This is truly, an undeniable classic of its time and highly recommended (especially the version with Henry Fonda). I have to admit that up until the end this great movie had me in suspense, which made my turn as juror even more challenging than I expected.
As silence descended upon the small room within the large court house just outside the London Bridge train station I was left with no thought in my mind except this great oldie. We had been talking for almost an hour and still hadn’t reached any conclusions. Our elected leader, a tall Sikh, called Raschid who was supposed to speak for all of us jurors before the Judge was running out of patience, he had explained time and again, reciting his notes of what the judge had told us about the case. Yet there were a few of us who couldn’t be convinced of the man’s guilt. The amazing thing I thought about these few was that one of them was a woman from a similar background as the victim. She stood firm on her virtues claiming that it was plausible that the lady was making it all up. She wasn’t convinced that the husband was the guilty party; that he had molested the woman and she believed that the evidence was fabricated. I didn’t feel that it was Raschid’s place to convince them otherwise but amongst this group I stood out like a needle in a haystack. My opinion made little or no difference and I feared the fate that would befall our world if we let people like this decide our destiny. Most of the jurors for better or for worse disregarded the evidence or the statements that where made in court, they looked at the case from personal experiences in life already biased to whatever they chose to believe in.
The case before us had been going on now for two days and a man sat accused in the dock for beating his wife. The lady’s attorney argued the case with evidence that demonstrated a photographic illustration of injuries and bruises inflicted by the accused during the night of the incident. It would have been straight forward for us to give our verdict as guilty but unfortunately the size of the woman as opposed to her husband posed the suspicion of fowl play. She was twice the size of the man and would easily have crushed him in a fist fight. There were no witnesses and we had to rely on the evidence and the woman’s word against the man’s. This was the main predicament that held four of the jurors back from declaring the guilty verdict. If we went by the law of the courts then one could say that the case had been proven beyond reasonable doubt. The man was guilty as the woman had called the police immediately after the event and had taken the photos soon after. The unfortunate thing about the whole case was the size of the victim which made some of us rather unsettled as to what to rely upon.
My experience as a juror in the late winter of 1998 had a profound effect on me in understanding the weakness of our justice system. In cases such as this one who was to say who the guilty party was. The only witnesses of the event were the victim and the accused. It was no doubt that the jury was in disarray as to what to make of it all. In our court system facts are what make the system work but who is to believe facts when they are delivered without witnesses. The man above claimed that he was never in the house when the event took place and the woman claimed that before the police showed up he had run away. We then had to decide who was telling the truth. As the case had taken several days to reach the courts any injury that the woman may have inflicted upon the man was gone. The only thing left to do was get the jury to decide whether or not the man was in the house when the incident had happened? If we decided that he wasn’t and he was and the woman was again beaten in the future then we would feel responsible for what had happened. If we decided otherwise, then we may be held responsible for putting an innocent man in jail.
The fact remains that there are holes in any justice system that we have created. However in the spiritual world the justice system created by God has three witnesses on earth. These witnesses are the spirit, the blood and the water. These three agree in one through our lord and savior Jesus Christ and give an account of our deeds and our thoughts. As our Lord is the truth, the way and the life, this spirit represents the truth within us and gives an account of our actions. I’m glad that the spiritual world grants us a fool proof justice system of this nature because going on my experience I fear for what might befall most of us.