Gentlemen Your Verdict Character Analysis

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When Does a Murderer Start to Sound Like a Hero? We all know that life has value, but are some lives more valuable than others? Who should be allowed to decide? People with faith in the justice system believe that the choice should be left to a judge and jury; people with faith in religion believe the choice can only be made by a god. What about one man? Can any one person be allowed to decide the fates of others? In Michael Bruce’s “Gentlemen, Your Verdict,” the character Lieutenant-Commander Oram chose to end the lives of fifteen men on his crew including himself in order to leave enough oxygen for the remaining five men on his submarine, keeping them alive long enough to be rescued. While this may seem at first glance to be a mercy to those five, it was in fact nothing more than an unjust, unqualified, and unethical decision. The difference between a decision that is moral and one that is lawful is often far too separate for some people’s comfort, but as a civilized species we have established these laws for a reason and it is our duty to adhere to them. However, Lieutenant Oram’s decision shows that he has no respect for this system that our society has put together. Civilized cultures have been governed based on democratic procedures for centuries, condemning dictatorships as…show more content…
No matter how many ways one may try to justify it, there is no way to excuse it. In Michael Bruce’s “Gentlemen, Your Verdict,” Lieutenant-Commander Oram caused the deaths of fifteen people; the decision was not justifiable; he was not qualified to make it, and it was indistinguishable from murder both from a moral and legal standpoint. No matter what people might say about the extenuating circumstances of the situation, one must examine the facts: Lieutenant Oram poisoned fifteen innocent people. It doesn’t matter what way that is looked at, it will always be murder and there is no way for that to be
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