This evening it was another great classic. Twelve Angry Men is very cleverly scripted so that, as Henry Fonda’s character persists with his doubts, the motives of the other jury members are gradually revealed for what they should not be: impatience to be at a ball game; desire to be part of the gang; desire to avoid standing out; intellectual arrogance; and, last and worst of all, sheer prejudice. It’s a great American message. In just one of two shots away from the room where the jury deliberates we see the Palace of Justice and, emblazoned on its pediment, the declaration ‘Administration of justice is the firmest pillar of God.’ Sadly, as I know through my correspondence with a prisoner on Death Row and with a number of anti-death sentence campaigners, administration of justice is definitely not the firmest pillar of State legal systems, particularly not in the South, where one respected academic lawyer, Stephen Bright, has strikingly described the death sentence as lynch law by other means (see also From Lynch Law to Killing State.) I write this on the eve of mid-term elections in which a President is about to get a drubbing from the electorate. Thankfully, this has nothing to do with his race. But anybody who has read the first part of his lyrical Dreams From My Father, with its graphic depictions of the racial prejudice he encountered, will understand that Obama, whilst undoubtedly a noble man, knows deep in his heart that all is not well and yet also that, irony of ironies, he of all people – precisely because of what he is – is the least well placed to do anything about it.