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Twelve Angry Men

by Reginald Rose

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In Twelve Angry Men, what argument does the "foreign" juror use to justify or defend the jury system?

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The "foreign juror" is Juror Eleven. Although he is treated poorly at times for being an immigrant, he also acts as the voice of reason, reminding the "Americans" just why democracy is "remarkable." He says that he came to this country for freedom of opinion: "a man is entitled to have unpopular opinions in this country." In Act III he reminds the 11 other jurors of their responsibility in this situation, saying that the reason why the country is strong is because the jury system is strong. Jurors "have nothing to gain or lose by the verdict," but are expected to act virtuously because they hold another man's life in their hands. After his speech there is a long pause before anyone else speaks, as if they are letting his words of wisdom sink in.

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