In the play Twelve Angry Men, it is arguable to say that justice is served in the end, despite of the opinions, perspectives, points of view, and schema of the twelve men who were responsible for the outcome of the trial.
The fact that justice was served is nothing short of a miracle, but it also denotes the power of incisive questioning, focus, and the indomitable character of Juror 8.
It is noteworthy to point out that justice is not a term to be used loosely in this play. Essentially, justice is no longer a treatment that will determine the outcome of a case.
In this particular case, justice is FATE; it will determine the kid's life and what it will become. This is why it is imperative that the jury is not only fair, but empathetic, humanistic, and responsible. Is this the case in the play? Sadly, not at first.
Since this is what is known as a "Murder One" case, or a capital murder case, it is, as it is said at the beginning of the play: "the most serious case tried in our criminal courts."
This said, notice the heavy burden that the jury of such a case must carry, and what a formidable task it is to carry out proper justice when the stakes are so high. This is all done in the name of the Constitution and the Sixth Amendment.
Yet, all of this also also entails a more delicate premise: that the 12 jurors must be in the same mindset of wanting justice carried out.
...it is now your duty to sit down to try and separate the facts from the fancy. One man is dead. The life of another is at stake. [...] the verdict must be unanimous. I urge you to deliberate honestly and thoughtfully. You are faced with a grave responsibility. Thank you, gentlemen.
As you can see, justice is quite a powerful concept, and an outcome that carries a myriad of consequences and responsibilities. Do we see this mindset of justice carried out from the start? Absolutely not.
As a matter of fact, here are the most dangerous aspects of justice in this case:
- Most of the jurors were already biased against the accused.
- The jurors were not unanimously motivated to fulfill their duties as assigned (i.e: honestly and thoughtfully).
- Some jurors did not even want to be there.
- Other jurors were guided by personal bias or motivation
- It took a lot of work from Juror 8 to even get the men to consider performing the tasks that they were supposed to be performing as a matter of course, and as established by the law.
Therefore, we can say that justice and the due process of the accused were interpreted completely different by each of the jurors, and none of their interpretations of it (except Juror 8) were formulated in the best interests of the law, the constitution and much less, the accused, who is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.