Imagine having to decide a young boy’s fate who is accused of murder in the first degree. This is the case in “Twelve Angry Men”, the prize-winning drama written by Reginald Rose. Some jurors address relevant topics, while others permit their personal “judgments” from thoroughly looking at the case. After hours of deliberation, the jurors reached the decision that the boy is not guilty, due to the fact of reasonable doubt. While few jurors are motivated by their respect and determination for the justice system, Juror 10 is motivated by his personal prejudice.
Juror 10 is clearly motivated by his prejudice. He uses his intolerance to determine his vote for the accused defendant. For instance, in the beginning of Act I, Juror 10 haphazardly said, “ Look at the kind of people they are, you know them,” (13) without even digging deep into the case. It is quite obvious that Juror 10 is generating an “opinion” of the defendant based on the color of his skin and his background. He does not refer to them as regular people, but as “they” and “them” on certain pages.
In the courtroom though, no juror is to have any judgments, they are supposed to bring the facts to the table, not their opinions. Juror 10’s outlook of the defendant is blinding him from thinking of any reasonable doubt. Further more, when Juror 10 said, “…I lived among em’ all my life, you can’t believe a word they say. You know that,” he yet again was referring to the defendant’s people as “em” and “they”. You can clearly infer that while Juror 10 was living amongst them, he must have experienced or witnessed situations which has caused him to have judgments on these specific people.
These same judgments he brings to the courtroom just add difficulty into solving the case. Following Juror 10’s views further, when Juror 5 was explaining how the person who did stab the father was un-experienced, but the defendant was indeed experienced and Juror 3 stated he didn’t believe it, Juror 10 responded with, “Neither do I. You’re giving us a lot of mumbo-jumbo. ” (56) His racist views of the one accused once again got in the way and made him think differently on what Juror 3 had said. Juror 10 didn’t even bother thinking the idea through!
A reasonable person would have at least deliberated instead of just shutting down the thought completely. In addition to that thought, as the other jurors are realizing that there is reasonable doubt and changing their votes from guilty to not guilty, Juror 10’s temper begins to rise. His reaction to the other jurors for not agreeing with his opinion results to him throwing a rampage. He ends up screaming at the top of his lungs and thinking of everything he can possibly say to make the rest of the jurors side with him. But the only response he receives from the jurors is as they turn away from him in disgust.
After Juror 10 gets his racist opinions across, he realizes he simply cannot win this fight. His judgmental views of the defendant blocked any potential thought Juror 10 would have had if he went in to the courtroom with an open mind. Juror 10 stands out to the reader for his extreme prejudice look at the defendant and his culture. With out giving the case a glance, he already created an unchangeable opinion. From his view, Juror 10 doesn’t think of “them” as regular people, but as these animals who get away with every crime they commit.
Also his extremely prejudiced opinions made him resistant from “separating the facts from the fancy. ” One of the largest issues in our justice system is when jurors already have generated an opinion on the defendant, where as Juror 10 clearly did, which then causes the final vote to be affected. All in all, if the members of the court went into the jury room with an open mind we would most likely have more proved innocent cases in today’s society. It has been at least 60 years since the drama “Twelve Angry Men” was written. And even today, do we really believe all men and women were created equal?