The evidence does not need to eliminate all possible doubt because the everything in life is open to some possible or imaginary doubt. In deciding whether the people have proved an allegation beyond a reasonable doubt, you must impartially compare and consider all the evidence that was received during this trial. Unless the evidence proves an allegation beyond a reasonable doubt, you must find that the allegation has not been proved and disregard it completely. Due process of law requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt because of a decision by society that no one should be punished by the state unless after hearing all the evidence a jury has an "abiding conviction" that the accused has committed the offense. Sir William Blackstone, a respected judge and legal author in England, just before the American revolution, wrote that it was "better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer." Commentaries on the laws of England, 17651769. Blackstone's views on the law and this formulation have been accepted by most legal scholars in the United States. The requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt is tied to the presumption of innocence and the requirement of a unanimous jury. These are all ways in which the process of a criminal trial is used to prevent the state from taking arbitrary action against individuals. These rules are important, particularly in times of civil strife.
Here are three: (a) whether the prosecutor should actually file charges against any person is within the prosecutor's discretion; the prosecutor can always decline to prosecute the seven dissenters or charge them with a less serious offense; (b) the jury could find them guilty. Why does "due process of law" require that before a person can be convicted of a crime, every member of the jury must vote for conviction? Suggested Response: This is an essay attempt to redress the imbalance of power between the government, which is usually very powerful, and the individual defendant who is usually not powerful and who usually has few resources. Situations in which one or two dissenting jurors will prevent a jury from reaching a unanimous verdict or in which one dissenting juror will eventually convince the other jurors to change their mind and acquit a defendant do occur. See learning guide to 12 Angry men section on Parenting points. What is "proof beyond a reasonable doubt"? Why is it required for "due process of law" in criminal cases? Suggested Response: California criminal Jury Instructions, calcrim. 221, provides that: Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is proof that leaves you with an abiding conviction that the allegation is true.
What about the seven members of the posse who voted against hanging but stayed around to watch? Suggested Response: Certainly, the men who voted for conviction and carried out the killing could be prosecuted for murder or manslaughter. The seven dissenters could also have been prosecuted. Their legal duty, having participated to some extent in having captured the men and in having participated in the posses' decision-making process, was to try to stop the posse from killing the men, or at the very least, they should have left and stopped their. Assume that a prosecution was brought against the posse for murder or manslaughter. At what stages of the legal process could the seven dissenters have received different treatment than the other members of the posse. Suggested Response: There are many points in the legal process at which the seven dissenters could have received more lenient treatment than the rest of the posse.
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How are these feelings manifested? Suggested Response: Gerald Tetley rails against his father who shoots himself. The men sit in somber silence at ton the homework bar while gil reads the letter written by the doomed man to his wife and a collection of money is taken to help the bereft family. Gil and Art determine to take the money to martin's wife themselves, suggesting they will look after the woman and her children. Social studies and civics discussion questions. The following questions assume that classes have been given the information in the. They are designed to expand students' understanding of due process.
Depending on the age and sophistication of the class, teachers may have to provide them with the answers. Questions 3 and 4 should be asked together. see the, quick discussion question. Name four important elements of due process of law as it is applied to criminal cases that were not followed by the posse in this story and explain why each is important. Suggested Response: Examples are: notice and the right to appear and defend; the presumption of innocence; unanimous vote required for conviction; proof beyond a reasonable doubt; the right to confront your accuser; the right not to testify against yourself; the right to a jury. Could the entire posse have been prosecuted for criminal conspiracy to commit murder or for manslaughter?
The old man, hardwicke, is delusional and deserving of pity. The mexican, martinez, is masculine, strong and dignified. He stands in direct contrast to the superficial masculinity represented by the mob, including Gil and Art who are unable to stop the lynching. The film uses darkness to establish tone yet the lynching does not occur until daylight. What point is being made in this staging? Suggested Response: The nighttime establishes the dark and dismal tone of the events in the film suggesting that such behaviors are evil.
An interesting shaft of light falls on the mexican as he kneels in confession before the Spanish speaking member of the mob. Waiting for Martin to write his letter and then to hang the men in the morning shows a lack of shame and an effort to bring to light the moral depravity of what is happening. seven men stand against the mob in hopes that the accused men will be taken into town for a trial. In an actual trial, this is six more than necessary to declare a hung jury. Why does this carry no weight with the posse? Suggested Response: Since the men had decided to support the concept of majority rule, the number of men withholding consent doesn't matter, so long as they are in the minority. There were over two dozen men in the posse. Once the men learn that Kinkaid is not dead, remorse and guilt become the dominant emotions.
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Suggested Response: The preacher will not carry a gun nor drink whiskey and he tells Gil he is familiar with mob rule as evernote he had seen his brother lynched. The preacher represents the viewpoint of religion and serves to point out the absurdity of killing and then praying over the event. He says that the "Lord cares about what's happening up here tonight and sings a spiritual once the men are hanged. He is powerless, as is religion in circumstances such as these. Thus, dream ironies are revealed. What is significant in the characters of the three men who are caught and later hanged? Suggested Response: Donald Martin is reasonable, honest and intelligent, yet he is powerless against the mob. He is a family man.
The events of this film occurred in 1885, long after the end of the civil War. Yet Major Tetly wears his Confederate uniform as a symbol dbms of authority and that authority is respected by the others. What does the acceptance of Tetly's authority say about the men who formed the posse? Suggested Response: The men only understand the trappings of authority; their respect is superficial, influenced by the fact that the major is rich and carries himself with bold dignity. The men can see the major's abusive attitude toward his son whose "manhood" does not measure up to what is acceptable. It is implied that the men defer to the major in an effort to be seen as masculine themselves. It is also probable that most of the men fought for the south in the civil War. What does the preacher add to the moral force of the film?
his relationship with his son makes the crowd feel the importance of adhering to the strict rules of manhood which require bold action rather than. Davis tries to use reason to get the men to wait until the sheriff returns. What are some of the arguments that the men present to counter his appeal for rule of law? Suggested Response: One man mentions that justice is too slow and is subject to lawyers' tricks that can carry on for six months. Another suggests that and it is too easy to evade justice with feminine appeals to mercy. Democratic logic is used in the decision to rely on the will of the majority, thus muting an individual voice. But the essence of due process is not democratic. In fact, due process is anti-democratic because it always puts limits on the power of the elected officials, the representatives of the majority, and protects the individual.
Suggested Response: The symbol works on two levels: Gil is like the man in the painting in that he knows what he wants, but he cannot reach the men to turn them away from the lynching. The woman in the painting can be seen as a symbol for justice; it too is out of reach. Justice is often represented as female. Remember the statute of "blind justice" that stands in front of many dissertation court houses. Conformity is often driven by fear. Art and Gil are wary that they may be the targets of the posse, thus they conform, reluctantly, to the energy behind mob rule. What factors lend to this fear?
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Advertisement, discussion questions: english language arts discussion questions. . see, discussion questions for Use with any film that is a work of Fiction. The film's protagonists come into a town that is steeped in the masculine ethos of the time. What action, dialogue or visuals make this an important part of the film's presentation? Suggested Response: The men come into town in pairs, promulgating the myth of male camaraderie; there is no feminine imagery in the town other than the painting over the bar which is sexual in nature; the posse welcomes a woman called review ma, who. When Art and Gil first come into the saloon and order drinks, gil looks longingly at a painting behind the bar. The comment is made that the woman in the painting is within reach of the shadowy man shown standing behind her, but there is nothing he can do about. In what sense is this painting a symbol for the action and theme in the film?