12 Angry Men Essay on Reasonable Doubt

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Reasonable doubt can be a very difficult term to understand. If a jury has any reasonable doubt that the accused may not have committed the crime, then it must enter a not guilty verdict. Each person may have their own opinion of the term reasonable doubt. In the play Twelve Angry Men, by Reginald Rose, Juror Eight stands against 11 other men, fighting to find reasonable doubt in a homicide case. The accused is a young 19 year old boy, and the victim is the young boy’s father. When the jurors enter the Jury Room, they all think this case is open and shut – until they take the initial vote, and discover one man voted in favor of not-guilty. All the other jurors seem to think that all the evidence is laid out for them, while Juror Eight is not so sure. Juror Eight reviews all the evidence and is able to find many ways in which reasonable doubt was established. Specifically, in the testimony of the old woman, through the weapon that was used to murder the father, and finally through the testimony of the old man. This essay will provide examples of the reasonable doubt Juror Eight was able to find in the case against the young boy. One way reasonable doubt was found, was through the testimony of the old woman living across the elevated tracks from the young boy. This woman gave the testimony that she went to bed about eleven o’clock that night, and tossed and turned for over an hour, in her bed next to the open window. At about twelve-ten the old woman looked out the window and claimed she saw the boy stab the father. The jurors seem to believe this is an ‘unshakable’ testimony, until Juror Eight brings up some very valid points. He stated that the Old Woman had horrible sight, and because of this she needed to wear bifocals. “Of course! The woman wore bifocals. I remember this very clearly. They looked quite strong.” (Rose, 61). Following up this point, it is brought
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