Argumentative Essay On Reasonable Doubt
Crime is an aspect of society that should not be tolerated at all costs and should the crime be dire, no time is to be wasted. However, we have to consider that perhaps the person who is under accusation might not be the culprit we may be so eager to prosecute and execute. One can consider the fact that an innocent man is executed for a crime he did not commit. What comes in your mind is the realization that the murderer or the rapist is still out there and lurking in the shadows seeking a fresh victim. If that does not appeal to your conscience, perhaps a visit to the doctor to check if you are okay could be of great help. Justice is what everyone wants and seeks to see it happen. Therefore, there is need for reasonable doubt to be part and parcel of our judicial systems. Reasonable doubt can save the innocent of being robbed of their dignity and even their lives because of crimes they did not commit. Basing on the film, The 12 angry men, I will try to seek evidence to support this hypothesis.
Reasonable doubt has something that the society is no longer willing to have in solving cases today. People have forgotten the essence of justice and diluted its meaning significantly. The belief in the United States that a defendant is innocent only until such a time that a court of law deems him or her guilty has its roots deep in the notion of reasonable doubt. This gives a chance to people to have a glimpse on the innocence of the accused if at all there is any. Having reasonable doubt will also open one’s eyes to something that should be seen for the whole picture to come to mind. The judicial system of the US has this belief and is embraced nationwide to give rights to the accused so that they are not mistreated (Picinali, 2013).
In the film, the juror’s argument ranges over presumptions that deliberate on persuasion and innocence. The factor that is burning up in the minds of the jurors is reasonable doubt. As the film starts with the boy accused of murdering his dad, the entire court including the jurors are certain that the boy is guilty as the evidence points in that direction. What shocked everyone is the fact that upon voting, one of the jurors voted not guilty: the eighth juror. To humor him, the other jurors agreed to discuss the case for one hour. The eighth juror was able to shift the verdict of the other jurors to “not guilty” through persuasion. By appealing to their conscience and bigotry, he was able to save the boy’s life. Should the jurors have come to a decision that the boy was guilty; the electric chair was the final destination.
Persuasion and logical reasons is what everyone needs to hear in order to correct misconceptions of each other. The eighth juror is able to persuade the others through these two factors and change their verdict from “guilty” to a certain “not guilty.” Providing them with the right question in order to gain reasonable doubt, he was able to make them question the evidence that was before the court. As conclusive as the evidence was, to the extent that the third juror was able to demonstrate what transpired as the evidence stipulates it transpired, the eighth juror was able to detail in-depth analysis of the evidence and come up with logical reasons to say the boy is not guilty. Everyone can agree that such analysis of the evidence by the court before a verdict is pretty amazing and can be a game changer for the judicial system and will help the society regain their confidence and trust in them.
Opposing this hypothesis is the bigotry that continuously leads to innocent people getting jail time and death sentences over the years. The judicial system no longer provide justice to the society and as a consequence people are losing their faith in them. Their practices have been hindered by the ignorance that has clouded the judicial system. This is because justice is no longer the main course for the courts nowadays but rather coin and remuneration is. What we need is the conviction to seek justice which will drive the judiciary to have a probing mind rather than a closed one to enable them have a third eye in analyzing the cases brought forward to them.
Clear from the above insight into the film, the twelve angry men, is the fact that the judiciary is an embodiment of what is going on today. Ignorance is prominent in people’s minds nowadays that they do not care to look behind the scenes to see what really is going on before sending someone to the electric chair. It took the confidence of one juror to break it to them that the action to be taken is wrong and show them the right way. This shows that the court officials should always make sure they have a keener eye while executing their duties before they do more harm than good.
Picinali, F. (2013). Two Meanings of 'Reasonableness': Dispelling the 'Floating' Reasonable Doubt. Modern Law Review, 76(5), 845-875. doi:10.1111/1468-2230.12038
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