“Twelve Angry Men” by Reginald Rose
DESCRIPTIONS OF JURORS FOREMAN A small, petty man who is impressed with the authority he has and handles himself quite formally. Not overly bright, but dogged. JUROR NUMBER TWO A meek, hesitant man who finds it difficult to maintain any opinions of his own. Easily swayed and usually adopts the opinion of the last person to whom he has spoken. JUROR NUMBER THREE A very strong, very forceful, extremely opinionated man within whom can be detected a streak of sadism. A humorless man who is intolerant of opinions other than his own and accustomed to forcing his wishes and views upon others. JUROR NUMBER FOUR Seems to be a man of wealth and position. A practiced speaker who presents himself well at all times. Seems to feel a little bit above the rest of the jurors. His only concern is with the facts in this case, and he is appalled at the behavior of the others. JUROR NUMBER FIVE A naïve, very frightened young man who takes his obligations in this case very seriously, but who finds it difficult to speak up when his elders have the floor. JUROR NUMBER SIX An honest but dull-witted man who comes upon his decisions slowly and carefully. A man who finds it difficult to create positive opinions, but who must listen to and digest and accept those opinions offered by others which appeal to him most. JUROR NUMBER SEVEN A loud, flashy, glad-handed salesman type who has more important things to do than to sit on a jury. He is quick to show temper, quick to form opinions on things about which he knows nothing. Is a bully and, of course, a coward. JUROR NUMBER EIGHT A quiet, thoughtful, gentle man. A man who sees all sides of every question and constantly seeks the truth. A man of strength tempered with compassion. Above all, a man who wants justice to be done and will fight to see that it is. JUROR NUMBER NINE A mild, gentle old man, long since defeated by life and now merely waiting to die. A man who recognizes himself for what he is and mourns the days when it would have been possible to be courageous without shielding himself behind his many years. JUROR NUMBER TEN An angry, bitter man. A man who antagonizes almost at sight. A bigot who places no values on any human life save his own. A man who has been nowhere and is going nowhere and knows it deep within him. JUROR NUMBER ELEVEN A refugee from Europe who had come to this country in 1941. A man who speaks with an accent and who is ashamed, humble, almost subservient to the people around him, but who will honestly seek justice because he has suffered through so much injustice. JUROR NUMBER TWELVE
Whichever way you decide. Camera holds on the jury box. One of the windows is open.” Several of the JURORS take seats at the table. A superficial snob. Y’know something? It’s hot. You are faced with a grave responsibility. (He exits. TWO and TWELVE go to the water fountain. He looks out the window. We hear the lock clicking. but no sound coming forth. Papers blow across the table and on to the floor as the door opens. On the table are pads. tearing slips of paper for ballots. These are men who are ill at ease. then fades out. (And now. the door of which is lettered “Men.) CLERK (droning. bright advertising man who thinks of human beings in terms of percentages. almost hesitantly. gentlemen. Six days. gentlemen. The room is furnished with a long conference table and a dozen chairs.M. I never knew they locked the door. They should have finished it in two. and who wish they were anywhere but here. The GUARD counts them as they enter the door.A slick. They still are reluctant to talk to each other. bare. Slowly. You’ve heard a long and complex case. takes a piece. FOREMAN is at head of table. If there’s anything you want. It is about 4:00 P. they file out of the jury box and off camera to the left. He mops his brow. listening intently to the voice of the JUDGE as he charges them. Four or five of the JURORS light cigarettes as they enter the room.) That’s the system. The GUARD looks them over and checks his count. The JUDGE drones on. takes out a pack of gum. (Some of the JURORS are taking off their jackets. We hear THREE talking to TWO. unpleasant-looking room. Now we get a close shot of EIGHT.) You’d think they’d at least air-condition the place. If. Thank you. Lettered on the outside of the door are the words “Jury Room. and offers it around.) The jury will retire.” A uniformed GUARD holds the door open. which he smokes constantly throughout the play. Then. The walls are bare. talk. I don’t know. I almost dropped dead in court. We do not see the JUDGE. Okay. Everybody’s here. slowly. I urge you to deliberate honestly and thoughtfully. gentlemen.) THREE. satisfied.) (Fade in on a large. he makes ready to leave. Everybody gets a fair trial. High on another wall is an electric clock. standing at the window. almost self-consciously. and badly in need of a fresh coat of paint. the verdict must be unanimous. One man is dead. JUDGE.
Act I Fade in on a jury box. graphs. TEN keeps moving his head back and forth nervously. (SEVEN opens the window a bit wider. closing the door. SEVEN looks down at his hands. Awkwardly. Talk. Sure. NINE goes into the washroom. (There is a long pause. FIVE lights his pipe. Along one
wall is a row of windows which look out on the skyline of the city’s financial district. TEN (blowing nose). Well … I guess … they’re entitled. and polls and has no real understanding of people. ashtrays. the direction in which the defendant would be sitting. who do not really know each other to talk to. Others stand awkwardly around the room. and it is now your duty to sit down to try and separate the facts from the fancy. Silently they all look at the door. they lock the door. The life of another is at stake. measured tones and his voice is grave. (SIX nods. Several look out the windows. THREE looks off in another direction. the twelve JURORS file in.) FIVE. It just never occurred to me. A washroom opens off the jury room. his lips moving. Just knock. Did you ever hear so much talk about nothing? TWO (nervously laughing). (He shakes his head. SEVEN.) GUARD. The camera drifts over the faces of the JURYMEN as the JUDGE speaks and we see that most of their heads are turned to camera’s left. This is the jury room in the county criminal court of a large Eastern city. In one corner of the room is a water fountain. however. Well. talk. He speaks in slow. If there is a reasonable doubt in your minds as to the guilt of the accused … then you must declare him not guilty. I’m right outside. What did you think? FIVE. pencils. the members of the jury begin to rise. There are no takers. Others are sitting down at the table. there is no reasonable doubt. Twelve men are seated in it. THREE. I suppose you can’t say anything against it. but trying to be a good fellow. then he must be found guilty. Murder in the first degree—premeditated homicide—is the most serious charge tried in our criminal courts.) SEVEN (to SIX). drab.
EIGHT. Four inches into the chest. I suppose. . Well. There were eleven votes for guilty. Let’s vote now. All right. (He laughs and sits down. Oh. Cut to shot of EIGHT staring out window. You know what you’re dealing with.) FOREMAN. Find a seat. I must be the only guy in the whole world who hasn’t seen it yet. That’s all. THREE. (NINE heads for a seat and sits down. I’m not going to make any rules. I just want to talk for a while. Well.) FOREMAN. . Eleven to one. look. An innocent nineteen-year-old kid. Bing! Just like that. Somebody’s in left field. They proved it a dozen different ways. Right. EIGHT. FOREMAN. (EIGHT turns.) One. isn’t it? A kid kills his father. this boy’s been kicked around all his life. Maybe it serves ‘em right. We’d like to get started. (Seven or eight hands go up immediately. I think maybe we owe him a few words. The FOREMAN is seated at the head of the table. NINE. Now. maybe we can all go home. There is no answer. Let’s see who’s where. I didn’t mean to keep you waiting. I never saw a guiltier man in my life. THREE. He’s nineteen years old. You couldn’t change my mind if you talked for a hundred years. I don’t want to change your mind. angry kid. Not guilty? (EIGHT’s hand is raised. (The FOREMAN turns to the washroom just as the door opens. There are two hands not raised.) SEVEN (to TEN).(TWO looks at him nervously. Now we know where we are. What’s the matter. No. It’s tough to figure. and goes over to water cooler. . These hot-weather colds can kill you. Maybe I don’t. I mean. your honor. I’ve got tickets to The Seven Year Itch tonight. that’s one way. Is everybody here? TWELVE. startled. NINE comes out. That’s not a very good head start. . Cut to table. Okay. It’s not so easy for me to raise my hand and send a boy off to die without talking about it first. That’s eleven for guilty. I don’t know whether I believe it or not. NINE’s and EIGHT’s. Everyone looks around the table. FOREMAN. Right. eleven . (To EIGHT) You think he’s not guilty? EIGHT (quietly). How did you like that business about the knife? Did you ever hear a phonier story? TEN (wisely). all those voting guilty raise your hands.) Okay.) FOREMAN. He knifed his own father. THREE. Anybody doesn’t want to vote? (He looks around the table. All right. I’m sorry.
. every day. Let’s vote now. SEVEN. . SEVEN. The man’s a dangerous killer. It’s all right. Who says it’s easy for me? EIGHT. start the show. Do you want me to list them? EIGHT. . Let’s take our seats.) The gentleman at the window. Right. (He heads for a seat. So what’d you vote not guilty for? EIGHT. They let the kids run wild. you’ve gotta expect that. guilty.) FOREMAN. Well. TEN (to EIGHT). Several others go up more slowly. SEVEN. just because I voted fast? I think the guy’s guilty. You could see it. That’s old enough. No one. Okay.
SEVEN. Who knows. you got a cold? TEN (blowing). Or we can vote right now to see how we stand. . Look. . SEVEN stands at the table. You know. living in a slum. Yeah. NINE’s hand goes up slowly now as the FOREMAN counts. SEVEN. . What. TEN. embarrassed. How about sitting down? EIGHT. do you believe his story? EIGHT. I don’t know. THREE. You know why slum kids get that way? Because we knock ‘em on the head once a day. How about sitting down? (EIGHT doesn’t hear him. nods. SEVEN. his mother dead since he was nine. putting out a cigarette.) TEN (to SIX). Nine . ten .) Okay. You sat right in court and heard the same thing I did. A lulu. gentleman. They look at the FOREMAN expectantly. EIGHT continues to look out the window. He’s a tough. Forgive me. you gentlemen can handle this any way you want to. (They all begin to sit down. This better be fast.) FOREMAN (to EIGHT). FOREMAN. gentlemen.) FOREMAN (briskly). it’s the element. (SEVEN nods sympathetically. If we want to discuss it first and then vote. Yeah. The old man’s inside.
It’s not Sunday. Through the windows of a passing elevated train. didn’t he? You know what that trial cost? He’s lucky he got it.) TWELVE. let’s get to the facts. THREE. TWELVE. Then he heard the kid say to his father. across the el tracks. At ten minutes after twelve on the night of the killing he heard loud noises in the upstairs apartment.) (Apologetically) It was blowing on my neck. Okay. You can’t believe a word they say. Let’s go in order. didn’t she? FOREMAN. Number one.” A second later he heard a body falling. Okay. let’s discuss the facts.
TWO (flustered). anyway. Nobody has to prove otherwise. knowing what he is. The Fifth Amendment. That sounds fair enough. SEVEN. what about the woman across the street? If her testimony doesn’t prove it. I’m going to close the window. and she swore she saw him do it. TWO (timidly). FOUR begins to comb his hair. If we’re going to discuss this case. I don’t mind telling you this. TWELVE doodles steadily. I’ve heard of it. aren’t you? FOREMAN (rising). TEN (loud). He said it sounded like a fight. I’d like to ask you something. It’s hot. Now what else do you want? FOUR. She’s known the kid all his life.(He looks around the table. Now take it easy. You’re a pretty smart fellow. He got a fair trial. I think we ought to be able to behave like gentlemen. NINE (to TEN very slowly). That’s right. Some cannot look at him. mister.) FOUR. sure. I’m just thinking out loud now. I think that’s a good point. (He gets up and begins to walk around. They found the father with a knife in his chest. We don’t owe him a thing. (To TWO) I guess you’re first.)
. Here’s a woman who’s lying in bed and can’t sleep. ELEVEN (with accent). The defendant doesn’t have to open his mouth. And they proved in court that you can look through the windows of a passing el train at night and see what’s happening on the other side. The boy’s entire story is flimsy. she looks out the window. You know that. Maybe if we each took a minute or two you know. blowing his nose and talking. let’s take the old man who lived on the second floor right underneath the room where the murder took place.) Anyway. EIGHT. (TEN blows his nose fiercely. I may have an idea here. SEVEN. You’ve heard of it. Supposing we go once around the table. Right. try it on for size— FOREMAN. He claimed he was at the movies. and he ran to the door of his apartment. Right! FOUR. That’s in the Constitution. I thought it was obvious. What this man says is very dangerous— (EIGHT puts his hand on NINE’s arm and stops him.) TEN. Let’s do it. What a terrible thing for a man to believe! Since when is dishonesty a group characteristic? You have no monopoly on the truth— THREE (interrupting). FOREMAN. (He gets up and does so. And the coroner fixed the time of death at around midnight. Somehow his touch and his gentle expression calm the old man. I mean nobody proved otherwise. His window is right opposite hers. The burden of proof is on the prosecution. Look. let’s start it off. FOREMAN. EIGHT (quietly). Did you hear that? (To FOUR) You’re absolutely right. EIGHT. We don’t need a sermon. Right. Just a minute. we’re all grownups here. Look. Then he called the police. He draws a deep breath and relaxes. I know what it is. Oh. THREE. then nothing does. You’re not going to tell us that we’re supposed to believe him. They proved it. TEN. NINE. you know. How come you believed her? She’s one of “them” too. TEN. (THREE gets up and goes to TEN. All right. If you gentlemen don’t mind. Well. That’s a little ridiculous. and saw the kid running down the stairs and out of the house. I think he was guilty.) TEN. I don’t see any need for arguing like this. I … what I meant … well. We have a job to do. THREE. I don’t know that. looked out. She saw the killing. isn’t it? He couldn’t even remember what pictures he saw. I’ve lived among ‘em all my life. Only NINE nods slowly. “I’m gonna kill you. Okay. but it seems to me that it’s up to us to convince this gentleman—(indicating EIGHT)—that we’re right and he’s wrong. Some of them look back coldly. Well … (Long pause) I just think he’s guilty. isn’t she? (TEN walks over to EIGHT. That’s right. FOREMAN. and right across the street she sees the kid stick the knife into his father.
I didn’t say it proved anything.
They are. THREE (annoyed). Oh. Eight o’clock.) FOUR. you know. I’d like to see it again. (To FOUR) What do you think? FOUR. the GUARD nods and leaves. sits down. . . When he was eight years old he ran away from a fight. (Looks away. Mr. I can be wrong. I don’t see why we have to look at it again. You know.) THREE. How about you? SEVEN. the FOREMAN whispers to him. I don’t want any part of them. “I’m gonna make a man out of you or I’m gonna bust you up into little pieces trying. What does that prove? SIX. EIGHT. All right. with the testimony from those people across the hall. We’re not here to go into the reasons why slums are breeding grounds for criminals. He didn’t mean you. I mean. It’s the kids. FOREMAN.) ELEVEN. We can’t help that. Anything else? SIX.) What’re you letting him get you all upset for? Relax. I started to be convinced. This is a very fine boy. feller. They heard the father hit the boy twice and then saw the boy walk angrily out of the house. He hardly seemed interested. FOREMAN. This boy—let’s say he’s a product of a filthy neighborhood and a broken home. (Bitter) I’ve got a kid. Sit down. It’s just part of the picture. Too many questions were left unasked. So would I! A kid like that. he was appointed by the court to defend the boy. You said it there. fists clenched. THREE. (The FOREMAN looks at him questioningly and then gets up and goes to the door. The gentleman has a right to see exhibits in evidence. Rotten kid! You work your heart out . believe me. I don’t know. let’s talk about that cute little switch-knife. Let’s get it in here and look at it. During the following dialogue the FOREMAN knocks.) FIVE. now wait a second! FIVE. What about the ones that were asked? For instance. That’s right. Let’s talk about it. I think they said he stabbed somebody in the arm. Let’s not be so sensitive…. I had a peculiar feeling about this trial. Ever since he was five years old his father beat him up regularly. Well. He’s been arrested for mugging. FOREMAN. it doesn’t exactly prove anything. Now let’s be reasonable. FOREMAN. (Pause) All right. seeing everyone looking at him. (To EIGHT) It’s your turn. Not seven. most of it’s been said already. (SIX goes to the water fountain. No. I haven’t seen him in three years. I can understand his sensitivity. the GUARD comes in. Didn’t they say something about an argument between the father and the boy around seven o’clock that night? I mean. That’s your privilege. (There is a long pause. EIGHT. We can talk all day about this thing but I think we’re wasting our time. Okay with me. I saw him. I know it. locking the door. He’s big. I think it was eight o’clock. Somehow I felt that the defense counsel never really conducted a thorough crossexamination.) FIVE. At fifteen he was in reform school. There is something personal! (Then he catches himself and. I’ve lived in a slum all my life— TEN.) THREE (persuasively). EIGHT. TEN. We’re wasting time. Maybe it still smells on me. You’re right. He used his fists. We’re missing the point here. All right. I don’t know. I used to play in a back yard that was filled with garbage. Foreman. Let’s get on with it. Look at the kid’s record. (To FIVE) It’s your turn. FIVE. All right. (To SIX) How about you? SIX (slowly). Come on. So do you. SEVEN. (He leads TEN back to his seat.” When he was fifteen he hit me in the face.THREE. EIGHT. The way they are—you know? They don’t listen. I’ll pass it. We all know what it looks like. embarrassed. now. He stole a car. Now let’s stop the bickering.) FOREMAN (to SEVEN). The children who come out of slum backgrounds are potential menaces to society. There’s nothing personal—(FIVE stands up.
. the one that fine up-right kid admitted buying. Come on. THREE (shrugging). and then FIVE speaks haltingly. He was picked up for knife-fighting. I was so ashamed. ELEVEN. (There is a dead silence for a moment. FOREMAN. Let’s calm down now. I told him right out. you know.
It’s a very strange knife. Maybe there are ten knives like that. Or punched. Neither had the storekeeper who sold it to him. amazed). Perhaps this is not the point. Did anyone force him to kill his father? (To THREE) How do you like him? Like someone forced him! ELEVEN. They are exactly alike. I’m not trying to make anyone accept it. Yeah. EIGHT. The boy lied and you know it. THREE. FOUR. Now that’s a stupid question. (To TEN) Do you think he lied? TEN (violently).) FOUR. I’m just saying it’s possible. but you proved absolutely zero. It’s a very unusual knife. EIGHT. but has no answer. sure as he’s born. Then suddenly everyone begins to talk at once. THREE. He went to a neighborhood store and bought a switchknife. EIGHT (to FIVE). No one notices this. don’t you agree? EIGHT. (To all) Now listen to this man. You’re alone. It cost two dollars.) THREE (slowly. It’s possible. (FOUR flips open the knife and jams it into the table. Am I right so far? EIGHT. EIGHT looks closely at NINE and we can begin to sense a rapport between them. Why did the boy get it? (Sarcastically) As a present for a friend of his. Take a look at the knife.) FOUR. Do you? FOUR. A man may die. There is a long silence. The GUARD exits. He looks around nervously. The boy admits going out of his house at eight o’clock after being slapped by his father. The storekeeper was arrested the following day when he admitted selling it to the boy.
. SEVEN. It’s only one night. I’m saying that it’s possible that the boy lost the knife and that someone else stabbed his father with a similar knife. I got it last night in a little junk shop around the corner from the boy’s house. SEVEN. Now are you trying to tell me that someone picked it up off the street and went to the boy’s house and stabbed his father with it just to be amusing? EIGHT. He lied. He stands up quietly. Now wait a second. EIGHT. What are you. (SEVEN glances at NINE for a long while.) FIVE. Now listen to me! You pulled a real smart trick here.
(EIGHT swiftly flicks open the blade of the switch-knife and quickly jams it into the table next to the first one. He knows what he’s talking about. gentlemen. What do you think you’re going to accomplish? If you want to be stubborn and hang this jury he’ll be tried again and found guilty. (The door opens and the GUARD walks in with an oddly designed knife with a tag on it. You know my answer. THREE (shouting). There are several gasps and everyone stares at the knife.FOUR (to EIGHT). the boy claims that on the way home the knife must have fallen through a hole in his coat pocket. So what are you going to do about it? We can be here all night. This knife is a pretty strong piece of evidence. Right. I do. He may have lied. Next. Or punched. What are you trying to do? TEN (loud). You know what actually happened. (EIGHT reaches casually into his pocket and withdraws an object. There is a long silence. Aren’t you trying to make us accept a pretty incredible coincidence? EIGHT.) THREE. And I’m saying it’s not possible. Do you think maybe if we went over it again? What I mean is— TEN. You bet he’s right. FOUR. You’re probably right. that he never saw it again. Do you think he lied? (FIVE can’t answer immediately. the guy’s lawyer? Listen. I’ve never seen one like it before in my life. You don’t have to ask me that. Now there’s a story. so what? EIGHT. Sure he lied! EIGHT (to FOUR). The storekeeper identified it and said it was the only one of its kind he had in stock. No. Quiet! Let’s be quiet! (They quiet down. The boy took the knife home and a few hours later stabbed his father with it and even remembered to wipe off the fingerprints. THREE. he says. what is this? Who do you think you are? FIVE. Where did you get it? EIGHT. Well. whose fault is that? SIX. FOUR gets up and takes it from him.) FOUR. Look at it! It’s the same knife! FOREMAN. there are still eleven of us who think he’s guilty. FOUR. Maybe there are.) FOUR. NINE. I … I don’t know. Everyone connected with the case identified this knife.
looks out for a moment and then faces them. But listen— TWELVE.) EIGHT. That’s his right. Is everyone agreed? (They all nod their heads. (EIGHT has been listening to this exchange closely. FIVE. How do you like that! SEVEN. I am ashamed to say— TEN. Please. I want to call for a vote. seemingly puzzled. I was going to say— SEVEN.) Not Guilty. Guilty. ELEVEN. They watch him quietly. (Pointing at EIGHT) This gentleman chose to stand alone against us. listens closely. Guilty. THREE. Guilty. We’ll take in a guilty verdict right now. He reads each one out loud and lays it aside. I wanted to have the right to disagree. The FOREMAN takes them. I’ve got a proposition to make. Some of us’ve got better things to do than sit around a jury room. He left the verdict up
. So you change your vote. EIGHT walks over to the window. we can spitball all night here. Okay. There’s nothing for him to tell you. Let’s do it. no? If the gentleman wants it to remain secret— THREE (standing up angrily). Well. (He pauses at the tenth ballot and then reads it. FOUR. Thank you.) What’s the matter with you? You come in here and you vote guilty and then this slick preacher starts to tear your heart out with stories about a poor little kid who just couldn’t help becoming a murderer. SEVEN. FIVE. I have always thought that a man was entitled to have unpopular opinions in this country. NINE.) FOREMAN. what do you say? You’re the one holding up the show.) Maybe you’d like to know why. EIGHT (standing). (The FOREMAN passes ballot slips to all of them.) THREE (to EIGHT). No one forced anyone. Hold it? We’re trying to put a guilty man into the chair where he belongs—and all of a sudden we’re paying attention to fairy tales. we wouldn’t like to know why.
FOREMAN. We agreed on this point.FIVE. That sounds fair. frightened at this outburst. The FOREMAN opens the last ballot. In my own country. FOREMAN. What do you mean? There are no secrets in here! I know who it was. and all we hear is his voice and the sound of TWO sucking on a cough drop. I did. Now hold it. Guilty. No. gentlemen. Guilty. What do we have to listen to now—the whole history of your country? SEVEN. (There is a long pause as SEVEN and FIVE eye each other angrily. This was a secret ballot. Just a minute. If there are still eleven votes for guilty. I can’t understand a word in here. EIGHT stands tensely watching as the JURORS write on their ballots. Who was it? I think we have a right to know. and now EIGHT watches them tensely as they begin to write. He stays perfectly still as one by one they fold the ballots and pass them along to the FOREMAN. TWO. Pass these along. He didn’t change his vote. Look. Guilty. (He turns to FIVE. Yeah. This is the reason I came here. no time lapse. let’s stick to the subject. I would like to say something here. Guilty. (To FIVE) I want to ask you what made you change your vote.) (Fade out) Act II Fade in on same scene. Guilty. It takes a great deal of courage to stand alone even if you believe in something very strongly. If that isn’t the most sickening— (FIVE stares at THREE. FOREMAN.) NINE (quietly). Why do we all have to talk at once? FOREMAN. counts eleven and now begins to open them. Guilty. Now just a minute— ELEVEN. The man wants to talk. I think we ought to get on with it. (We catch a close shot of FIVE looking steadily at him as he talks. TEN (angry). riffles through the folded ballots.) Guilty. He’s right. I won’t stand alone. I want you eleven men to vote by secret ballot. I’ll abstain. (THREE slams down hard on the table. Excuse me. (There is a pause. THREE. Well.) FOREMAN.
) THREE. He fills in an X. but FOUR puts his hand on his arm. A feeling! What are we gonna do. This isn’t a game. Now if that’s not enough for you … EIGHT. Then he throws it back toward THREE. Now let me ask you this. supposing you think about it. The train had five cars. About ten seconds.) THREE. That’s right. EIGHT (to FIVE). So far. EIGHT speaks now and his voice is more intense.) THREE (to FIVE). Who do you think you are? SEVEN (rising). This. He looks at it closely now and seems to be suddenly interested in it. If the kid didn’t kill him.
(TWELVE gives it to him. the old man heard the kid yell. How about sitting down. Right? (Several of them nod. (Cut to close shot of TWELVE who doodles a picture of an el train on a scrap of paper. Now. She remembers the most insignificant details. How long does it take an elevated train going at top speed to pass a given point? FOUR. THREE. This isn’t a game. Look. I want to hear more. THREE. FOUR. All right. (FOREMAN gets up. If the speech is over. What has that got to do with anything? EIGHT. What are you getting at? EIGHT. you know how it is. hands the pencil to TWELVE. You said a mouthful. Did ya see him? The nerve! The absolute nerve! TEN. Well. TWELVE. That given point is the window of the room in which the killing took place. And let’s not forget the woman across the street.) THREE. As far as I know.) SEVEN (to EIGHT). He gambled for support and I gave it to him. About ten or twelve seconds. TEN. FOUR. I … I didn’t mean to get nasty.” A second later he heard the father’s body falling and he saw the boy running out of the house fifteen seconds after that. THREE is angered again at this. holding the scrap of paper. Say ten seconds. what have you got to say about that? EIGHT. goes to the door. NINE. This is not easy. Well. (TWELVE takes the pencil. THREE leaps up. THREE. You can almost reach out of the window of that room and touch the el. Who does he think he is? (He lets them sit him down. Wait a minute! EIGHT (hard). I don’t want any fights in here. The vote is ten to two. (To TWELVE) Lend me your pencil. Look. “I’m gonna kill you. let’s take it easy. (FIVE looks at him. All right. it’s only a feeling I have. FOUR. Anyone else? ELEVEN. A feeling. please. THREE (to TEN). He draws a tick-tack-toe square on the same sheet of paper on which TWELVE has drawn the train. Forget it. That’s fine. NINE. An el train passes a given point in ten seconds. It doesn’t sound right to me. She looked into the open window and saw the boy stab his father. EIGHT stands up and snatches the paper away. Did anyone here ever live right next to the el tracks? I have. When your window is open and
. and she saw it through the windows of the last two. Nothing personal. let’s go on. perhaps. I’d say that was a fair guess. It lands in center of table. maybe. We might as well pass the time. This is an important thing to remember. hands GUARD the tagged switch-knife and sits down again. How long? Guess. What do you think? FIVE. spend the night talking about your feelings? What about the facts? THREE. It don’t mean anything. Perhaps you don’t understand.) EIGHT (to FOUR). I would think about ten seconds. I don’t know. (To NINE) Supposing you explain what your reasonable doubts are. We’re not concerned with anyone else’s motives here. THREE. I wouldn’t have the slightest idea. Guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Everyone’s a lawyer. Your turn. How do you like him? It’s like talking into a dead phone. buddy. TWO. EIGHT.) All right. knocks. It’s not enough for me. supposing you answer me this. She saw it. I’ve got a good mind to walk around this table and belt him one! FOREMAN. who did? EIGHT. I was a little excited. SEVEN. THREE (angry). EIGHT remains standing. Take a look at that sketch. All right. Well. SIX. (To NINE) Look.to us. TEN. The woman saw the killing through the window of a moving elevated train. we’re supposed to decide whether or not the boy on trial is guilty.
The phrase was “I’m going to kill you. insignificant man who has been nothing all his life. right? TWO. and he carried two canes.) TWO (hesitantly).” and one second later he heard a body fall. The woman across the street looked through the windows of the last two cars of the el and saw the body fall. TWO offers the FOREMAN a box of cough drops. Right? The last two cars. There’s something else I’d like to point out here. (EIGHT looks hard at THREE and then turns to NINE. You’re crazy. A man like this needs to be recognized. I think I know him better than anyone here. (TWO almost gratefully slides him one along the table. TWELVE. To be questioned. “I’m going to kill you. EIGHT. The old man would have had to hear the boy say. and maybe more. Anybody … want a cough … drop? FOREMAN (sharply). He doesn’t even speak good English. Now. Bright! He’s a common. TEN. NINE. Attention. before the body fell. TEN (exploding). EIGHT. Okay. frightened. Rocky. No. Could he? THREE. The FOREMAN pushes it away. who has never had recognition—his name in the newspapers. TEN.) Thanks. Anybody says a thing like that the way he said it—they mean it. according to the woman. Do you really think the boy would shout out a thing like that so the whole neighborhood would hear it? I don’t think so.) EIGHT. What d’ya mean! Sure he could have heard it. Well. An el takes ten seconds to pass a given point or two seconds per car.” “Come on. Come on. and quoted just once. Nobody knows him after seventy-five years. THREE. I’d like to change my vote to not guilty. I’ll take one. That el had been going by the old man’s window for at least six seconds. He don’t even speak good English. Did you notice that? He was a very old man with a torn jacket. ELEVEN (slowly). That’s enough for me. THREE. What are you giving us here? EIGHT. I mean with the el noise— THREE. ignorant slob. Why would he lie? What’s he got to gain? NINE.the train goes by. This is a quiet. THREE (loud). The old man heard the boy say. kill him!” We say it every day. THREE.
. I don’t think he could have heard it. the noise is almost unbearable. NINE. Right.) FOREMAN (to EIGHT). then the FOREMAN clears his throat. “I’m going to kill you. That’s the testimony. He’s much too bright for that.) FIVE. You keep coming up with these bright sayings.” but supposing he really did hear it? This phrase: how many times has each of you used it? Probably hundreds. But perhaps he’d make himself believe that he heard those words and recognized the boy’s face. Don’t try and tell me he didn’t mean it. Well. (TWO nods and EIGHT puts the cough drop in his mouth. Why might the old man have lied? You have a right to be heard. And how they mean it! EIGHT. This doesn’t mean that we’re going to kill someone. “If you do that once more junior. maybe? THREE.) EIGHT (softly). TWO. One second. Well. You can’t hear yourself think. And you’re trying to tell us he lied about a thing like this just so that he could be important? NINE. He said the boy yelled it out. How can you make up a thing like that? What do you know about it? NINE (low). Maybe he didn’t hear it. All right.” and the kid screamed it out at the top of his lungs. You can’t hear yourself think. The seam of his jacket was split under the arm. (TEN stares angrily at ELEVEN. I speak from experience. It’s not possible that he could have heard it. Will you get to the point? EIGHT. I think we proved that the old man couldn’t have heard the boy say. (There is a long pause. and there is silence for a moment. it stands to reason. Then FIVE looks around the table nervously. let me ask you this. Let’s get on with it. Why don’t you send one in to a newspaper? They pay two dollars. I’m going to murder you. What are you people talking about? Are you calling the old man a liar? FIVE. That’s a very sad
thing. that’s the most fantastic story I’ve ever heard.” while the front of the el was roaring past his nose. It’s just that I looked at him for a very long time. and listened to. EIGHT. Is there anything else? (EIGHT is looking at NINE. he wouldn’t really lie. This is very important. Wait a minute. “I’m going to kill you. TEN.
The diagram is clearly labeled and included in the information on it are the dimensions of the various rooms. and who walks with a pair of canes. That’s right. THREE (angry). (To FIVE) What are you basing it on? Stories this guy—(indicating EIGHT)—made up! He oughta write for Amazing Detective Monthly. He’s an old man. SEVEN. I heard you. At the back of the apartment we see the entrance into the apartment hall from the building hall. the kid had a lawyer. Living room. TEN. Wake me up when this is over. Another bedroom. goes to the door during following dialogue. went out into the hall. Listen. How could he be positive about … anything? (THREE looks around sheepishly. He said fifteen. Yes. Down the hall somewhere. barely bother to look at it. The vote is nine to three in favor of guilty. GUARD opens it. isn’t it? EIGHT. (The GUARD nods and exits. and SEVEN. Thank you. NINE. Did the old man say he ran to the door? SEVEN. furious.) Now the old man was in bed in this room. but trying to control himself. didn’t he? Why didn’t his lawyer bring up all these points? FIVE. TWO. I’d like to take a look at the diagram of the apartment. May I? (The FOREMAN nods. A bedroom faces the el tracks. FOUR. EIGHT takes the diagram and sets it up on a chair so that all can see it.
EIGHT. could get to his front door in fifteen seconds. Behind it is a series of rooms off a long hall. THREE. What’s the difference? He got there. Several of the JURORS get up to see it better. carrying a large pen-and-ink diagram of the apartment. Lawyers can’t think of everything. The door opens and the GUARD walks in. He knocks on door. What’s this for? How come you’re the only one in the room who wants to see exhibits all the time? FIVE. You saw him. FIVE. All right.) THREE (to EIGHT). Half the time he was confused. He said fifteen. FOUR. (Pointing) Here are the el tracks. Kitchen. too. Bathroom. We’re not. SEVEN. however. We see a flight of stairs in the building hall. FOREMAN.) GUARD. EIGHT (ignoring him). down the hall to the front door. Here’s the front door to the apartment. Mr. He’d make a fortune.) EIGHT. if that isn’t the end. And I want to stop wasting time. unable to cover up his blunder. GUARD nods and closes door. EIGHT goes to FOREMAN and reaches for it. This what you wanted? FOREMAN. Walked. He said twenty seconds. EIGHT looks it over. Oh brother! (To EIGHT) You sit in here and pull stories out of thin air. opened it and looked out just in time to see the boy racing down the stairs. run to the door. He says he got up. . Ran. (The FOREMAN gets up. Am I right?
. I thought you remembered everything. Where was his bedroom again? TEN. He was positive about it. Foreman. Foreman— FOREMAN (rising). If we’re going to start wading through all that nonsense about where the body was found . Why don’t we have them run the trial over just so you can get everything straight? EIGHT.(THREE gets up and walks to the window. SEVEN. I’m sure. (Pointing to front bedroom and then front door. Well. FIVE. In the front bedroom is a diagram of the spot where the body was found. Mr. That’s enough. He’s only saying he did to be important. And here are the steps.) SEVEN (to TEN). And this is the hall. Now we’re supposed to believe that the old man didn’t get up out of bed. But I don’t see how he could run. The GUARD gives the diagram to the FOREMAN. The bedroom. THREE. THREE. he whispers to GUARD. All right. I want to see this one. It is a railroad flat. We’re going to find out how a man who’s had two strokes in the past three years. Don’t you remember that? EIGHT. The old man’s apartment is directly beneath it and exactly the same. This is the apartment in which the killing took place. How does he know how long fifteen seconds is? You can’t judge that kind of thing.) FOREMAN. He said he went from his bedroom to the front door. Do me a favor. . Are you sure? FIVE. I don’t remember what he said. THREE. No. and see the kid beat it downstairs fifteen seconds after the killing.
This is. ELEVEN. I will. It’s my guess that the old man was trying to get to the door. (EIGHT gets up. THREE (infuriated). They watch him tensely.) TEN (shouting). as it does. Right? TWO. hobbling as an old man would hobble. The length of the hall is forty-three feet. Do you think this is possible? TEN. (He walks over to the two chairs now and lies down on them. Assumed? Now. For an old man who uses canes. EIGHT. Perhaps if we could see it … this is an important point. THREE (to EIGHT. walk twelve feet. and takes two chairs. They had to help him into the witness chair. EIGHT. THREE.) All right.)
. EIGHT begins to get up.) ELEVEN. Correct. We can spare that. He hobbles back to the chair. What makes you think you can— EIGHT. Let him do it. maybe. Hand me a chair. bent over his imaginary canes. heard someone racing down the stairs. reaches for imaginary canes.THREE. stamp your foot.
EIGHT. Now how far would you say it is from here to the door of this room? SIX. Thirty-one seconds. That’ll be the body falling. it’s a long walk. TWO. Twenty feet is close enough. I want to try this thing. which also serves as the front door. TEN.) Let’s say he keeps his canes right at his bedside. When you want me to start. Fifteen … twenty … thirty … thirty-one seconds exactly. He gets to it and pretends to open it. Okay. Stop. This is the bedroom door. Slowly he swings his leg over the edges of the chairs. I think. (Someone pushes a chair to him. He walked twice as fast as that. I’m going to pace off twelve feet—the length of the bedroom. Then he pretends to push it open. You can’t re-create a thing like that. I have. EIGHT walks as a crippled old man would walk. it’ll only take fifteen seconds. EIGHT. You make it sound like a long walk. I’ve seen all kinds of dishonesty in my day … but this little display takes the cake. waiting for the second hand to reach sixty. goes to the end of the room. begins to walk to simulated forty-foot hallway. Fifteen seconds after he heard the body fall.) Who’s got a watch with a second hand? TWO. TWO. It’s not. Time me from there. Speed it up. You know it’s possible. TWO stares at the watch. even more quickly than the old man walked in the courtroom.) EIGHT (loud). Let’s see how long it took him. He can only walk very slowly. You’re crazy. Do you mind if I try it? According to you. toward the chair which is serving as the bedroom door.) NINE. EIGHT. TWO stares at his watch.) THREE. and struggles to his feet. His bed was at the window. Then. Just about. (He speeds up his pace slightly. open the bedroom door. (He begins to do so. heading back. He puts them together to indicate a bed. (EIGHT. I’m ready.) EIGHT. (Some of the JURORS adlib their surprise to each other. I think that’s possible. ELEVEN. wouldn’t you say that? NINE. It’s a ridiculous waste of time. and open the front door—all in fifteen seconds. It’s—(looking closer)—twelve feet from his bed to the bedroom door. He had to get up out of bed. All right. six inches. He stops there and pretends to unlock the door. get his canes. ELEVEN. will you? (FOUR sits silently. ELEVEN. from here to the door and back is about forty feet. That’s the story. He reaches the door and turns now.) What are you doing? EIGHT. this is absolutely insane. SIX. (He lies down on the chairs. Look. and assumed it was the boy. A few feet. (They all watch carefully. I’d say it was twenty feet. walk forty-three feet. he stamps his foot loudly. not having stopped for this outburst. (To FOUR) Tell him. Right! EIGHT. What’s the time? TWO. If you think I should go faster. listen to me you people. It’s shorter than the length of the hall. EIGHT. EIGHT. SIX. Right. THREE looks at him and then he strides over to EIGHT. THREE (mad).
Foreman? FOREMAN. Not guilty. Is there anything wrong. THREE still stands at the window. Anyone object? (No one does. Number two? TWO. let’s do it. FOREMAN. FOREMAN.
(The GUARD nods and takes the diagram. Who’s got an idea? SIX. I’m getting real sick of it. he shakes himself loose and turns away.) THREE (screaming). For this kid? You’d bet I’d like to pull the switch! EIGHT. No. Let me go! I’ll kill him.) SEVEN. notified! That we are notified by mail to come down to this place and decide on the guilt or innocence of a man we have not known before. What it must feel like to want to pull the switch! THREE. do you? (THREE stops struggling now and stares at EIGHT. I’m sorry for you. Then the door opens and the GUARD enters. You want to see this boy die because you personally want it—not because of the facts. FOREMAN.THREE. We have nothing to gain or lose by our verdict. Silently the rest of the JURORS take their seats. FOREMAN. THREE (shouting).) THREE (loud).) You can take that back. Perhaps you’d like to pull the switch. FOREMAN. I’ll call off your jury numbers. I vote guilty. I’ll kill him! EIGHT (softly). Shut up! EIGHT (strong). He is still held by two JURORS. Then. Number Three? THREE. Guilty. This is one of the reasons why we are strong. THREE (shouting). I’m one of them. No time lapse. The JURORS look at him. ELEVEN. THREE.) Act III Fade in on same scene. FOREMAN. You’re a sadist. There’s nothing wrong. TEN blows his nose. I want to know who stands where. Anybody doesn’t want to vote? (He looks around the table. awkward pause. You come in here with your heart bleeding all over the floor about slum kids and injustice but you make up these wild stories. Some of them slowly begin to sit down. You don’t really mean you’ll kill me. gentlemen? I heard some noise. Not guilty.
. GUARD. This is a remarkable thing about democracy. Mr. We have a responsibility. Number Five? FIVE. shocked by his display of anger. It’s all right with me. The other JURORS stand around the room now. I don’t see why we have to behave like children here. I think maybe we should try another vote. and you’ve got some soft-hearted old ladies listening to you. Number Six? SIX. (There is a long. TWELVE begins to doodle. There is silence. All the JURORS watch in silence as we fade out. THREE (shouting). EIGHT. Nor do I. THREE glares angrily at EIGHT. Well. The JURORS still are silent. THREE (louder). After a long pause. That we are … what is the word? … Ah. I want an open ballot. EIGHT. He looks around the room. Shut up! EIGHT. EIGHT (calmly). but is caught by two of the JURORS and held.) TWELVE. what are you looking at? (They turn away. Guilty. Well I’m not.) All right. He turns around now. He looks curiously at some of the JURORS and exits. That sounds fair. Let’s call out our votes.) FOREMAN. Well—we’re still nowhere. finally—) FOUR. (He takes a pencil and paper and makes marks now in one of two columns after each vote. but no one speaks. All right. (He points to the large diagram of the apartment. Don’t start with me. We should not make it a personal thing. He goes back to his seat now. Shut up! (He lunges at EIGHT. (To all) What’s the matter with you people? This kid is guilty! He’s got to burn! We’re letting him slip through our fingers here. He walks to the windows. Not guilty. Number Four? FOUR. Our fingers? Are you his executioner? THREE (raging). He struggles as EIGHT watches calmly. We’re finished with it.
Number Eleven? ELEVEN.) TWO (shouting). That’s not funny. That’s more than six inches. The crime is being committed right in this room. FOREMAN. It’s a very awkward thing to stab down into the chest of someone who’s half a foot taller than you are. THREE. Let’s stop the arguing. Somebody get up. Guilty. FOREMAN.
FIVE.FOREMAN.” SEVEN (angry). I know they did—but I don’t go along with it. What do you mean I don’t understand it? Who do you think you are to talk to me like that? (To all) How do you like this guy? He comes over here running for his life. Wait a second. Number Twelve? TWELVE. Down and in. They stand face to face and look at each other for a moment. holding the knife. The boy is five feet eight inches tall. That’s a difference of six inches. SEVEN. Okay. Okay. FIVE. SEVEN. All right. FIVE (to SEVEN). He flicks it open. I beg your pardon. The arrogance of him! FIVE (to SEVEN). Well. let it be more. Please—I am used to this. you’re not going to be satisfied till you see it again. Then he stabs downward. hard. FOREMAN. Number Nine? NINE. Let’s take it into the judge and let the kid take his chances with twelve other guys. Six to six. are they? EIGHT (low). ELEVEN. FOREMAN. Maybe you don’t understand the term “reasonable doubt. (THREE jumps up. Not guilty. FOREMAN. FIVE. Nobody around here’s asking where you came from. and holds the knife aloft. I’ll tell you something. Take a look at it and tell me if I’m wrong. THREE. Look. I was born right here. You know? THREE. I go for that. and that’s how it was done. (He reaches into his pocket and takes out the knife. They went over it and over it in court. I’m going to give you a demonstration. There’s your angle.) THREE. That’s how I’d stab a taller man in the chest. Okay.) Is that six inches? TWELVE. FOREMAN. All right.
. No I don’t. It’s all right. Is that what you want? FIVE. THREE closes the knife and puts it in his pocket.) Maybe it wouldn’t hurt us to take a few tips from people who come running here! Maybe they learned something we don’t know. Just calm down. TWO. Not guilty. FOREMAN. THREE. I’m ready to walk into court right now and declare a hung jury. Guilty. I apologize. Nobody’s hurt. FOUR. Thank you. TEN (mad). What’s the matter with you? THREE. Or where your father came from … (He looks at SEVEN. Number Eight? EIGHT. who doesn’t answer but looks away. something’s been bothering me a little … this whole business about the stab wound and how it was made. Number Ten? TEN. He and EIGHT look steadily into each other’s eyes. You mean you still don’t think there’s room for reasonable doubt? SEVEN.) SIX. Don’t tell me we’re gonna start that. (He looks around the table. ready to stab. and before he can even take a big breath he’s telling us how to run the show. (He crouches down now until he is quite a bit shorter than EIGHT. Guilty. Not guilty. That’s what I want. No. Number Seven? SEVEN. The vote is six to six. THREE laughs. EIGHT stands up and walks towards him. We’re not so perfect! ELEVEN. Who’s got something constructive to say? TWO (hesitantly). His father was six two. There’s no point in this going on any more. okay. Take a look at it. too. Look out! (He stops just as the blade reaches EIGHT’s chest. (To TWO) Now watch this. I don’t want to have to do it again. It’s not all right! SEVEN. Nobody’s hurt. changes position in his hand.) THREE. the downward angle of it.
Neither do I. I guess there’s no argument. slowly. Well … I don’t know. He was even sent to reform school for knifing someone. changing its position in his hand. Switch-knives came with the neighborhood where I lived. Wait a minute! Give me that. (TWO. You use it underhanded. What do you mean. EIGHT. In my backyard. I’ll tell you something. ELEVEN (strong). I want to ask you something. You have to! Say it! Why? (They stare at each other for a long while. Where do you get all your information about how it was done? THREE. I think perhaps you’re right. I guess the quickest way is a show of hands. That’s right. EIGHT (to TWELVE). and changed the position on the knife so that he can stab overhanded. you’ve had enough? That’s no answer. Now listen … ELEVEN. No. stabs downward with it. I … don’t think … he’s guilty.) SEVEN (low). What do you mean? It’s just common sense. You’re what? SEVEN. Did you? THREE (loud). He flicks it open and. (He reaches out for the knife. ELEVEN (hard). Look at this. Funny I didn’t think of it before. holds it ready to slash underhanded. SIX. You don’t handle a switch-knife that way. EIGHT. No. No. then jams the knife into the table and sits down. there’s another vote called for. Okay.) EIGHT. raise your hands. Now you have changed your vote for the same reason. This is not an answer. (To SEVEN) What kind of man are you? You have sat here and voted guilty with everyone else because there are some theater tickets burning a hole in your pocket. Have you ever seen a man stabbed? THREE (pauses and looks around the room nervously). What are you asking me for? (EIGHT closes the blade and flicks it open.) All right. What about you? SEVEN. FOREMAN.) EIGHT (to SIX). We’re getting nowhere fast. TEN. EIGHT. (EIGHT closes the knife. Now.(TWO doesn’t answer. then do it because you are convinced the man is not guilty. I told you. EIGHT (to THREE). In the movies? FIVE. I’ve had enough. I do not think you have the right to play like this with a man’s life. I’m changing my vote to not guilty. and ELEVEN raise their hands immediately. Yes. (Flicking the knife open. EIGHT (fast). I’m a little sick of this whole thing already. Not if he’d ever had any experience with switch-knives. I want another vote. SEVEN. THREE. EIGHT (to SEVEN). I guess you try to forget those things. I don’t have to— ELEVEN. isn’t that so? TWELVE. I don’t believe it. I can talk like that to you! If you want to vote not guilty. Is it guilty or not guilty? SEVEN (hesitantly).
THREE. I have. The boy was an experienced knife fighter. THREE. Down and in. (EIGHT picks the knife out of the table and closes it. All those voting not guilty. This is an ugly and terrible thing to do. Let’s break it up and go home. Then he couldn’t have made the kind of wound which killed his father. Or don’t you have the … the guts—the guts to do what you think is right? SEVEN. NINE. Have you ever seen a knife fight? FIVE. FIVE. TWELVE raises his hand. THREE looks at him for a moment. wait a minute … you can’t talk like that to me. If you believe he is guilty. The
. All right. They all look at the knife.) Doesn’t it seem like an awkward way to handle a knife? THREE. You’re giving us a lot of mumbo jumbo. ELEVEN (angry). FIVE. Of course not. On my stoop. Listen. Why? SEVEN.) FIVE. He couldn’t have. Anybody object? (No one does.) Anyone who’s ever used a switch-knife would never have stabbed downward. EIGHT. What do you think? TWELVE (hesitantly). then vote that way. Not … guilty. Then. Did you ever stab a man? SIX. Too many of them. EIGHT. You heard me. SEVEN.) SIX. EIGHT. I didn’t! EIGHT. In the vacant lot across the street. flicks it open.
I don’t have to tell you. I’m only trying to tell you …
(There is a long pause as FOUR stares down at TEN. Not a chance. That’s how they are. there’s so much evidence to sift. (FOUR takes off his eyeglasses and begins to polish them. I’m the first to say that. What exactly did she say? FOUR.) FOREMAN. Why? SIX. (EIGHT gets up. If you open your mouth again. turns his back to it. As far as I can see. the most damning evidence was given by the woman across the street who claimed she actually saw the murder committed. it’s like they have no feelings.) TEN.) FOUR. All right. don’t you know about them? Listen to me! What are you doing? I’m trying to tell you something…. (FOUR stands there and looks at him. Most of them. that’s the most important testimony. where are you going? Look. They don’t care. FOUR. Finally she turned toward the window at about twelve-ten and. (To TWELVE) What do you think about it? TWELVE. Human life don’t mean as much to them as it does to us. You can throw out all the other evidence. Frankly. Then FOUR speaks softly. Let’s go over her testimony. Ten minutes of six.) TEN (softly). I don’t understand you people. unable to fall asleep. Sit down everybody. When they are all seated.) All those voting guilty. What time is it? ELEVEN. Well. Look. so somebody gets killed. Can’t you see the clock without your glasses? TWO. then looks down at the table. as she looked out. No one moves or speaks. As far as I’m concerned. SIX (to TWO). THREE. polishing his glasses. She said that she went to bed at about eleven o’clock that night. TEN. Take it from me.) FOUR (quietly). .) TWO. He looks around the table. squints at clock. Three. (The hands go down. Well . I believe I can recount it accurately. What do you mean. Oh sure. . as they all sit silently watching him. (They all move back to their seats. (They lower their hands. EIGHT. They can do anything. you know how those people lie. and TEN raise their hands. this is unshakable testimony. That’s the whole case.FOREMAN looks around the table carefully and then he too raises his hand.) TEN. We better watch out. I’ve had enough. and bang. How can you believe this kid is innocent? Look. they get drunk. I’m speaking my piece. FOUR. THREE. counting silently. I don’t know. this may be a dumb thought. I don’t see how you can vote for acquittal. (TWO. Not clearly. That’s right.) FOREMAN. There is a dead silence. FIVE. (FOUR stands over him as he trails off. All have their backs to TEN. There’s not one of ‘em who’s any good. I’ll tell you why. too. You know what I mean? Violent! (NINE gets up and does the same. Nine. they—(FIVE gets up from table. She tossed and turned for over an hour. . All right.) FOUR (to all). What’s going on here? (The FOREMAN gets up and goes to the windows. but that’s the exception. To me. Oh. maybe? He’s absolutely right. You know. Nobody’s blaming them. followed by SEVEN and TWELVE. That’s what I mean. can’t see it. these people are drinking and fighting all the time.) TEN. You don’t suppose they’d let us go home and finish it in the morning? I’ve got a kid with mumps. THREE. maybe . there are some good things about them. I’ve known a few who were pretty decent.) TEN. He is followed by ELEVEN. FOUR then sits down. And lemme tell you. Her bed was next to the open window. and you—Listen to me! They’re no good. Pardon me. Hey. and goes to window)—don’t need any real big reason to kill someone either. . she saw the boy stab his father.) FOUR (to the JURY). someone’s lying in the gutter. (THREE. TEN looks at him. That was my feeling. SIX watches him closely. but what do you do when you wake up at night and want to know what time it is?
. and if somebody gets killed. TWO. I’m going to split your skull. I still believe the boy is guilty of murder. This kid on trial … (THREE sits at table toying with the knife and FOUR gets up and starts for the window. and then TWO and SIX follow him to the window. Look. It’s late.) The vote is nine to three in favor of acquittal. They don’t know what truth is. and she could look out of the window while lying down and see directly into the window across the street.
How do you know what she saw? Maybe she’s far-sighted. You made all the arguments. FIVE. then squarely at TEN. closing the door. You’re alone. ELEVEN (excited). There’s a reasonable doubt in my mind. They looked quite strong. except hope that some night. We’re waiting. maybe in a few months. I’m sorry. Your arguments. We have time. All right! (THREE turns his back on them.) THREE (shouting). It opens. and we clearly see a slip of crumpled paper on which are scribbled the words “Not guilty. I’m convinced. Bifocals. puts it away and. THREE exits. What else do you want? EIGHT.”)
. EIGHT closes the knife. THREE. waiting for him to speak. EIGHT waits at the door as the others file past him. I gave you my arguments. NINE. No one wears eyeglasses to bed. Listen. The murder was taking place as she looked out. I told you I think the kid’s guilty. The woman wore bifocals. EIGHT. pointing the knife at his belly. stop me if I’m wrong. taking a last look around the room. This woman wouldn’t wear her eyeglasses to bed. EIGHT takes it by the handle.) THREE (thundering). (THREE runs to FOUR and grabs his arm.) EIGHT. would she? FOREMAN. (He looks around. THREE. you’re not going to intimidate me! (They all look at THREE. He’s got to die! Stay with me. FOUR. TWO. Then.) THREE (loud). Then THREE turns the knife around.) I’m entitled to my opinion! (No one answers him. (They all look at THREE. No one answers.) THREE. How does he know all these things? (There is silence. I never thought of it. EIGHT (calmly). The GUARD looks in and sees them all standing. She couldn’t have had time to put on her glasses. He pulls the switch-knife out of the table and walks over to EIGHT with it.) THREE (loud). Then he stops at the table. (There is a pause. I think he’s guilty. She testified that in the midst of her tossing and turning she rolled over and looked casually out the window. (THREE turns violently on him. TWELVE. Funny. SIX. We’re not convinced. Does anyone else? FOUR (quietly). You have a right. THREE turns around and sees that they are alone. They all look at THREE. What’s all this for? SIX. EIGHT (to THREE). EIGHT. I say that she saw only a blur. Listen. I remember this very clearly. Your grandmother isn’t a murder witness. Look.TWO. No. EIGHT. Well. The GUARD holds the door for them as they begin slowly to file out. NINE. Slowly he moves toward the door. She did wear glasses. It takes a great deal of courage to stand alone. What do you mean? I put on my glasses and look at the clock. That’s for sure. his face contorts as if he is about to cry. She never took them off.) THREE (pleading). and the lights went out a split second later. What’s the matter with you? You’re the guy. SIX. You don’t wear them to bed. you’ll get some sleep. I don’t care whether I’m alone or not! I have a right. Well. TEN looks down and shakes his head no. A guilty man’s gonna be walking the streets. I was thinking. We’re waiting to hear them again. They sit silently. Finally he and THREE are the only ones left. There is silence for a moment and then the FOREMAN goes to the door and knocks on it. You’re all alone. Wait a minute! Did she wear glasses at all? I don’t remember. Of course not. EIGHT. Does anyone think there still is not a reasonable doubt? (He looks around the room. You know the woman who testified that she saw the killing wears glasses. Of course she did. So does my grandmother. and all of them despise him for his stubbornness. she wasn’t wearing them in bed. suddenly. EIGHT stares back.) It’s gonna be a hung jury! That’s it! EIGHT. So what? EIGHT. Well. and he slams his fist down on the table. Now maybe she honestly thought she saw the boy kill his father. exits. He holds it in the approved knife-fighter fashion and looks long and hard at EIGHT. The camera moves in close on the littered table in the empty room. THREE. There’s nothing we can do about that. You can’t turn now. FOUR. (THREE looks around at all of them for a long time. A murderer. That’s right.)