Everyone can fall victim to being prejudice, but there are certain levels that can determine whether or not a person is viciously prejudice. In the movie 12 Angry Men, twelve jurors with different personalities and background must decide whether an eighteen year old boy is guilty of killing his father. While some base their opinion on the facts presented in the easer others judge the boy himself because of his race. 12 Angry Men accurately portrays prejudice in the legal system that is still often used in today’s court room. Rejoice within the legal system can either send an innocent person to jail or kill them.
In 12 Angry Men, the boy is charged with premeditated murder in the first degree and is considered the most serious charge in the criminal court. However “in order to convict someone in criminal court, the prosecutors must prove beyond reasonTABLE doubt” (Cotton and Holman, 2010, p. 6). Race is a prejudice factor that still appears within court rooms today. Throughout the movie 12 Angry Men, two jurors use race as a determining factor to tell whether the accused eighteen year old is guilty or not. Due to the eighteen year olds race, juror number three and ten find him guilty right on the spot.
Upon entering the jury room, juror number three says to juror number two ‘Yea know the thing that always amazes me is how these lawyers can talk and talk and talk even in a case as obvious as this one. ” After a response by juror number two, juror number three replies “Sometimes I think we ought take these tough kids and slap them down before they start trouble. It would save us a lot of time and money” (12 Angry Men, 1997). Juror number ten refers the accused eighteen year old as “those people” ND immediately shows prejudice when juror number eight raises his hand for not guilty.
In order to persuade juror number eight, juror number ten says “Now you’re not going to tell us that we’re supposed to believe that kid, knowing what he is. Listen, I’ve lived among ‘me all my life. You can’t believe a word they say. You know that. I mean, thefts born liars” (12 Angry Men, 1997). While most of the men in the jury room did not agree with the words that juror number ten was saying, he still was stubborn enough to let the eighteen year olds race determine his vote. Another prejudice moment happened with juror number ten when the vote for not guilty was raised to nine leaving three with the vote of guilty.
Juror number ten started his rant off with how “They think different. They act different. Well for instance, they don’t need any big excuse to kill someone” (12 Angry Men, 1997). He continues his rant on how ‘they’ drink all the time and become violent to the point where “they’ kill people, and how fast the boy on trials “type” is multiplying. To conclude his rant he goes as far as using glacial slurs and saying ‘ ‘We’re living in a dangerous time, and if we don’t watch it, if we don’t smack them down whenever we can, then they are goanna own us.
They’re goanna breed us out of existence” (12 Angry Men, 1997). While these two jurors showed prejudice about his race, a few of the other jurors seemed uninterested in the case and were more worried about their personal lives. With attitudes similar to the ones presented in 12 Angry Men, a fair case will not be achieved leaving the lives of possibly innocent people at risk. Prejudice within the legal system can completely change the sentencing of the accused.
Some people feel that women are not as capTABLE Of petty or serious crimes so the jury will base their vote on the gentleness of the usual woman rather than the facts, when in many cases women can be the most hostile and unforgiving when it comes to certain situations. If a women is charged with murder in the first degree, instead of being put on a death sentence, the women will typically be sent to jail. There are other cases that are not as serious such as custody issues when a woman is granted custody of the child hen she really is not suit to take care of a child.
She is simply granted because she is the mother that birthed the child. As stated previously, race is one of the biggest concerns with regards to prejudice. 1 2 Angry Men has well demonstrated examples that could very well happen in today’s legal system. There are a vast amount of stereotypes today that could easily sway a jurors vote from not guilty to guilty. A suggestion that would help eliminate prejudice in the court room would be to have the accused person hidden from the press or court room and escorted into an enclosed area that will not allow anyone to look in, but will allow the accused to look out.
This way the race or appearance of the accused is not revealed to the jury and each juror would only be TABLE to base their votes on the facts and not the characteristics of the person. Prejudice is typically an unfavorTABLE opinion Of a person. Not Only is prejudice found in everyday society, it is also found in the court room. Although society is unaware of what happens during the jury’s decision process, it is accurate to assume no one is free of prejudice. There will always e one person who makes decisions based on race, religion, sex, appearance, and so on.