Twelve Angry Men Landscape Version Full Text | Reasonable Doubt | Public Law

“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

We hear the lock clicking. I urge you to deliberate honestly and thoughtfully. but no sound coming forth. SEVEN. (He shakes his head.) You’d think they’d at least air-condition the place. and badly in need of a fresh coat of paint. but trying to be a good fellow.) The jury will retire.) CLERK (droning. (SEVEN opens the window a bit wider. These are men who are ill at ease. and offers it around. (And now. This is the jury room in the county criminal court of a large Eastern city.) THREE. SEVEN looks down at his hands. Slowly. takes a piece. He mops his brow. gentlemen. High on another wall is an electric clock. listening intently to the voice of the JUDGE as he charges them. Just knock. the verdict must be unanimous. I never knew they locked the door. measured tones and his voice is grave. Thank you. He speaks in slow. talk. tearing slips of paper for ballots. takes out a pack of gum. I suppose you can’t say anything against it. Awkwardly. almost self-consciously. bare. You’ve heard a long and complex case. Then. I’m right outside. graphs. I don’t know. You are faced with a grave responsibility. NINE goes into the washroom. One of the windows is open. Well … I guess … they’re entitled. They should have finished it in two. If there is a reasonable doubt in your minds as to the guilt of the accused … then you must declare him not guilty. slowly. Everybody’s here. the twelve JURORS file in. Along one wall is a row of windows which look out on the skyline of the city’s financial district. The life of another is at stake. and polls and has no real understanding of people. FOREMAN is at head of table. Did you ever hear so much talk about nothing? TWO (nervously laughing). Twelve men are seated in it. (He exits. (SIX nods. Sure. They still are reluctant to talk to each other. I almost dropped dead in court.” A uniformed GUARD holds the door open. THREE.) GUARD. Several look out the windows. Everybody gets a fair trial.) SEVEN (to SIX). standing at the window. the members of the jury begin to rise. The room is furnished with a long conference table and a dozen chairs. On the table are pads. There are no takers. A superficial snob. It is about 4:00 P. We do not see the JUDGE. Well. He looks out the window. ashtrays. (Some of the JURORS are taking off their jackets. A washroom opens off the jury room. pencils. gentlemen. Others are sitting down at the table. One man is dead. TEN keeps moving his head back and forth nervously. JUDGE. Y’know something? It’s hot. The walls are bare. gentlemen. Act I Fade in on a jury box. If there’s anything you want. however. bright advertising man who thinks of human beings in terms of percentages. unpleasant-looking room. drab. Now we get a close shot of EIGHT. talk.M. closing the door. Murder in the first degree—premeditated homicide—is the most serious charge tried in our criminal courts. Okay. Others stand awkwardly around the room.” Several of the JURORS take seats at the table. Talk. they lock the door. Silently they all look at the door. (There is a long pause. In one corner of the room is a water fountain. The GUARD counts them as they enter the door. 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. they file out of the jury box and off camera to the left. then he must be found guilty. who do not really know each other to talk to. We hear THREE talking to TWO. Lettered on the outside of the door are the words “Jury Room. If. THREE looks off in another direction. The GUARD looks them over and checks his count. he makes ready to leave. What did you think? FIVE. then fades out. The JUDGE drones on.) That’s the system. almost hesitantly. Camera holds on the jury box. which he smokes constantly throughout the play. there is no reasonable doubt. the door of which is lettered “Men. FIVE lights his pipe. It just never occurred to me. 2 . his lips moving. Four or five of the JURORS light cigarettes as they enter the room. TWO and TWELVE go to the water fountain. the direction in which the defendant would be sitting. Papers blow across the table and on to the floor as the door opens. satisfied. and who wish they were anywhere but here. and it is now your duty to sit down to try and separate the facts from the fancy. TEN (blowing nose).A slick.) FIVE. Six days.) (Fade in on a large. Whichever way you decide.

That’s old enough. How about sitting down? EIGHT. I suppose. . SEVEN. Now we know where we are. (The FOREMAN turns to the washroom just as the door opens. . Find a seat. You know. (Seven or eight hands go up immediately. It’s tough to figure. Who says it’s easy for me? EIGHT. What. and goes over to water cooler.) FOREMAN (to EIGHT). I’m sorry. Yeah. I’m not going to make any rules. FOREMAN. . look. Let’s see who’s where. What’s the matter. Right. . NINE’s and EIGHT’s. Anybody doesn’t want to vote? (He looks around the table. An innocent nineteen-year-old kid. The FOREMAN is seated at the head of the table. .) Okay. maybe we can all go home. you’ve gotta expect that. How about sitting down? (EIGHT doesn’t hear him. I must be the only guy in the whole world who hasn’t seen it yet. I think maybe we owe him a few words. (They all begin to sit down. ten . this boy’s been kicked around all his life. He’s a tough. Several others go up more slowly. angry kid.) SEVEN (to TEN). Nine . No. Forgive me. putting out a cigarette. Look. There are two hands not raised. Who knows. his mother dead since he was nine. No one. There were eleven votes for guilty. They let the kids run wild.) One. THREE. The old man’s inside.) The gentleman at the window. Okay. They proved it a dozen different ways. This better be fast. isn’t it? A kid kills his father. . . EIGHT. Is everybody here? TWELVE. living in a slum. that’s one way. The man’s a dangerous killer. Eleven to one. SEVEN stands at the table. (He heads for a seat. He knifed his own father. THREE. Oh. That’s eleven for guilty. You know what you’re dealing with. Maybe it serves ‘em right. FOREMAN. (To EIGHT) You think he’s not guilty? EIGHT (quietly). . Okay. start the show. TEN (to EIGHT).) FOREMAN. Let’s take our seats. SEVEN. Do you want me to list them? EIGHT.) FOREMAN (briskly). SEVEN. EIGHT continues to look out the window.) FOREMAN. It’s not so easy for me to raise my hand and send a boy off to die without talking about it first. all those voting guilty raise your hands. . nods. A lulu. Well. All right. Cut to table. startled. If we want to discuss it first and then vote. NINE.) FOREMAN. That’s not a very good head start. SEVEN. gentleman. I never saw a guiltier man in my life. Well. I don’t know whether I believe it or not. just because I voted fast? I think the guy’s guilty. Bing! Just like that. gentlemen. every day. How did you like that business about the knife? Did you ever hear a phonier story? TEN (wisely). I mean.) TEN (to SIX). That’s all. Everyone looks around the table. I just want to talk for a while. NINE’s hand goes up slowly now as the FOREMAN counts. Right. (NINE heads for a seat and sits down. FOREMAN. THREE. Let’s vote now.(TWO looks at him nervously. 3 . you gentlemen can handle this any way you want to. SEVEN. You know why slum kids get that way? Because we knock ‘em on the head once a day. They look at the FOREMAN expectantly. (EIGHT turns. Four inches into the chest. (He laughs and sits down.) Okay. (SEVEN nods sympathetically. SEVEN. I don’t want to change your mind. Yeah. embarrassed. There is no answer. it’s the element. These hot-weather colds can kill you. do you believe his story? EIGHT. It’s all right. TEN. You could see it. So what’d you vote not guilty for? EIGHT. We’d like to get started. Right. I don’t know. your honor. NINE comes out. Cut to shot of EIGHT staring out window. You couldn’t change my mind if you talked for a hundred years. EIGHT. THREE.) FOREMAN. Well. Or we can vote right now to see how we stand. Now. Not guilty? (EIGHT’s hand is raised. guilty. He’s nineteen years old. I didn’t mean to keep you waiting. Maybe I don’t. You sat right in court and heard the same thing I did. eleven . Somebody’s in left field. you got a cold? TEN (blowing). I’ve got tickets to The Seven Year Itch tonight. Let’s vote now. All right.

isn’t she? (TEN walks over to EIGHT. At ten minutes after twelve on the night of the killing he heard loud noises in the upstairs apartment. Number one. (THREE gets up and goes to TEN. you know.) FOUR. How come you believed her? She’s one of “them” too. Well. I know what it is. what about the woman across the street? If her testimony doesn’t prove it. and right across the street she sees the kid stick the knife into his father. You’ve heard of it. You’re a pretty smart fellow. across the el tracks. anyway. ELEVEN (with accent). looked out. His window is right opposite hers. try it on for size— FOREMAN. Look. (He gets up and begins to walk around. What this man says is very dangerous— (EIGHT puts his hand on NINE’s arm and stops him. It’s not Sunday. TEN.) Anyway. Just a minute. we’re all grownups here. blowing his nose and talking. TWELVE.(He looks around the table. Right. I don’t know that. Right. THREE. They found the father with a knife in his chest.) 4 . let’s get to the facts. EIGHT (quietly). The defendant doesn’t have to open his mouth. SEVEN. TWELVE doodles steadily. You know that. THREE. Some cannot look at him.) TWELVE. THREE. They proved it.) (Apologetically) It was blowing on my neck. He draws a deep breath and relaxes. she looks out the window. (To TWO) I guess you’re first. “I’m gonna kill you. Did you hear that? (To FOUR) You’re absolutely right. TEN (loud). We don’t need a sermon. I mean nobody proved otherwise. Now take it easy. and saw the kid running down the stairs and out of the house. We don’t owe him a thing. Right! FOUR.) TEN. FOUR begins to comb his hair. We have a job to do. let’s take the old man who lived on the second floor right underneath the room where the murder took place. 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. TWO (timidly). aren’t you? FOREMAN (rising). I think we ought to be able to behave like gentlemen. Oh. All right. Let’s go in order. Only NINE nods slowly. I’ve heard of it. Now what else do you want? FOUR. and he ran to the door of his apartment. NINE (to TEN very slowly). I think that’s a good point. Some of them look back coldly. didn’t he? You know what that trial cost? He’s lucky he got it. You can’t believe a word they say. She saw the killing. sure. Let’s do it. If we’re going to discuss this case. EIGHT. That’s in the Constitution.) TEN. The boy’s entire story is flimsy. Maybe if we each took a minute or two you know. 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). That sounds fair enough. He got a fair trial. She’s known the kid all his life. Okay. then nothing does. mister. (He gets up and does so. Well … (Long pause) I just think he’s guilty. TEN. Through the windows of a passing elevated train. FOREMAN. Somehow his touch and his gentle expression calm the old man. The Fifth Amendment. It’s hot. Okay. Then he called the police. I may have an idea here. (TEN blows his nose fiercely. isn’t it? He couldn’t even remember what pictures he saw. That’s a little ridiculous. FOREMAN. Here’s a woman who’s lying in bed and can’t sleep. didn’t she? FOREMAN. I don’t mind telling you this. Supposing we go once around the table. I think he was guilty. Okay. TWO (flustered).” A second later he heard a body falling. let’s start it off. I’ve lived among ‘em all my life. Nobody has to prove otherwise. and she swore she saw him do it. NINE. I … what I meant … well. I’m going to close the window. I don’t see any need for arguing like this. He claimed he was at the movies. The burden of proof is on the prosecution. knowing what he is. He said it sounded like a fight. Then he heard the kid say to his father. That’s right. Look. And the coroner fixed the time of death at around midnight. SEVEN. I’d like to ask you something. You’re not going to tell us that we’re supposed to believe him. I thought it was obvious. That’s right. If you gentlemen don’t mind. EIGHT. FOREMAN. 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. I’m just thinking out loud now. let’s discuss the facts.

I saw him. We can talk all day about this thing but I think we’re wasting our time. you know. most of it’s been said already. Let’s get on with it. Not seven. Okay with me. EIGHT. the FOREMAN whispers to him. Didn’t they say something about an argument between the father and the boy around seven o’clock that night? I mean. and then FIVE speaks haltingly. I told him right out. (To EIGHT) It’s your turn. believe me. We’re wasting time. I was so ashamed. . (To FOUR) What do you think? FOUR. He was picked up for knife-fighting. I used to play in a back yard that was filled with garbage. I didn’t say it proved anything. locking the door. That’s right. (To SIX) How about you? SIX (slowly). EIGHT. let’s talk about that cute little switch-knife. Oh. I don’t want any part of them. He’s been arrested for mugging. EIGHT. We’re missing the point here. seeing everyone looking at him. (Pause) All right. I’d like to see it again. I don’t know. I’ll pass it. So do you. Now let’s be reasonable. Eight o’clock. you know. 5 . So would I! A kid like that. He’s big. They heard the father hit the boy twice and then saw the boy walk angrily out of the house. I don’t know. (Looks away. EIGHT. I haven’t seen him in three years. It’s just part of the picture. I think they said he stabbed somebody in the arm. There’s nothing personal—(FIVE stands up. You know. TEN. Ever since he was five years old his father beat him up regularly. I started to be convinced. the GUARD nods and leaves. Maybe it still smells on me.) FIVE. No.” When he was fifteen he hit me in the face. fists clenched. Let’s calm down now. Somehow I felt that the defense counsel never really conducted a thorough crossexamination. That’s your privilege. What about the ones that were asked? For instance. Let’s talk about it. (SIX goes to the water fountain. This is a very fine boy. (Bitter) I’ve got a kid. (There is a long pause. I can understand his sensitivity. I think it was eight o’clock. When he was eight years old he ran away from a fight. All right. THREE (shrugging). There is something personal! (Then he catches himself and. Now let’s stop the bickering. Let’s get it in here and look at it. SEVEN. Rotten kid! You work your heart out .) FIVE. THREE. It’s the kids. All right. Look at the kid’s record. I had a peculiar feeling about this trial. (To FIVE) It’s your turn. I mean. We can’t help that. Too many questions were left unasked. We’re not here to go into the reasons why slums are breeding grounds for criminals.) What’re you letting him get you all upset for? Relax. FOREMAN.THREE. The way they are—you know? They don’t listen.) FOREMAN (to SEVEN). he was appointed by the court to defend the boy. I’ve lived in a slum all my life— TEN. the GUARD comes in. He didn’t mean you. (There is a dead silence for a moment.) ELEVEN. All right. Well. I can be wrong. the one that fine up-right kid admitted buying. FOREMAN. . At fifteen he was in reform school.) FOUR. Come on. What does that prove? SIX. FOREMAN. The children who come out of slum backgrounds are potential menaces to society. We all know what it looks like. The gentleman has a right to see exhibits in evidence. (The FOREMAN looks at him questioningly and then gets up and goes to the door. Come on. I don’t see why we have to look at it again. FIVE. I know it. He hardly seemed interested. FOREMAN. with the testimony from those people across the hall. now wait a second! FIVE. sits down. Mr. Let’s not be so sensitive…. THREE (annoyed). FOREMAN.) THREE (persuasively). You’re right. “I’m gonna make a man out of you or I’m gonna bust you up into little pieces trying. Anything else? SIX. You said it there. He stole a car. They are. feller. This boy—let’s say he’s a product of a filthy neighborhood and a broken home. He used his fists. How about you? SEVEN. embarrassed. Sit down. now. Foreman. it doesn’t exactly prove anything. (He leads TEN back to his seat. ELEVEN.) THREE. During the following dialogue the FOREMAN knocks.

There is a long silence. (EIGHT reaches casually into his pocket and withdraws an object. Do you? FOUR. The boy lied and you know it. Next. You’re alone. You’re probably right. Aren’t you trying to make us accept a pretty incredible coincidence? EIGHT. The boy took the knife home and a few hours later stabbed his father with it and even remembered to wipe off the fingerprints. No one notices this.) FIVE. Then suddenly everyone begins to talk at once. EIGHT (to FIVE). The storekeeper was arrested the following day when he admitted selling it to the boy. He went to a neighborhood store and bought a switchknife.) THREE. What are you trying to do? TEN (loud). He looks around nervously. amazed). THREE. Now there’s a story. It cost two dollars. Neither had the storekeeper who sold it to him.) THREE (slowly. whose fault is that? SIX. There is a long silence.) FOUR. 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. Perhaps this is not the point. Do you think maybe if we went over it again? What I mean is— TEN. So what are you going to do about it? We can be here all night. gentlemen. FOUR. Or punched. 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. sure as he’s born. He may have lied. Why did the boy get it? (Sarcastically) As a present for a friend of his. 6 . It’s possible. Everyone connected with the case identified this knife. SEVEN. They are exactly alike. He knows what he’s talking about. that he never saw it again. EIGHT. FOUR. Right. I’m just saying it’s possible. And I’m saying it’s not possible. Yeah. the boy claims that on the way home the knife must have fallen through a hole in his coat pocket. (FOUR flips open the knife and jams it into the table.) FOUR.) FOUR. Did anyone force him to kill his father? (To THREE) How do you like him? Like someone forced him! ELEVEN. I got it last night in a little junk shop around the corner from the boy’s house. EIGHT looks closely at NINE and we can begin to sense a rapport between them. THREE (shouting). Do you think he lied? (FIVE can’t answer immediately. (SEVEN glances at NINE for a long while. He stands up quietly. there are still eleven of us who think he’s guilty. The boy admits going out of his house at eight o’clock after being slapped by his father. Now wait a second.FOUR (to EIGHT). Now that’s a stupid question. FOUR gets up and takes it from him. EIGHT. This knife is a pretty strong piece of evidence. There are several gasps and everyone stares at the knife. the guy’s lawyer? Listen. No. You know my answer. Am I right so far? EIGHT. I’ve never seen one like it before in my life. The GUARD exits. (EIGHT swiftly flicks open the blade of the switch-knife and quickly jams it into the table next to the first one. The storekeeper identified it and said it was the only one of its kind he had in stock. Well. (The door opens and the GUARD walks in with an oddly designed knife with a tag on it. You don’t have to ask me that. I’m not trying to make anyone accept it. I … I don’t know. It’s a very unusual knife. Sure he lied! EIGHT (to FOUR). Where did you get it? EIGHT. I’m saying that it’s possible that the boy lost the knife and that someone else stabbed his father with a similar knife. THREE. what is this? Who do you think you are? FIVE. A man may die. You know what actually happened. he says. THREE. (To TEN) Do you think he lied? TEN (violently). NINE. EIGHT. SEVEN. FOUR. What are you. Look at it! It’s the same knife! FOREMAN. Maybe there are ten knives like that. Now listen to me! You pulled a real smart trick here. Quiet! Let’s be quiet! (They quiet down. You bet he’s right. but has no answer. don’t you agree? EIGHT. so what? EIGHT. He lied. Maybe there are. It’s only one night. I do. Or punched. It’s a very strange knife. Take a look at the knife.) FOUR. (To all) Now listen to this man. but you proved absolutely zero.

listens closely. 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. There’s nothing for him to tell you. no time lapse. Excuse me. Guilty. I want you eleven men to vote by secret ballot. Who was it? I think we have a right to know. They watch him quietly. EIGHT walks over to the window. That sounds fair. So you change your vote. and now EIGHT watches them tensely as they begin to write. ELEVEN. we wouldn’t like to know why. Now just a minute— ELEVEN.) FOREMAN. (We catch a close shot of FIVE looking steadily at him as he talks. SEVEN. The FOREMAN opens the last ballot. Some of us’ve got better things to do than sit around a jury room. Guilty. FOREMAN. THREE. I’ll abstain. This is the reason I came here. Just a minute. We’ll take in a guilty verdict right now. TWO. FIVE. (EIGHT has been listening to this exchange closely. He’s right. We agreed on this point. (There is a pause. Please. Okay. THREE. frightened at this outburst. Is everyone agreed? (They all nod their heads. looks out for a moment and then faces them. (The FOREMAN passes ballot slips to all of them. TEN (angry). and all we hear is his voice and the sound of TWO sucking on a cough drop.) FOREMAN. (THREE slams down hard on the table. Yeah. EIGHT stands tensely watching as the JURORS write on their ballots. (Pointing at EIGHT) This gentleman chose to stand alone against us. The FOREMAN takes them. what do you say? You’re the one holding up the show.) THREE (to EIGHT). I am ashamed to say— TEN. He reads each one out loud and lays it aside. In my own country. Now hold it.FIVE. (To FIVE) I want to ask you what made you change your vote. Guilty. He didn’t change his vote. NINE.) Not Guilty. The man wants to talk.) Maybe you’d like to know why. No one forced anyone. riffles through the folded ballots. If there are still eleven votes for guilty. I wanted to have the right to disagree. Guilty. Look. Well. This was a secret ballot.) 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. Guilty. It takes a great deal of courage to stand alone even if you believe in something very strongly.) (Fade out) Act II Fade in on same scene. What do you mean? There are no secrets in here! I know who it was. Pass these along. He left the verdict up 7 . Well. counts eleven and now begins to open them. seemingly puzzled. I think we ought to get on with it. Guilty. 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. no? If the gentleman wants it to remain secret— THREE (standing up angrily). FOREMAN. let’s stick to the subject. Guilty. If that isn’t the most sickening— (FIVE stares at THREE. EIGHT (standing).) Guilty. I can’t understand a word in here.) NINE (quietly). I’ve got a proposition to make. Guilty. But listen— TWELVE. we can spitball all night here. FOREMAN. Thank you. Let’s do it. I was going to say— SEVEN. How do you like that! SEVEN. FIVE. I have always thought that a man was entitled to have unpopular opinions in this country. No. Why do we all have to talk at once? FOREMAN. gentlemen. (He turns to FIVE. I won’t stand alone. I want to call for a vote. That’s his right. FOUR. I would like to say something here. He stays perfectly still as one by one they fold the ballots and pass them along to the FOREMAN. I did. Guilty. (He pauses at the tenth ballot and then reads it.) EIGHT.

A feeling! What are we gonna do. I don’t want any fights in here. A feeling. Guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.) All right. (TWELVE takes the pencil. hands the pencil to TWELVE. Wait a minute! EIGHT (hard). SEVEN. THREE is angered again at this. That’s fine. (To NINE) Supposing you explain what your reasonable doubts are. the old man heard the kid yell. (To TWELVE) Lend me your pencil. I don’t know. He draws a tick-tack-toe square on the same sheet of paper on which TWELVE has drawn the train. We might as well pass the time.” A second later he heard the father’s body falling and he saw the boy running out of the house fifteen seconds after that. FOUR. About ten seconds. This. what have you got to say about that? EIGHT. maybe. The vote is ten to two. What do you think? FIVE. Did ya see him? The nerve! The absolute nerve! TEN. but FOUR puts his hand on his arm. Then he throws it back toward THREE. (FIVE looks at him. So far. If the speech is over. NINE. we’re supposed to decide whether or not the boy on trial is guilty.to us. I’ve got a good mind to walk around this table and belt him one! FOREMAN. Well. please. And let’s not forget the woman across the street.) THREE. If the kid didn’t kill him. (To NINE) Look. SIX. goes to the door.) THREE (to FIVE). It lands in center of table. How about sitting down. EIGHT (to FIVE). TWELVE. The woman saw the killing through the window of a moving elevated train. How long does it take an elevated train going at top speed to pass a given point? FOUR. That given point is the window of the room in which the killing took place. Now. We’re not concerned with anyone else’s motives here. It’s not enough for me. buddy. Look. THREE. THREE. I … I didn’t mean to get nasty. who did? EIGHT.) SEVEN (to EIGHT). She remembers the most insignificant details. Look. I would think about ten seconds. How long? Guess. EIGHT stands up and snatches the paper away. Say ten seconds. Who does he think he is? (He lets them sit him down. supposing you answer me this. supposing you think about it. I want to hear more. THREE leaps up. How do you like him? It’s like talking into a dead phone. That’s right. This isn’t a game. knocks. TWO. It don’t mean anything. TEN. (TWELVE gives it to him. Did anyone here ever live right next to the el tracks? I have. THREE (to TEN). She looked into the open window and saw the boy stab his father. TEN. I wouldn’t have the slightest idea. let’s take it easy. Now if that’s not enough for you … EIGHT.) EIGHT (to FOUR). “I’m gonna kill you. What are you getting at? EIGHT. An el train passes a given point in ten seconds. It doesn’t sound right to me. What has that got to do with anything? EIGHT. All right. FOUR. Now let me ask you this. He gambled for support and I gave it to him. The train had five cars. Well. THREE. Anyone else? ELEVEN. let’s go on. About ten or twelve seconds. Forget it. Your turn. spend the night talking about your feelings? What about the facts? THREE. I’d say that was a fair guess. NINE. Take a look at that sketch. He fills in an X. Right? (Several of them nod. EIGHT speaks now and his voice is more intense. THREE. EIGHT. it’s only a feeling I have. (Cut to close shot of TWELVE who doodles a picture of an el train on a scrap of paper. You said a mouthful. EIGHT remains standing. When your window is open and 8 . holding the scrap of paper. Nothing personal. THREE (angry). As far as I know. Perhaps you don’t understand. She saw it.) THREE. All right. perhaps. hands GUARD the tagged switch-knife and sits down again. This is an important thing to remember. (FOREMAN gets up. Everyone’s a lawyer. I was a little excited. You can almost reach out of the window of that room and touch the el. All right. He looks at it closely now and seems to be suddenly interested in it. you know how it is. This is not easy. This isn’t a game. Who do you think you are? SEVEN (rising). Well. FOUR. and she saw it through the windows of the last two.) THREE.

Rocky. There’s something else I’d like to point out here. right? TWO. THREE. It’s not possible that he could have heard it. THREE. Well. TWO. All right. Could he? THREE. (EIGHT looks hard at THREE and then turns to NINE. THREE (loud). that’s the most fantastic story I’ve ever heard.) TWO (hesitantly). (TWO almost gratefully slides him one along the table. (TEN stares angrily at ELEVEN.” while the front of the el was roaring past his nose. Well. This doesn’t mean that we’re going to kill someone. EIGHT. This is a quiet. What d’ya mean! Sure he could have heard it. One second. frightened. then the FOREMAN clears his throat. maybe? THREE. How can you make up a thing like that? What do you know about it? NINE (low). You can’t hear yourself think. EIGHT. Well. Bright! He’s a common. let me ask you this. and quoted just once. he wouldn’t really lie. insignificant man who has been nothing all his life. Why might the old man have lied? You have a right to be heard. TEN. kill him!” We say it every day. You can’t hear yourself think. The old man heard the boy say. He’s much too bright for that. ignorant slob. And you’re trying to tell us he lied about a thing like this just so that he could be important? NINE. But perhaps he’d make himself believe that he heard those words and recognized the boy’s face. The phrase was “I’m going to kill you.” but supposing he really did hear it? This phrase: how many times has each of you used it? Probably hundreds. TEN. and he carried two canes. according to the woman. Then FIVE looks around the table nervously. “If you do that once more junior. TWELVE. I’ll take one. NINE. A man like this needs to be recognized. Maybe he didn’t hear it. “I’m going to kill you. That’s a very sad thing. You keep coming up with these bright sayings. Why would he lie? What’s he got to gain? NINE. He don’t even speak good English. The FOREMAN pushes it away. Nobody knows him after seventy-five years.” and the kid screamed it out at the top of his lungs. I’m going to murder you. To be questioned. I’d like to change my vote to not guilty. Let’s get on with it. ELEVEN (slowly). Okay. and maybe more. (There is a long pause. “I’m going to kill you.) EIGHT. He said the boy yelled it out. Attention. “I’m going to kill you. Anybody says a thing like that the way he said it—they mean it. Right? The last two cars. 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. This is very important.the train goes by. The woman across the street looked through the windows of the last two cars of the el and saw the body fall. That’s enough for me. Come on. before the body fell. He doesn’t even speak good English.” “Come on. I think I know him better than anyone here. What are you giving us here? EIGHT. Did you notice that? He was a very old man with a torn jacket. Now. NINE. I don’t think he could have heard it. That’s the testimony. the noise is almost unbearable. That el had been going by the old man’s window for at least six seconds. I think we proved that the old man couldn’t have heard the boy say. TEN. No. And how they mean it! EIGHT. Right. TWO offers the FOREMAN a box of cough drops. Will you get to the point? EIGHT. I speak from experience. An el takes ten seconds to pass a given point or two seconds per car. Wait a minute. 9 . EIGHT. it stands to reason. The seam of his jacket was split under the arm. TEN (exploding). Don’t try and tell me he didn’t mean it. Anybody … want a cough … drop? FOREMAN (sharply). and there is silence for a moment.) EIGHT (softly).) Thanks. Why don’t you send one in to a newspaper? They pay two dollars. Is there anything else? (EIGHT is looking at NINE. (TWO nods and EIGHT puts the cough drop in his mouth.) FIVE. It’s just that I looked at him for a very long time. I mean with the el noise— THREE. The old man would have had to hear the boy say. THREE.” and one second later he heard a body fall. who has never had recognition—his name in the newspapers. and listened to. You’re crazy. What are you people talking about? Are you calling the old man a liar? FIVE.) FOREMAN (to EIGHT).

however. (Pointing) Here are the el tracks. went out into the hall. And here are the steps. Half the time he was confused. Thank you. He’s an old man. THREE. What’s this for? How come you’re the only one in the room who wants to see exhibits all the time? FIVE. He said fifteen.) GUARD. Do me a favor. The vote is nine to three in favor of guilty. FIVE.) EIGHT.) FOREMAN. He says he got up. At the back of the apartment we see the entrance into the apartment hall from the building hall. Foreman. FIVE. I want to see this one. It is a railroad flat. EIGHT goes to FOREMAN and reaches for it. How could he be positive about … anything? (THREE looks around sheepishly. And this is the hall. Listen. The door opens and the GUARD walks in. FOUR. Are you sure? FIVE. I heard you. You saw him. goes to the door during following dialogue. Walked. This is the apartment in which the killing took place. TEN. unable to cover up his blunder. He said fifteen. if that isn’t the end.) THREE (to EIGHT). didn’t he? Why didn’t his lawyer bring up all these points? FIVE. No. TWO. How does he know how long fifteen seconds is? You can’t judge that kind of thing. We see a flight of stairs in the building hall. He’d make a fortune. That’s right. EIGHT. Bathroom. If we’re going to start wading through all that nonsense about where the body was found . He was positive about it. In the front bedroom is a diagram of the spot where the body was found. the kid had a lawyer. The GUARD gives the diagram to the FOREMAN. We’re not. THREE. isn’t it? EIGHT. Don’t you remember that? EIGHT. and SEVEN. But I don’t see how he could run. (The GUARD nods and exits. SEVEN. could get to his front door in fifteen seconds. Behind it is a series of rooms off a long hall. May I? (The FOREMAN nods. All right. Where was his bedroom again? TEN. Kitchen. He said he went from his bedroom to the front door. GUARD nods and closes door. (Pointing to front bedroom and then front door.(THREE gets up and walks to the window. I don’t remember what he said. We’re going to find out how a man who’s had two strokes in the past three years. Well. run to the door. He knocks on door. but trying to control himself. That’s enough. I’m sure. Mr. The old man’s apartment is directly beneath it and exactly the same. Down the hall somewhere. EIGHT takes the diagram and sets it up on a chair so that all can see it. The bedroom. He’s only saying he did to be important. FOUR. Several of the JURORS get up to see it better. Now we’re supposed to believe that the old man didn’t get up out of bed. and who walks with a pair of canes.) SEVEN (to TEN). I’d like to take a look at the diagram of the apartment. All right. too. I thought you remembered everything. NINE. THREE (angry). carrying a large pen-and-ink diagram of the apartment. Wake me up when this is over. Lawyers can’t think of everything. SEVEN. Yes. He said twenty seconds. Why don’t we have them run the trial over just so you can get everything straight? EIGHT. The diagram is clearly labeled and included in the information on it are the dimensions of the various rooms. Here’s the front door to the apartment. (The FOREMAN gets up. (To FIVE) What are you basing it on? Stories this guy—(indicating EIGHT)—made up! He oughta write for Amazing Detective Monthly. . THREE. Living room. Am I right? 10 . FOREMAN. And I want to stop wasting time. EIGHT (ignoring him). Mr. furious. barely bother to look at it. What’s the difference? He got there. Another bedroom. Ran. EIGHT looks it over. Oh brother! (To EIGHT) You sit in here and pull stories out of thin air. and see the kid beat it downstairs fifteen seconds after the killing. Did the old man say he ran to the door? SEVEN. THREE. opened it and looked out just in time to see the boy racing down the stairs. Foreman— FOREMAN (rising). GUARD opens it. down the hall to the front door. . SEVEN. This what you wanted? FOREMAN. he whispers to GUARD.) Now the old man was in bed in this room. A bedroom faces the el tracks.

which also serves as the front door. When you want me to start. He reaches the door and turns now. I’m ready. EIGHT. ELEVEN. waiting for the second hand to reach sixty. I’m going to pace off twelve feet—the length of the bedroom. he stamps his foot loudly. A few feet. He walked twice as fast as that. Slowly he swings his leg over the edges of the chairs. I have. THREE looks at him and then he strides over to EIGHT. wouldn’t you say that? NINE. Assumed? Now. (He walks over to the two chairs now and lies down on them. TEN. toward the chair which is serving as the bedroom door.) TEN (shouting). this is absolutely insane.) NINE. THREE (mad).) 11 . heading back. Do you mind if I try it? According to you. That’ll be the body falling. SIX. Perhaps if we could see it … this is an important point. ELEVEN. Right! EIGHT. Right? TWO. (Someone pushes a chair to him. That’s the story. from here to the door and back is about forty feet. (EIGHT. ELEVEN. He puts them together to indicate a bed. and takes two chairs. Let’s see how long it took him. He had to get up out of bed. not having stopped for this outburst. I think that’s possible. will you? (FOUR sits silently. EIGHT. (Some of the JURORS adlib their surprise to each other. begins to walk to simulated forty-foot hallway. If you think I should go faster. They watch him tensely. walk twelve feet. I’ve seen all kinds of dishonesty in my day … but this little display takes the cake.) ELEVEN. hobbling as an old man would hobble. (He speeds up his pace slightly. All right. You’re crazy. Correct.) Who’s got a watch with a second hand? TWO. Let him do it. walk forty-three feet.) EIGHT (loud). THREE (infuriated). and struggles to his feet. It’s not. TWO. as it does. even more quickly than the old man walked in the courtroom. I want to try this thing.) All right. bent over his imaginary canes. For an old man who uses canes. listen to me you people. six inches. You make it sound like a long walk. open the bedroom door. EIGHT. They had to help him into the witness chair. TWO. (To FOUR) Tell him. and assumed it was the boy.THREE. heard someone racing down the stairs. You know it’s possible. THREE. get his canes. Twenty feet is close enough. THREE (to EIGHT. What’s the time? TWO. It’s shorter than the length of the hall. ELEVEN. (He begins to do so.) EIGHT. Do you think this is possible? TEN. It’s—(looking closer)—twelve feet from his bed to the bedroom door. Stop. Fifteen … twenty … thirty … thirty-one seconds exactly. His bed was at the window. goes to the end of the room. Hand me a chair. He gets to it and pretends to open it. He stops there and pretends to unlock the door. Speed it up. You can’t re-create a thing like that. It’s a ridiculous waste of time. The length of the hall is forty-three feet. it’s a long walk. Fifteen seconds after he heard the body fall. TWO stares at the watch. Time me from there. EIGHT. Thirty-one seconds. Then. We can spare that.) Let’s say he keeps his canes right at his bedside. I think. stamp your foot. SIX. it’ll only take fifteen seconds. This is the bedroom door. He can only walk very slowly. It’s my guess that the old man was trying to get to the door. Right. This is. Look. I’d say it was twenty feet. I will.) What are you doing? EIGHT.) THREE. EIGHT. maybe. (He lies down on the chairs. Then he pretends to push it open. Just about. TWO stares at his watch. EIGHT begins to get up. What makes you think you can— EIGHT. and open the front door—all in fifteen seconds. Okay. EIGHT. EIGHT walks as a crippled old man would walk. Now how far would you say it is from here to the door of this room? SIX. (EIGHT gets up. EIGHT. (They all watch carefully. He hobbles back to the chair. reaches for imaginary canes.

) THREE (screaming). He looks curiously at some of the JURORS and exits. FOREMAN. Number Five? FIVE. THREE (louder). GUARD.) All right. (He takes a pencil and paper and makes marks now in one of two columns after each vote. Is there anything wrong. FOREMAN. Some of them slowly begin to sit down. For this kid? You’d bet I’d like to pull the switch! EIGHT. Perhaps you’d like to pull the switch. EIGHT. I want an open ballot. ELEVEN.) TWELVE. THREE glares angrily at EIGHT. He is still held by two JURORS. Then. This is one of the reasons why we are strong. 12 . I’ll kill him! EIGHT (softly). I vote guilty.) You can take that back. THREE (shouting). THREE still stands at the window. He turns around now. We have a responsibility. finally—) FOUR. Not guilty. EIGHT. The JURORS still are silent. let’s do it. he shakes himself loose and turns away. Number Four? FOUR. shocked by his display of anger. Let me go! I’ll kill him.THREE. Shut up! (He lunges at EIGHT. Well. awkward pause. (There is a long. Well—we’re still nowhere. It’s all right with me. That sounds fair. TWELVE begins to doodle. We’re finished with it. Who’s got an idea? SIX. He looks around the room. No time lapse. No.) THREE (loud). but no one speaks. I’m one of them. Number Six? SIX. Let’s call out our votes. THREE (shouting). After a long pause. and you’ve got some soft-hearted old ladies listening to you.) FOREMAN. Don’t start with me. THREE (shouting). Shut up! EIGHT. Not guilty. We should not make it a personal thing. FOREMAN. Guilty. I don’t see why we have to behave like children here. There is silence. Anybody doesn’t want to vote? (He looks around the table. I’m getting real sick of it. but is caught by two of the JURORS and held. FOREMAN. He goes back to his seat now. TEN blows his nose. FOREMAN. Well I’m not. Then the door opens and the GUARD enters. Nor do I. Mr. You come in here with your heart bleeding all over the floor about slum kids and injustice but you make up these wild stories. The other JURORS stand around the room now.) SEVEN. THREE. You’re a sadist. Our fingers? Are you his executioner? THREE (raging). (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. Silently the rest of the JURORS take their seats. EIGHT (calmly). gentlemen? I heard some noise. Shut up! EIGHT (strong). what are you looking at? (They turn away. I want to know who stands where. I’m sorry for you. All right. He struggles as EIGHT watches calmly. FOREMAN. You don’t really mean you’ll kill me. That we are … what is the word? … Ah. There’s nothing wrong. What it must feel like to want to pull the switch! THREE. (The GUARD nods and takes the diagram. Number two? TWO. (He points to the large diagram of the apartment. This is a remarkable thing about democracy. I think maybe we should try another vote. He walks to the windows. 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. Anyone object? (No one does. We have nothing to gain or lose by our verdict. You want to see this boy die because you personally want it—not because of the facts. Foreman? FOREMAN. Number Three? THREE. The JURORS look at him. All the JURORS watch in silence as we fade out. do you? (THREE stops struggling now and stares at EIGHT. I’ll call off your jury numbers. Guilty. Not guilty.) Act III Fade in on same scene.

All right. What’s the matter with you? THREE. holding the knife. The vote is six to six. It’s all right.) 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.) THREE. There’s your angle. You know? THREE. let it be more. Guilty. THREE. SEVEN. ready to stab. changes position in his hand. Nobody’s hurt. FIVE. you’re not going to be satisfied till you see it again. Please—I am used to this. I was born right here. Okay. Number Seven? SEVEN. THREE laughs.) SIX. too. and holds the knife aloft. Is that what you want? FIVE. ELEVEN. You mean you still don’t think there’s room for reasonable doubt? SEVEN. Let’s stop the arguing. Number Ten? TEN. Okay. and before he can even take a big breath he’s telling us how to run the show. That’s a difference of six inches. 13 . SEVEN. Just calm down. Maybe you don’t understand the term “reasonable doubt. We’re not so perfect! ELEVEN. It’s a very awkward thing to stab down into the chest of someone who’s half a foot taller than you are. Not guilty. FOUR. okay. Not guilty. Guilty.) Is that six inches? TWELVE. FIVE (to SEVEN). TEN (mad).” SEVEN (angry). I’m going to give you a demonstration. That’s how I’d stab a taller man in the chest. Then he stabs downward. No I don’t. (To TWO) Now watch this. That’s more than six inches. Number Nine? NINE. FOREMAN. His father was six two. 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. (He reaches into his pocket and takes out the knife. That’s not funny. All right. (He crouches down now until he is quite a bit shorter than EIGHT. He flicks it open. Number Eight? EIGHT. THREE closes the knife and puts it in his pocket. They stand face to face and look at each other for a moment. Or where your father came from … (He looks at SEVEN. Number Eleven? ELEVEN. Look out! (He stops just as the blade reaches EIGHT’s chest. Who’s got something constructive to say? TWO (hesitantly). Down and in. The arrogance of him! FIVE (to SEVEN). FIVE. FOREMAN. He and EIGHT look steadily into each other’s eyes. That’s what I want. and that’s how it was done.FOREMAN. something’s been bothering me a little … this whole business about the stab wound and how it was made. are they? EIGHT (low).) TWO (shouting). Well. There’s no point in this going on any more. I’ll tell you something. (He looks around the table. FOREMAN. Guilty. FOREMAN. Look. the downward angle of it. THREE. EIGHT stands up and walks towards him. I know they did—but I don’t go along with it. I’m ready to walk into court right now and declare a hung jury. who doesn’t answer but looks away. FOREMAN. No. THREE. (THREE jumps up. Wait a second. Okay. Don’t tell me we’re gonna start that. Let’s take it into the judge and let the kid take his chances with twelve other guys. Nobody around here’s asking where you came from. Thank you. The boy is five feet eight inches tall. FIVE. Nobody’s hurt. Not guilty. It’s not all right! SEVEN. I apologize. I don’t want to have to do it again. Take a look at it. I beg your pardon.) THREE. They went over it and over it in court. Six to six. hard. FOREMAN. The crime is being committed right in this room. I go for that. Somebody get up. Number Twelve? TWELVE. TWO. Take a look at it and tell me if I’m wrong. FOREMAN.

I’ll tell you something. flicks it open. then vote that way. I can talk like that to you! If you want to vote not guilty. No. Did you? THREE (loud). I didn’t! EIGHT. Let’s break it up and go home. SIX. (He reaches out for the knife. Funny I didn’t think of it before. EIGHT (to TWELVE). Wait a minute! Give me that. You use it underhanded. and ELEVEN raise their hands immediately. Yes. TWELVE raises his hand. NINE. THREE. Listen. I’ve had enough. EIGHT (fast). Have you ever seen a man stabbed? THREE (pauses and looks around the room nervously). No. Now listen … ELEVEN. The boy was an experienced knife fighter. Switch-knives came with the neighborhood where I lived. THREE.) Doesn’t it seem like an awkward way to handle a knife? THREE.) All right. What about you? SEVEN. SEVEN. EIGHT (to SEVEN). Where do you get all your information about how it was done? THREE. No. Down and in. Did you ever stab a man? SIX. Or don’t you have the … the guts—the guts to do what you think is right? SEVEN. and changed the position on the knife so that he can stab overhanded.) SIX. I’m changing my vote to not guilty. Now you have changed your vote for the same reason. (Flicking the knife open. This is an ugly and terrible thing to do. I think perhaps you’re right. You have to! Say it! Why? (They stare at each other for a long while. THREE looks at him for a moment. ELEVEN (hard). You’re giving us a lot of mumbo jumbo. I guess there’s no argument. This is not an answer.(TWO doesn’t answer. What do you mean. Not if he’d ever had any experience with switch-knives. (TWO. You heard me. ELEVEN (angry). wait a minute … you can’t talk like that to me. FOREMAN. Have you ever seen a knife fight? FIVE.) Anyone who’s ever used a switch-knife would never have stabbed downward. I do not think you have the right to play like this with a man’s life. Okay. What do you mean? It’s just common sense.) FIVE. then do it because you are convinced the man is not guilty.) SEVEN (low). I’m a little sick of this whole thing already. there’s another vote called for. ELEVEN (strong). (EIGHT picks the knife out of the table and closes it. then jams the knife into the table and sits down. Neither do I. Why? SEVEN. Now. The 14 . FIVE. What do you think? TWELVE (hesitantly). EIGHT (to THREE). You don’t handle a switch-knife that way. If you believe he is guilty. stabs downward with it. All those voting not guilty. EIGHT. TEN. changing its position in his hand. I don’t have to— ELEVEN. That’s right. They all look at the knife. I don’t believe it. EIGHT. In the movies? FIVE. Anybody object? (No one does. EIGHT. Well … I don’t know. THREE. I … don’t think … he’s guilty. Not … guilty. you’ve had enough? That’s no answer. isn’t that so? TWELVE. He was even sent to reform school for knifing someone. On my stoop. In the vacant lot across the street.) EIGHT. We’re getting nowhere fast. Too many of them. In my backyard.) EIGHT (to SIX). EIGHT. (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. He couldn’t have. He flicks it open and. (EIGHT closes the knife. I told you. Then he couldn’t have made the kind of wound which killed his father. SEVEN. I guess the quickest way is a show of hands. FIVE. I want to ask you something. Then. holds it ready to slash underhanded. I guess you try to forget those things. Is it guilty or not guilty? SEVEN (hesitantly). EIGHT. You’re what? SEVEN. I want another vote. Of course not. Look at this. All right. What are you asking me for? (EIGHT closes the blade and flicks it open. raise your hands. I have. EIGHT. slowly.

And lemme tell you. SIX (to TWO). (EIGHT gets up. We better watch out. polishing his glasses. THREE. FOUR then sits down.) FOUR. I believe I can recount it accurately. As far as I’m concerned. I still believe the boy is guilty of murder. What exactly did she say? FOUR. and if somebody gets killed. They don’t know what truth is. FIVE. He is followed by ELEVEN. . No one moves or speaks. Finally she turned toward the window at about twelve-ten and. Oh sure. Nine. it’s like they have no feelings. How can you believe this kid is innocent? Look. I’m only trying to tell you … (There is a long pause as FOUR stares down at TEN. That’s right. this is unshakable testimony.) FOREMAN. they—(FIVE gets up from table. There is a dead silence. these people are drinking and fighting all the time. the most damning evidence was given by the woman across the street who claimed she actually saw the murder committed. someone’s lying in the gutter. Then FOUR speaks softly. They can do anything. As far as I can see. (FOUR stands over him as he trails off.) FOUR (to all). TEN looks at him.) FOREMAN. maybe? He’s absolutely right. and TEN raise their hands. I don’t understand you people. (FOUR takes off his eyeglasses and begins to polish them. Can’t you see the clock without your glasses? TWO. Not a chance. they get drunk. and bang. Sit down everybody. Oh. THREE. but that’s the exception. Her bed was next to the open window. Not clearly. I’m the first to say that. maybe . You can throw out all the other evidence. squints at clock. (FOUR stands there and looks at him. When they are all seated. Pardon me. too. That’s the whole case. Nobody’s blaming them. They don’t care. followed by SEVEN and TWELVE. I’ll tell you why. Look.) FOUR (to the JURY).) FOUR (quietly). . Look. All right. This kid on trial … (THREE sits at table toying with the knife and FOUR gets up and starts for the window. Frankly.) TEN (softly). TEN. That’s what I mean. that’s the most important testimony. What do you mean. That was my feeling. there are some good things about them. I’m going to split your skull. I don’t have to tell you. unable to fall asleep.) All those voting guilty. Well. so somebody gets killed. Hey. What’s going on here? (The FOREMAN gets up and goes to the windows. Ten minutes of six. (They all move back to their seats. . this may be a dumb thought. don’t you know about them? Listen to me! What are you doing? I’m trying to tell you something…. and you—Listen to me! They’re no good. counting silently. and goes to window)—don’t need any real big reason to kill someone either. (To TWELVE) What do you think about it? TWELVE.) TEN. To me. THREE. but what do you do when you wake up at night and want to know what time it is? 15 . She tossed and turned for over an hour. It’s late. I’m speaking my piece. Well . All right. (THREE. turns his back to it. (TWO. where are you going? Look. Let’s go over her testimony. then looks down at the table. and she could look out of the window while lying down and see directly into the window across the street. There’s not one of ‘em who’s any good. What time is it? ELEVEN. can’t see it. as she looked out. FOUR.) The vote is nine to three in favor of acquittal. Take it from me. (They lower their hands. You know. You don’t suppose they’d let us go home and finish it in the morning? I’ve got a kid with mumps. If you open your mouth again. That’s how they are.FOREMAN looks around the table carefully and then he too raises his hand. FOUR.) TWO. she saw the boy stab his father. Human life don’t mean as much to them as it does to us. She said that she went to bed at about eleven o’clock that night.) TEN. . EIGHT.) TEN. I’ve known a few who were pretty decent. there’s so much evidence to sift. He looks around the table. Three. SIX watches him closely. I don’t know. All have their backs to TEN. TWO. you know how those people lie. and then TWO and SIX follow him to the window. Most of them. I’ve had enough. I don’t see how you can vote for acquittal. as they all sit silently watching him.) TEN. (The hands go down. Why? SIX. You know what I mean? Violent! (NINE gets up and does the same.

EIGHT. TEN looks down and shakes his head no. How do you know what she saw? Maybe she’s far-sighted. I never thought of it. Well. He pulls the switch-knife out of the table and walks over to EIGHT with it. You don’t wear them to bed. Then he stops at the table. EIGHT.) THREE (thundering). Funny. The woman wore bifocals.) THREE (loud). That’s right. Does anyone think there still is not a reasonable doubt? (He looks around the room. No. You know the woman who testified that she saw the killing wears glasses. waiting for him to speak. pointing the knife at his belly.TWO. stop me if I’m wrong. NINE. Wait a minute! Did she wear glasses at all? I don’t remember. his face contorts as if he is about to cry. and the lights went out a split second later. FOUR. (There is a pause. We’re waiting. I think he’s guilty. then squarely at TEN. A murderer. THREE. THREE. would she? FOREMAN. Your grandmother isn’t a murder witness. Now maybe she honestly thought she saw the boy kill his father. you’re not going to intimidate me! (They all look at THREE. We’re not convinced. Well. What else do you want? EIGHT. There’s nothing we can do about that. No one wears eyeglasses to bed. All right! (THREE turns his back on them. NINE. Slowly he moves toward the door. EIGHT takes it by the handle. EIGHT stares back. What’s all this for? SIX. (He looks around. maybe in a few months. EIGHT. What’s the matter with you? You’re the guy. You’re all alone. We’re waiting to hear them again. That’s for sure. FOUR. What do you mean? I put on my glasses and look at the clock. closing the door. she wasn’t wearing them in bed. Bifocals. They looked quite strong. Then THREE turns the knife around. There is silence for a moment and then the FOREMAN goes to the door and knocks on it.) THREE (loud). I’m sorry. She did wear glasses. ELEVEN (excited). EIGHT (calmly). They sit silently.) THREE. except hope that some night. Listen. She never took them off. EIGHT (to THREE). THREE turns around and sees that they are alone. This woman wouldn’t wear her eyeglasses to bed. They all look at THREE. I told you I think the kid’s guilty.) THREE (shouting). The GUARD holds the door for them as they begin slowly to file out. Well. He’s got to die! Stay with me. TWELVE. You’re alone. Finally he and THREE are the only ones left. EIGHT waits at the door as the others file past him.”) 16 . I say that she saw only a blur. and all of them despise him for his stubbornness. Look. (They all look at THREE. So what? EIGHT. She couldn’t have had time to put on her glasses.) THREE.) I’m entitled to my opinion! (No one answers him. The GUARD looks in and sees them all standing. (THREE looks around at all of them for a long time. It takes a great deal of courage to stand alone. (THREE runs to FOUR and grabs his arm. puts it away and. Your arguments. suddenly. taking a last look around the room. Then. There’s a reasonable doubt in my mind. No one answers. and we clearly see a slip of crumpled paper on which are scribbled the words “Not guilty. Of course she did. (THREE turns violently on him. How does he know all these things? (There is silence. SIX. I remember this very clearly. You have a right. You made all the arguments. TWO. THREE exits. The camera moves in close on the littered table in the empty room. EIGHT closes the knife. We have time. Does anyone else? FOUR (quietly). The murder was taking place as she looked out. FIVE. EIGHT. I’m convinced. SIX.) EIGHT. A guilty man’s gonna be walking the streets. you’ll get some sleep. and he slams his fist down on the table. exits. You can’t turn now.) It’s gonna be a hung jury! That’s it! EIGHT. So does my grandmother. Listen. He holds it in the approved knife-fighter fashion and looks long and hard at EIGHT. Of course not. I gave you my arguments. I was thinking.) THREE (pleading). THREE. It opens. She testified that in the midst of her tossing and turning she rolled over and looked casually out the window. I don’t care whether I’m alone or not! I have a right.

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