Juror Eight As The Hero Of The Play Twelve Angry Men

Twelve Angry Men, a play by Reginald Rose, features twelve jurors from different backgrounds sitting in a juryroom. They must “separate truth from fiction” in order to determine if the “reasonable doubt” is that the accused young boy is guilty (Act I)of first-degree killing his father. This play shows how the criminal justice system can be flawed. However, jurors like Juror Eight can show that there is faith within the jury system. Juror Eight, a thoughtful, quiet man who considers all the sides and seeks out the truth, wins justice for the defendant. Without juror 8, a potentially innocent man would be executed. Twelve Angry Men features juror eight as the hero to support the theme of a hopeful future for criminal justice.

Juror Eight fights for justice in the face of biases by other jurors. It gives hope to the audience that more jurors will stand up for justice. It is clear that the jurors were already in their own minds when they entered the jury chamber. Juror eight nevertheless “votes against guilty and encourages the jury to consider the evidence and testimony more carefully”. Juror 8 stated that even though eleven jurors voted to convict, “it’s not simple for me to raise the hand and send someone off to die” (Act 1), which shows that he values reasonable doubt and is willing to fight for justice, no matter what other jurors may think. Juror three is sadistic. However, juror eight says that their only job as jurors was to prove reasonable doubt. Eight asks three if he’s “his executioner” (Act II), which shows that he doesn’t mind disagreeing with other jurors who have prejudiced towards the suspect. Eight also challenged juror 3 about his knowledge in knife fighting. (Act III). Eight proves the jurors wrong by repeatedly proving them wrong. (Act III). Juror eight informs the other jurors he’s not trying to force anyone to accept alternative possibilities. Juror eight simply says it’s possible. He is trying to show that witnesses may not be reliable and to persuade the other jurors of their lack of open-mindedness. Juror 8 wins the defendant’s acquittal because he tells the ignorant that jurors’ jobs are to find reasonable doubt, “whether or no the boy on trial” (Act II), rather than to prove innocence. Juror eight found reasonable doubt in all testimonies of witnesses. He shared this with other jurors.

Juror eight told the jurors that he was the one who heard the boy yell “I’m gonna kill you.” He also said that the old guy is too slow to have witnessed the boy run down stairs. He takes more than fifteen seconds from his bedroom up to his front door. Another false testimony was the testimony by the storekeeper that he sold “unusual knife” to the boy (Act I). However, juror eight still has the exact same knife. Some jurors were convinced that the storekeeper could lie. Jurors five through eight are also skeptical about the murder of the father. The boy was raised in poverty and should have been proficient in knife fighting. A skilled knife fighter would not inflict the same wound as the victim. The jury is also unable to believe that the woman witnessed the murder via the El train’s last windows. She can’t see well in the dark due to her thick bifocals. A majority of jurors relied on the testimony of the witness to support their guilty verdict. The defendant was more likely to be acquitted if they could find reasonable doubt in the witness statements.

Number eight’s views on the trial were based on reasonable, compassionate decisions. This represents a hopeful future for criminal justice. Juror eight, who is hardworking and insists on fact-based decisions throughout the play, works hard. Juror eight clarifies that his goal isn’t to convince jurors of innocence. Juror eight feels that he only wants to speak for a short time and “owes the boy some words.” (Act I). This is about whether there’s a reasonable doubt. Juror Eight wants to ensure that all jurors have the same compassion and are reasonable. Eight looks at all possibilities in order to ensure fair trial. He explained to four that “it is possible that the child lost the knife and that someone else stabbed his dad with a comparable one” (Act II). Eight also wants other jurors understand that there are reasonable doubts about this case. Eight does not want jurors not to have reasonable doubt but he insists that they all have the right to reach a verdict.

Eight shows the jury that he’s fair, educated, and does not fear to disagree with others. Juror two believed the defendant guilty simply because nobody proved it. However, eight countered his claim by saying that “Nobody has got to prove anything.” The prosecution is responsible for the proof. The defendant does not have to speak” (Act I), which shows that jurors are knowledgeable about the job and how the judicial process works. Eight also shows his knowledge of the judicial systems by telling the other jury members that their job is only to “decide whether the boy on trial guilty, we don’t care about anyone’s motives” Act II. The boy would have been convicted without juror eight informing the other jurors. They didn’t understand the system. Eight also talks about how the defense counsel for the boy “hardly seemed interested” and how they are overwhelmed with work. This exposes the fact that attorneys don’t have the time or resources to properly defend their clients. Many innocent men are sentenced to prison for not having the money to properly defend themselves. Despite the fact that the defense counsel failed to properly defend his client and juror eight attempted his best to prove reasonable doubt. Juror eight gave faith in this system. Number eight is the only juror who fought for justice.

Juror eight would have been executed without him. Juror eight proved that there was reasonable doubt to all jurors. Without his bravery, all jurors would’ve agreed to a guilty verdict. Juror Eight is a man who stays focused on the truth in the case and won’t give up until the others face it. He asked juror five, “Do you believe he lied?” (Act I), to let those who are afraid or quiet know that they aren’t alone. Juror eight supported five who was naive, scared, and vulnerable. Number nine, meanwhile, is a gentleman who is still unsure about the case. He feels defeated by the world, but juror number eight is there to support him. (Act II), Without juror neu’s thoughts regarding the old man who testified, no one will understand that the witness was lying in order to feel valued. Juror Eight saves the boy with a “proposition.” He suggests that they vote again. If jurors still have reasonable doubts, he’ll change his verdict to guilty. But, if there is less than eleven votes, he’ll continue to prove there is more doubt. The boy is stopped from being prosecuted by him by stating this proposition.

Eight worked tirelessly all through the play to ensure the defendant got a fair trial. Eight is aware that his role as a jury member does not include deciding if the defendant guilty or innocent. He only has to assess if there were reasonable doubts. In order to represent a positive future for criminal justice, Juror Eight uses compassion and reasonable doubt. An innocent boy would not have been tried without juror 8. He is an example of faith in juror eight, his opinions are reasonable.


  • kaylarusso

    Kayla Russo is an educational blogger and volunteer and student. She is a 27 yo educational blogger and volunteer and student who loves to help others learn.



Kayla Russo is an educational blogger and volunteer and student. She is a 27 yo educational blogger and volunteer and student who loves to help others learn.

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