During the course of the film, 12 Angry Men presents the common use of stereotyping and racism. Having a jury of 12 white, middle aged men meant that a broader
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The majority of the jurors did not follow ‘innocent until proven guilty’, rather, they worked the opposite way. This is due to their personal biases. Under Juror 8’s influence, the men began ’talking for an hour’ using ‘reasonable doubt’, thus allowing the men to reach a sensible conclusion. This may have otherwise cost the life of a minor. The film exposes through Juror 8 that the superficial evidence should be dismissed to allow for deeper analysis of the case. Without the actions of Juror 8, the boy would have been convicted of the crime and accused for something he may not have done.

Reginald Rose has used his film, Twelve Angry Men, to critique the jury system by pointing out the flaws present. Racism, personal biases, unwillingness to cooperate and accusing someone incorrectly were all obstacles that each of the jurors had to face to reach the final verdict. It is with these factors that one can critique the jury system and judge whether or not the system is really doing us

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