Explain how Twelve Angry Men(reginald rose) depicts justice and the legal system in western society

Essay by mousseHigh School, 10th gradeA+, March 2004

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Twelve Angry Men, by Reginald Rose focuses on an irreplaceable dimension of Western Society- the justice system. This system is comprised of democratic rights; responsibilities and beliefs, all epitomised by the characters who are found in the jury room. This jury represents a microcosm of society with its strengths and weaknesses reaching a verdict on a criminal case. In exploring this process, a great deal is revealed about our society and its values.

The jury in this play consists of a diverse range of people, each in his own way representing a facet of the Western World. No two men are alike in occupation, social status, age, background or upbringing. Less obvious differences are revealed through opinions and verdicts, such as racism, violence and social prejudice. These differences are not always respected by fellow members of the jury, leading to inevitable disagreements. " Well there are some pretty strange people- not strange, really- they just have peculiar ways of expressing themselves, y'know what I mean?" (Page 21) These disagreements do not only occur between the twelve jurors, but are prevalent in everyday life right around the world.

The majority of disagreements occurring in this jury room relate to opinions over the guilt of the accused boy. This jury is debating a criminal case, and if found guilty, this boy would face death. "If we vote 'guilty', we send the accused to the electric chair. That's mandatory." (Page 6) The severity of this sentence demonstrates how the majority of our society disapproves of crime, and feels it must be avenged. Although capital punishment is no longer permitted in the Western World, lifetime jail sentences are not uncommon for cases such as murder. Crime exists in society, and if it cannot be abolished, consequences must be employed to deter...