You did a wonderful job. Wonderful.
You did it. You did it!
To continue, you’ve listened to a long and
complex case, murder in the first degree.
Premeditated murder is the most serious
charge tried in our criminal courts.
You’ve listened to the testimony, had the
law interpreted as it applies in this case.
It’s now your duty to sit down and try
and separate the facts from the fancy.
One man is dead.
Another man’s life is at stake.
If there’s a reasonable doubt in your
minds as to the guilt of the accused –
a reasonable doubt-then you must
bring me a verdict of not guilty.
If there’s no reasonable doubt,
then you must, in good conscience,
find the accused guilty.
However you decide,
your verdict must be unanimous.
In the event that
you find the accused guilty,
the bench will not entertain
a recommendation for mercy.
The death sentence is mandatory
in this case.
You are faced with a grave responsibility.
Thank you, gentlemen.
The alternate jurors are excused.
The jury will now retire.
– Wanna piece of gum?
– No, thanks.
This thing isn’t movin’.
– I’ll give you a hand.
– That’s it.
You know somethin’? I called
the Weather Bureau this morning.
This is gonna be
the hottest day of the year.
You’d think they’d air-condition this place.
– What is your name, sir?
– Oh, it’s… that one. Yeah.
Thank you very much.
OK, gentlemen. Everybody’s here.
Now, if there’s anything you want,
I’ll be right outside the door. Just knock.
I never knew they locked the door.
Sure they lock the door.
What’d you think?
I don’t know. It just never occurred to me.
– What’s that for?
– I thought we might wanna vote by ballot.
Great idea. Maybe we can
get him elected senator.
– How’d you like it?
– I don’t know. It was pretty interesting.
– Yeah? I almost fell asleep.
– I mean, I’ve never been on a jury before.
No? I’ve sat on many juries.
Those lawyers talk and talk, even when
it’s an open-and-shut case like this one.
– Ever hear so much talk about nothin’?
– I guess they’re entitled.
They’re entitled. It’s the system, but…
if you ask me, I’d slap those tough kids
down before they start any trouble.
It saves a lot of time and money.
Let’s get started.
Yeah. We’ve probably all
got things to do here.
We can start with a five-minute break.
One gentleman is in the bathroom.
Are… we gonna sit in order?
Gee, I don’t know. I guess so.
– Buddy, you’re in my seat.
– Oh, excuse me.
That’s all right.
Hey, that’s not a bad view, huh?
What did you think of the case?
I mean, it had a lot of interest for me.
No real… dead spots.
You know what I mean?
We were lucky to get a murder case.
I figured us for an assault or burglary.
Boy, they can be the dullest!
– Hey, is that the Woolworth Building?
– That’s right.
Isn’t that funny? I’ve lived here all my life.
I’ve never been inside it.
If you had to sort out all that junk,
like that thing with the movies.
Yeah. What about
that business with the knife?
Asking grown-up people
to believe that kind of jazz.
You expect that.
You know what we’re dealing with.
Yeah, I guess so.
Well, your horn works.
Now try your lights.
– You got a cold?
– And how. Hot-weather colds can kill you.
I can hardly touch my nose.
Know what I mean?
Sure do. I just got over one.
– Oh, come on! Mr Foreman, let’s go.
– The guy’s still in the bathroom.
What’s new? I didn’t get a chance
to see a paper this morning.
I was only wondering
how the market closed.
– You got a seat on the exchange?
– I’m a broker.
I run a messenger service.
The Beck and Call Company.
The name is my wife’s idea.
Got 37 men workin’. Started with nothin’.
OK, men. Let’s take our seats, huh?
We can all get out of here pretty quick.
I have tickets to that ball game tonight.
Yanks and Cleveland. We’ve got
this kid Modjelewski in there.
He’s a real bull, this kid. You know…
Real jug-handled. You know?
You’re a real baseball fan, aren’t ya?
Where do we sit here?
I thought we’d sit in order,
by jury numbers.
One, two, three and so on around the
table, if that’s OK with you gentlemen.
– What’s the difference?
– It’s reasonable to sit in order.
– Let it be.
– That’s twelve. We go around one, two…
What was your impression
of the prosecuting attorney?
– I beg pardon?
– I thought he was really sharp,
the way he handled all those points
one by one, in logical sequence.
– I was very impressed.
– I think he… he did an expert job.
A lot of drive, too. You know? Real drive.
OK, fellas. Can we
hold it down a minute? Fellas?
Say, we’d like to get started.
Gentleman at the window.
– We’d like to get started.
– Oh, I’m sorry.
– The kid kills his father, just like that.
– Listen, it happens all the time.
They let those kids run wild up there.
Well, maybe it serves him right.
You know what I mean?
– Is everyone here?
– The old man is inside.
– Would you knock on the door for him?
– Are you a Yankee fan?
– No, Baltimore.
That’s like being hit in the head
with a crowbar once a day.
Who have they got? Who have they got
besides good groundkeepers?
– Say, we’d like to get started.
– Forgive me, gentlemen.
– I didn’t mean to keep you waiting.
OK, if I can have your attention. You fellas
can handle this thing any way you want.
I’m… you know,
I’m not gonna make any rules.
We can, well, discuss it first, then vote
on it. That’s, of course… that’s one way.
And, well, we can vote on it right now.
I think it’s customary
to take a preliminary vote.
Yeah, let’s vote. Who knows?
Maybe we can all get outta here.
- Then I think that you know that we
have a first-degree murder charge here,
and if we vote the accused guilty,
we’ve got to send him to the chair.
Um… That’s mandatory.
– I think we know that.
– Yeah, let’s see who’s where.
– OK. Anyone doesn’t wanna vote?
– It’s fine with me.
OK, then, just remember that this
has to be twelve to nothing, either way.
That’s the law. OK, are we ready?
All those voting guilty,
please raise your hands.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven…
eight, nine, ten, eleven.
OK, that’s eleven guilty.
Those voting not guilty?
Eleven guilty, one not guilty.
Well, now we know where we are.
Boy, oh boy! There’s always one.
So, what do we do now?
– I guess we talk.
– Boy, oh boy!
You really think he’s innocent?
– I don’t know.
– You sat in court with the rest of us.
You heard what we did.
The kid’s a dangerous killer.
– He’s 18 years old.
– Well, that’s old enough.
He stabbed his own father
four inches into the chest.
They proved it
a dozen different ways in court.
– Would you like me to list ’em for you?
– Then what do you want?
– I just want to talk.
What’s there to talk about?
Eleven of us think he’s guilty.
No one had to think about it twice
I want to ask you something.
Do you believe his story?
– I don’t know. Maybe I don’t.
– So how come you voted not guilty?
There were eleven votes for guilty.
It’s not easy to raise my hand and send a
boy off to die without talking about it first.
– Well, now, who says it’s easy?
– No one.
What? Just because I voted fast?
I honestly think the guy is guilty.
Couldn’t change my mind
if you talked for 100 years.
I’m not trying to change your mind.
It’s just that…
This is somebody’s life.
We can’t decide in five minutes.
– Supposing we’re wrong?
– Supposing this building fell on my head?
– You can suppose anything.
– That’s right.
What’s the difference how long it takes?
Supposin’ we take five minutes? So what?
Let’s take an hour. The ball game
doesn’t start till eight o’clock.
– Who’s got something to say?
– /’m willing to sit for an hour.
– Great. I heard a good story last night…
– That’s not why we’re sitting here.
All right, then you tell me.
What are we sitting here for?
I don’t know. Maybe no reason.
Look, this kid’s been
kicked around all of his life.
You know, born in a slum,
mother dead since he was nine.
He lived for a year and a half
in an orphanage
when his father was serving
a jail term for forgery.
That’s not a very happy beginning.
He’s a wild, angry kid. That’s all
he’s ever been. And you know why?
Cos he’s been hit on the head
by somebody once a day, every day.
He’s had a pretty miserable 18 years.
I think we owe him a few words, that’s all.
I don’t mind telling you this, mister. We
don’t owe him a thing. He got a fair trial.
What do you think that trial cost?
He’s lucky he got it. Know what I mean?
Look, we’re all grown-ups in here.
We heard the facts, didn’t we?
You’re not gonna tell me we’re supposed
to believe this kid, knowing what he is.
I’ve lived among them all my life.
You can’t believe a word they say.
You know that. I mean, they’re born liars.
– Only an ignorant man can believe that.
– Now, listen…
Do you think you were born
with a monopoly on the truth?
Certain things should be
pointed out to this man.
– It’s not Sunday. We don’t need a sermon.
– We have a job to do. Now let’s do it.
Rice Pops. It’s a product
I work on at the agency.
“The breakfast with the built-in bounce.”
– I wrote that line.
– Very catchy.
– Say, do you mind?
– I’m sorry. I have this habit of doodling.
– It keeps me thinking clearly.
– We have work to do.
There’s no point
staying here for ever. OK.
Perhaps if the gentleman down there who
is disagreeing with us could tell us why.
Tell us what you’re thinking. We might be
able to show you where you’re mixed up.
Maybe this is an idea. It seems to me that
it’s up to us to convince this gentleman
that he’s wrong and we’re right. Maybe if
we each took a couple of minutes just to…
– Well, it was just a quick idea.
– No, no, no. That’s a good one.
Supposing we go once around the table?
I guess you’re first.
It’s hard to put into words.
I just think he’s guilty.
I thought it was obvious from the word go.
Nobody proved otherwise.
Nobody has to prove otherwise.
The burden of proof’s on the prosecution.
The defendant doesn’t even have to open
his mouth. That’s in the Constitution.
Sure, I know that. What I meant was…
Well… I just think he’s guilty.
I mean, somebody saw him do it.
- Here’s what I think. And I have
no personal feelings about this.
I just wanna talk about facts.
The old man lived downstairs under
the room where the killing took place.
At 10 minutes after 12 on the night
of the killing, he heard loud noises.
Said it sounded like a fight.
And he heard the kid yell out
“I’m gonna kill ya.”
A second later,
he heard a body hit the floor.
Ran to the door, opened it up, saw the kid
run down the stairs and out of the house.
Called the police. They found the old man
with the knife in his chest.
The coroner fixed the time of death
Now, these are facts.
You can’t refute facts. The kid is guilty.
I’m just as sentimental as the next fella.
I know he’s only 18.
– But he’s still gotta pay for what he did.
– I’m with you.
– OK. Are you finished?
It is obvious to me that
the boy’s entire story was flimsy.
He claimed he was at the movies,
yet he couldn’t remember the names
of the films he saw or who played in them.
– That’s right.
– And no one saw him at the theatre.
And the woman across the street-if her
testimony don’t prove it, nothing does.
– That’s right. She actually saw the killing.
– Fellas, please. Let’s go in order.
Just a minute. Here’s a woman…
Here’s a woman who’s lying in bed.
She can’t sleep. She’s dyin’ with the heat.
She looks out the window,
and right across the street
she sees the kid stick the knife
into his father.
The time is 12.10 on the nose.
She’s known the kid all his life.
His window is opposite hers across the
el tracks. She swore she saw him do it.
Through the windows
of a passing el train.
This el train had no passengers on it.
It was just being moved downtown.
The lights were out,
and they proved in court that at night
you can look through the windows and
see what’s happening on the other side.
– They proved it.
– I’d like to ask you something.
You don’t believe the boy.
How come you believe the woman?
She’s one of “them” too, isn’t she?
– You’re a pretty smart fella, aren’t ya?
– OK, gentlemen. Now, gentlemen.
– Come on, sit down. Sit down.
– What’s he so wise about? I’m telling ya…
Come on. Now we’re not gonna
get anywhere fighting.
– Whose turn is it next?
– Oh, his. Number five.
May I… Can I pass?
Well… That’s your privilege.
How about the next gentleman?
Oh. Well… I don’t know.
I started to be convinced,
you know, very early in the case.
You see, I was looking for a motive.
That’s very important because if you don’t
have a motive, where’s your case, right?
Anyway, that testimony from those people
across the hall from the kid’s apartment,
that was very powerful. Didn’t they say
something about a fight, an argument,
between the old man and his son
around about seven o’clock that night?
– I could be wrong but…
– It was eight o’clock, not seven.
They heard an argument. Then
they heard the father hit the boy twice.
Finally they saw the boy run, angry,
out of the house. What does that prove?
It don’t prove anything.
It’s just part of the picture.
You said it provided a motive.
So did the prosecution.
That wasn’t a very strong motive.
This boy has been hit so many times
that violence is practically…
It’s a normal state of affairs with him.
I just can’t see two slaps in the face
provoking him into committing murder.
It may have been two too many.
Everyone has a breaking point.
– OK. How about you?
I don’t know. It’s all been said.
You can talk here for ever.
It’s still the same thing.
This kid is five for 0.
Well, look at his record.
When he was 10, he was in children’s
court: He threw a rock at a teacher.
When he was 15, he was
in reform school: He stole a car.
He’s been arrested for muggin’.
He was picked up twice for knife fightin’.
They say he’s real handy with a knife.
Oh, this is a very fine boy.
Ever since he was five, his father
beat him up regularly. He used his fists.
So would I. A kid like that?
It’s these kids –
the way they are nowadays.
When I was a kid,
I used to call my father “sir”.
That’s right. Ever hear a kid
call his father that any more?
Fathers don’t seem to think
it’s important any more.
– You got any kids?
I got one.
He’s 22 years old.
When he was nine years old,
he ran away from a fight.
I saw it. I was so embarrassed,
I almost threw up.
I said “I’m gonna make a man out of you
if I have to break you in two tryin’.”
Well, I made a man out of him.
When he was 16, we had a fight.
Hit me in the jaw. He was a big kid.
I haven’t seen him for two years.
You work your heart out…
– Well, let’s get goin’.
– I think we’re missing the point.
This boy’s the product of a broken home
and a filthy neighbourhood.
We can’t help that. We’re here
to decide his innocence or guilt,
not to go into the reasons
why he grew up the way he did.
He was born in a slum.
Slums are breeding grounds for criminals.
It’s no secret that children from slums
are potential menaces to society. I think…
You can say that again. The kids who
crawl out of these places are real trash.
– I don’t want any part of them.
– Listen, I… I’ve lived in a slum all my life.
– Wait a minute.
– Please. I…
I’ve played in back yards
that were filled with garbage.
– Maybe you can still smell it on me.
– Listen, sonny…
Come on, now. There’s nothing personal.
Come on, fella. He didn’t mean you.
Let’s not be so sensitive.
This sensitivity I can understand.
OK, look. Let’s stop the arguing.
We’re only wasting time.
Your turn down there. Let’s go.
I didn’t expect a turn. I thought
you were all gonna to try to convince me.
– That was the idea.
– I forgot. He’s right.
He’s the one keeping us in here.
Let’s hear what he’s got to say.
Wait. We decided to do this a certain way.
I think we ought to stick to it.
Oh, stop being a kid, will ya?
– What do you mean, a kid?
– What do you think I mean? K-I-D: Kid.
Just because I’m trying
to keep this organised?
Here, you take on the responsibility.
I’ll just keep my mouth shut.
– Why are you gettin’ so hot? Calm down.
– Don’t tell me to calm down.
You want to take the chair?
Take the chair.
Did you ever see such a thing?
– You think it’s funny?
– Forget it, fella. It’s unimportant.
Unimportant? Here, you try it.
Nobody wants to change.
You’re doing a beautiful job.
Yeah, you’re doin’ great. Just great, fella.
You stay in there and pitch.
All right, let’s hear from somebody.
Well, if you want me to tell you
how I feel about it, it’s all right with me.
– Boy, I don’t care what you do.
– All right. I don’t have anything brilliant.
I only know as much as you do.
According to the testimony,
the boy looks guilty. Maybe he is.
I sat there in court for six days
listening while the evidence built up.
Everybody sounded so positive.
I began to get a peculiar feeling about
this trial. I mean, nothing is that positive.
There are questions I’d have liked to ask.
Maybe they wouldn’t mean anything but…
I felt that the defence wasn’t conducting
a thorough enough cross-examination.
He let too many things go by-little things.
What little things?
When they don’t ask questions,
it’s because they know
the answers already.
It’s also possible for a lawyer to be just
plain stupid, isn’t it? I mean, it’s possible.
You sound like you met
my brother-in-law once.
I kept putting myself in the kid’s place.
I’d have asked for another lawyer, I think.
I mean, if I was on trial for my life,
I’d want my lawyer to tear the prosecution
witnesses to shreds, or at least try to.
Look, there was one alleged
eyewitness to this killing.
Someone else claims he heard the killing,
saw the boy run out after,
and there was circumstantial evidence.
But those two witnesses
were the entire case for the prosecution.
Supposing they’re wrong?
What do you mean? What’s the point
of having witnesses at all?
– Could they be wrong?
– Those people were under oath.
They’re only people. People
make mistakes. Could they be wrong?
– Well, no. I don’t think so.
– Do you know so?
Nobody can know a thing like that.
This isn’t an exact science.
That’s right, it isn’t.
OK, let’s get to the point.
What about the switch knife
they found in the old man’s chest?
Some people haven’t talked yet.
Shouldn’t we go in order?
They’ll get a chance to talk.
Be quiet a second, will ya?
What about the knife this fine, upright boy
admitted buying the night of the killing?
– Let’s talk about it.
– All right. Let’s get it in here and look at it.
– I’d like to see it again. Mr Foreman?
– Why do we have to see it again?
The gentleman has a right
to see exhibits in evidence.
– Say, could you bring us the knife?
– The knife? Sure.
The knife and the way it was bought
is strong evidence, don’t you think?
– I do.
– Good. Let’s take the facts one at a time.
One: The boy admitted leaving the house
at eight o’clock at night
after being slapped by his father.
No, he didn’t say “slapped”.
He said “punched”. There’s a difference.
After being hit several times by his father.
Two: He went directly to a local junk shop
where he bought one of those…
– Switch knives.
– Switchblade knives.
This wasn’t an ordinary knife. It had
a very unusual carved handle and blade.
The storekeeper said it was the only one
of its kind he had ever had in stock.
Three: He met some friends of his in front
of a tavern about 8.45. Am I right so far?
– Yes, you are.
– You bet he is.
He talked with his friends
for an hour, leaving them at 9.45.
During this time,
they saw the switch knife.
Four: They identified the death weapon
in court as that very same knife.
Five: He arrived home
at about ten o’clock.
This is where the stories offered
by the State and the boy diverge slightly.
He claims that he went to a movie
at about 11.30,
returning home at 3.10 to find
his father dead and himself arrested.
He also claims that the two detectives
threw him down a half a flight of stairs.
What happened to the knife? He claims
it fell through a hole in his pocket
on the way to the movies,
sometime between 11.30 and 3.10,
and that he never saw it again.
Now, there is a tale, gentlemen.
I think it’s clear the boy
never went to the movies that night.
No one in the house saw him go out.
No one at the theatre identified him.
He couldn’t even remember
the names of the pictures he saw.
What actually happened is this.
The boy stayed home,
had another fight with his father,
stabbed him to death and left the house
at 10 minutes after 12.
He even wiped the knife
clean of fingerprints.
Are you trying to tell me that this knife
fell through a hole in the boy’s pocket,
someone picked it up,
went to the boy’s house
and stabbed his father with it
just to test its sharpness?
No, but it’s possib/e the boy lost his knife
and somebody else stabbed his father
with a similar knife.
Take a look at this knife.
It’s a very unusual knife.
I’ve never seen one like it. Neither had
the storekeeper who sold it to the boy.
Aren’t you asking us to accept
an incredible coincidence?
– I’m just saying a coincidence is possible.
– And I say it’s not possible.
Where did that come from?
– It’s the same knife!
– What do you think you’re doin’?
– Where did you get it?
– I went out walking last night.
Through the boy’s neighbourhood.
I bought that at a pawn shop two blocks
from the boy’s house. It cost six dollars.
It’s against the law
to buy or sell switchblade knives.
– That’s right. I broke the law.
– You pulled a real bright trick.
Now supposing you tell me what it proves.
– Maybe there are ten knives like that.
– Maybe there are!
What does it mean? You found a knife like
- What’s that? The discovery of the age?
You think somebody else did the stabbing
with exactly the same kind of knife?
– The odds are a million to one.
– It’s possible!
– But not very probable.
– OK, fellas. Let’s take our seats.
There’s no point standing around
all over the place.
It’s interesting that he’d find a knife
exactly like the boy’s.
– What’s interesting about it? Interesting!
– I just thought it was interesting.
Eleven of us still think he’s guilty.
Right. You’re not gonna
change anybody’s mind.
If you wanna hang this jury, go ahead.
The kid’ll be tried again
and found guilty, as sure as he’s born.
You’re probably right.
So, what are you gonna do?
We can be here all night.
It’s only one night. A boy may die.
Well, why don’t we just
set up house here?
Someone send for a pinochle deck
and we’ll just sweat
the whole thing out right here.
– I don’t think he oughta joke about it.
– What do you want me to do about it?
I don’t see what the knife
has got to do with anything.
Somebody saw the kid stab his father.
What more do we need?
You guys can talk the ears
right off my head.
I got three garages going to pot.
So let’s get done and get outta here.
The knife was important to the
district attorney. He spent a day…
He’s a 15th assistant or something.
What does he know?
Let’s hold it down. These side arguments
are only slowin’ us up.
– Well, what about it?
– You’re the only one.
I have a proposition to make to all of you.
I’m going to call for another vote.
I want you eleven men to…
vote by secret written ballot.
I’ll abstain. If there are eleven votes
for guilty, I won’t stand alone.
We’ll take in a guilty verdict
to the judge right now.
But if anyone votes not guilty,
we’ll stay here and talk it out.
– That’s it. If you want to try it, I’m ready.
– All right. Let’s do it the hard way.
That sounds fair. Everyone agreed?
Anyone doesn’t agree?
OK, pass these along.
– Boy, how do you like that?
– And another chap flips his wings!
All right. Who was it?
Come on, I wanna know.
Excuse me. This was a secret ballot.
We all agreed on that, no?
If the gentleman
wants it to remain secret…
Secret? What do you mean? There are no
secrets in a jury room. I know who it was.
Brother, you really are somethin’.
You vote guilty like the rest of us,
then some golden-voiced preacher
tears your heart out –
some underprivileged kid
couldn’t help becoming a murderer –
and you change your vote.
If that isn’t the most sickening…
Why don’t you drop a quarter
in his collection box?
Oh, now just wait a… Listen, you can’t talk
to me like that. Who do you think you are?
Calm down, calm down. It doesn’t matter.
– He’s very excitable. Sit down.
– Excitable? You bet I’m excitable!
We’re tryin’ to put a guilty man
in the chair, where he belongs.
Someone starts tellin’ us
fairy tales and we’re listenin’!
– What made you change your vote?
– He didn’t change his vote. I did.
– Oh, fine.
– I knew it.
– Would you like me to tell you why?
– No, I wouldn’t like you to tell me why.
– I’d like to anyway, if you don’t mind.
– Do we have to listen to this?
– The man wants to talk.
– Thank you.
This gentleman has been
standing alone against us.
He doesn’t say the boy is not guilty.
He just isn’t sure. It’s not easy to stand
alone against the ridicule of others.
So he gambled for support and I gave it
to him. I respect his motives.
The boy on trial is probably guilty,
but… I want to hear more.
The vote is ten to two. I’m talking!
You have no right to leave this room!
He can’t hear you. He never will.
Let’s sit down.
– Shall we continue?
– Well, I think we ought to take a break.
You know, one man’s inside and
I think we ought to wait for him.
Looks like we’re really
hung up here, huh?
I mean, that thing with the old man,
that was pretty unexpected.
Wish I could figure out some way
we could break it up.
You know, in advertising…
I told you I worked in an agency?
Some pretty strange people work there.
Well, not strange, really.
I guess it’s just they have peculiar ways
of expressing themselves.
I suppose it’s the same
in your business too, huh?
– What do you do?
– I’m a watchmaker.
Really? I imagine the finest watchmakers
in the world come from Europe.
Anyway, in an agency,
when we reach a point like this…
I’m telling him, in an ad agency when
a point like this is reached in a meeting,
there’s always some character
ready with an idea, see.
It kills me. It’s the weirdest thing,
the way they sometimes precede
their idea with a phrase.
Like, some account exec
will get up and he’ll say:
“OK, here’s an idea. Let’s… run it up
the flagpole and see if anyone salutes it.”
I mean, it’s idiotic, but it’s funny.
I… got a little excited back there.
I… didn’t mean to get nasty.
Glad you’re not one of those who lets
these emotional appeals influence him.
I don’t know what’s the matter
with that fan.
– Are you a salesman?
– I’m an architect.
You know what the soft sell is?
Well, you’ve got it, believe me.
I’ve got a different technique.
Laughs, drinks, jokes, tricks. You know?
Hit ’em where they live-that’s my motto.
I made 27 grand last year
That’s not bad. I mean, you know,
What are you gettin’ out of this? Kicks?
Or did somebody bump you on the head
once and you haven’t gotten over it?
– You know, you do-gooders are all alike.
You’re always blowin’ your stacks
over some guy that fanned.
But what are you wastin’ our time for?
Why don’t you donate five dollars to the
cause? Maybe it’ll make you feel better.
This kid is guilty, pal.
It’s as plain as the nose on your face. So
why don’t we stop wastin’ our time here?
We’re gonna all get sore throats
if we keep it up.
What difference does it make
if you get it here or at the ball game?
No difference, pal.
No difference at all.
– Nice bunch of guys, huh?
– They’re about the same as anyone else.
Boy, what a murderous day.
– Do you think we’ll be much longer?
– I don’t know.
He’s guilty for sure.
Not a doubt in the whole world.
We should’ve been done already.
Oh, I don’t mind, you know.
– You think he’s not guilty, huh?
– I don’t know. It’s possible.
Well, I don’t know you, but I’m bettin’
you’ve never been wronger in your life.
You’re wastin’ your time.
You ought to wrap it up.
Supposing you were the one
who was on trial?
Well, I’m not used to supposin’.
I’m just a workin’ man.
My boss does the supposin’. But…
I’ll try one.
Supposin’ you talk us all out of this and…
the kid really did knife his father, huh?
Are you ready?
Sorry, blue eyes.
– Well, where else?
– OK, fellas. Let’s take our seats.
– Looks like we’ll be here for dinner.
– OK, now let’s get down to business.
– Who wants to start?
– I will.
– OK, go.
– You, down there.
The old man who lived downstairs says
he heard the kid yell “I’m gonna kill ya.”
A second later,
he heard the body hit the floor.
He ran to the door and saw the kid run out
of the house. What’s that mean to you?
I wonder how clearly he heard
the boy’s voice through the ceiling.
He didn’t. The window was open. So was
the one upstairs. It was a hot night.
It was another apartment.
It’s not easy to identify a shouting voice.
He identified it in court.
The lady across the street looked right in
the open window and saw the stabbing.
– Isn’t that enough for you?
– No, it isn’t.
Boy, how do you like this guy?
It’s like talkin’ into a dead phone.
She said she saw it through
the windows of a moving el train.
There were six cars on the train.
She saw it through the last two.
She remembered insignificant details.
How can you argue with that?
Has anybody here any idea
how long it would take an el…
This isn’t a game.
Did you see him?
The nerve! The absolute nerve!
– Forget it. It’s not important.
– This isn’t a game?
– Who does he think he is?
– Forget it now.
Any idea how long it takes an el train
at medium speed to pass a given point?
– What has that to do with it?
– I wouldn’t have any idea.
– What do you think?
– I don’t know. Ten, twelve seconds?
– A pretty good guess. Anyone else?
– Sounds right to me.
– What’s the guessing game for?
– What do you say?
– Ten seconds.
– All right. What are you getting at?
It takes a six-car el train
ten seconds to pass a given point.
Say the given point is the open window
of the room where the killing took place.
You can reach out
and almost touch the el tracks, right?
Now let me ask you this. Has anyone
here ever lived near the el tracks?
I just finished painting an apartment that
overlooked an el line. It took three days.
– What was it like? Noisy?
– Oh, brother! No matter. We were punchy.
I lived in an apartment
near the el line once.
When the window’s open,
the train noise is almost unbearable.
– You can hardly hear yourself think.
– Will you get to the point?
I will. Now, let’s take two pieces of
testimony and try to put them together.
First: The old man
in the apartment downstairs.
He says he heard the boy say
“I’m gonna kill you”,
and a split second later
heard a body hit the floor.
– One second later.
Second: The woman across the street
swore positively she looked
out of the window and saw the killing
through the last two cars
of a passing el train-the last two cars.
– What are you givin’ us here?
– Now, just a minute.
We’ve agreed that it takes ten seconds
for a train to pass a given point.
Since the woman saw the killing
through the last two cars,
we can assume that the body hit
the floor just as the train went by.
Therefore, the train had been
roaring by the old man’s window
a full ten seconds
before the body hit the floor.
The old man – “I’m gonna kill you”,
body hitting the floor a second later –
would have had to hear the boy’s words
with the el roaring past his nose!
– It’s not possible he heard it.
– Of course he heard it.
– Do you think so?
– He said he yelled at the top of his voice.
He couldn’t have identified the voice
with the el roaring by.
It was a matter of seconds!
Nobody can be that accurate.
Testimony that could put a boy into the
electric chair shou/d be that accurate.
– I don’t think he could have heard it.
– Maybe he didn’t, with all that el noise.
– What are you people talkin’ about?
– It stands to reason he couldn’t have.
– Why lie? What’s he got to gain?
– Attention, maybe.
You keep comin’ in with bright sayings.
Send ’em to a paper! They pay $3 apiece!
What are you talkin’ to him like that for?
A guy who talks like that to an old man
really oughta get stepped on.
You oughta have more respect, mister.
You say stuff like that to him again…
I’m gonna lay you out.
You go ahead. You say anything you like.
Why do you think the old man might lie?
It was just that I looked at him
for a very long time.
The seam of his jacket was split,
under the shoulder.
Did you notice that?
I mean, to come into court like that.
He was a very old man in a torn jacket.
And he walked very slowly to the stand.
He was dragging his left leg
and trying to hide it,
because he was ashamed.
I think I know this man
better than anyone here.
This is a quiet, frightened,
insignificant old man who…
who has been nothing all his life.
Who has never had recognition
or his name in the newspapers.
Nobody knows him. Nobody quotes him.
Nobody seeks his advice after 75 years.
Gentlemen, that’s a very sad thing –
to mean nothing.
A man like this needs to be quoted,
to be listened to.
To be quoted just once –
very important to him.
It would be so hard for him
to recede into the background.
Wait a minute. Are you tellin’ us he’d lie
just so he could be important once?
No. He wouldn’t really lie.
But perhaps he made himself believe
he heard those words
and recognised the boy’s face.
That’s the most fantastic story ever.
How can you make up a thing like that?
What do you know about it?
– Does anybody want a cough drop?
– I’ll take one.
I still don’t see how anybody
can think he’s not guilty.
There’s something else I’d like
to talk about for a minute. Thanks.
We’ve proved the old man couldn’t have
heard the boy say “I’m gonna kill you.”
– You didn’t prove it at all!
– Wait. Supposing he really did hear it?
This phrase, how many times have
all of us used it? Probably thousands.
“I could kill you for that.” “Junior, do that
again and I’ll kill you.” “Rocky, kill him.”
– It doesn’t mean we’d really kill anybody.
– The phrase was: “I’m gonna kill you.”
The kid yelled it at the top of his lungs.
Don’t tell me he didn’t mean it.
Anybody says it like that, they mean it!
Gee, I don’t know.
I was arguing with the guy I work next to
at the bank a few weeks ago.
He called me an idiot, so I yelled at him.
This guy is trying to make you
believe what isn’t so!
The kid said he’d kill him and he did!
Do you really think the boy’d shout it out
so the whole neighbourhood could hear?
– He’s much too bright for that.
– Bright? He’s a common, ignorant slob.
He don’t even speak good English.
He doesn’t even speak good English.
Mr Foreman, I’d like to
change my vote to not guilty.
– You what?
– You heard me.
– Are you sure?
– Yeah, I’m sure.
The vote is nine to three
in favour of guilty.
Well, if this isn’t the livin’ end!
What are you basin’ it on?
Stories this guy made up?
You oughta write for one of those kooky
detective magazines, make a fortune.
For cryin’ out loud, the kid’s own lawyer
knew he didn’t stand a chance.
Right from the beginning, his own
lawyer knew, and you could see it.
Boy, oh boy, I’m telling ya.
This guy here is really somethin’.
The kid had a lawyer, didn’t he?
He presented his case, not you.
– How come you say so much?
– Lawyers aren’t infallible.
– Baltimore, please.
– He was court-appointed.
– What’s that supposed to mean?
– A lot.
He didn’t want the case
or he resented being appointed.
It’s the kind of case that brings no money,
no glory, not much chance of winning.
That’s not a very promising
situation for a young lawyer.
He’d really have to believe in his client to
put up a good case. Obviously he didn’t.
Of course he didn’t.
Who the heck could?
Except maybe some guy’s mother
Will you look at the time? Come on.
Pardon me. I have made some notes here,
and I would like, please,
to say something.
I have been listening very carefully and…
it seems to me that this man
has some very good points to make.
From what was presented at the trial,
the boy looks guilty, on the surface.
– But maybe if we go deeper…
– Come on, will ya?
There is a question I would like to ask.
Let us assume that the boy
really did commit the murder.
Now, this happened
at 10 minutes after 12.
Now, how was he caught by the police?
He came back home…
at three o’clock or so,
and he was captured by two detectives
in the hallway of his house.
Now, my question is:
If he really had killed his father,
why would he come back home
three hours later?
Wouldn’t he be afraid of being caught?
He came home for his knife. It’s not nice
to leave knives in people’s chests.
Yeah, especially relatives’.
I don’t see anything funny about it.
The boy knew the knife
could be identified.
– He had to get it before the police did.
– If he knew the knife could be identified,
why did he leave it there in the first place?
I think we can assume the boy ran out in a
state of panic, having just killed his father.
He calmed down and realised
he’d left his knife there.
This, then, depends
on your definition of panic.
He would have had to be calm enough to
wipe off any fingerprints left on the knife.
Now, where did this panic start
and where did it end?
You voted guilty. What side are you on?
I don’t believe I have to be loyal
to one side or the other.
– I’m simply asking questions.
– This is just off the top of my head but…
If /’d done the stabbing, I’d take a chance
and go back for the knife.
I’ll bet he figured
nobody’d seen him running out
and the body wouldn’t be discovered
till the next day.
After all, it was the middle of the night.
He figured it’d be found the next day.
Pardon. This is my whole point.
The woman across the street testified
that the moment after she saw the killing,
that is, a moment after the train went by,
she screamed, and then went
to telephone the police.
Now, the boy certainly
must have heard the scream.
So he knew that
somebody saw something.
I just don’t think
that he would have gone back.
Two things. One: He may not have heard
the scream. Perhaps it wasn’t very loud.
Two: If he did, he may not
have connected it with his own acts.
He lived in a neighbourhood
where screams were commonplace.
– There’s your answer.
– Maybe. Maybe the boy did kill his father.
Didn’t hear the scream,
did run out in a panic,
calmed down later and came back for the
knife, risking being caught by the police.
Maybe those things happened,
but maybe they didn’t.
There’s enough doubt to wonder if he was
there at all at the time of the killing.
What do you mean? Didn’t the old man
see him running out of the house?
He’s twisting the facts.
Did or didn’t the old man see the kid
running out of the house at 12.10?
– Well, did or didn’t he?
– He says he did.
Says he did? Boy, how do you like that?
– Witnesses can make mistakes.
– Sure, when you want them to!
– Or when he wants them to!
– Keep the yelling down.
Maybe we need a little yelling. These
guys keep going off every which way.
Did hear the scream, didn’t hear it –
what difference does it make?
You’re talking about little details
and forgetting the important stuff.
– I call for another vote.
– I’m talking here!
Another vote called for.
Now let’s take our seats.
I never saw so much time
spent on nothin’.
It only takes a second.
OK, I guess the fastest way is
to find out who’s voting not guilty.
All those voting not guilty,
please raise your hands.
Still the same. One, two, three
not guilty. Nine guilty.
So now where are we? We can yakety-yak
till next Tuesday. Where’s it getting us?
Pardon. I vote not guilty.
What are you talkin’ about? I mean,
we’re all goin’ crazy in here or somethin’.
The kid is guilty.
Why don’t you listen to the facts?
Tell them, will ya?
This is gettin’ to be a joke.
The vote is eight to four in favour of guilty.
What is this?
Love Your Underprivileged Brother Week?
I want you to tell me why
you changed your vote. Give me reasons.
I don’t have to defend my decision to you.
There is a reasonable doubt in my mind.
Nothing but words. Look at this.
The kid you just decided isn’t guilty
was seen ramming this into his father!
– What about this, Mr Reasonable Doubt?
– That’s not the knife, remember?
– Oh, brilliant!
– I’m tellin’ you, this is the craziest.
I mean, what are we supposed to believe?
You’re pullin’ stories out of thin air.
A guy like this, if he’s sittin’ ringside
at the Dempsey-Firpo fight,
he’d be trying to tell you that…
Look. Now what about the old man?
Are we supposed to believe he didn’t
see the kid tearin’ down the steps
He’s just sayin’ so to be important, right?
– What’s the point of it all?
– Hold it.
The Baltimore rooter is heard from again.
– And pop-ups are fallin’ for base hits.
– Hold on a second. Look.
– Did the old man say he ran to the door?
– What’s the difference?
– He got there, didn’t he?
– He said he ran. At least I think he did.
I don’t remember, but I don’t see
how he could have run.
He said he went from his bedroom
to the front door. Isn’t that enough?
– Where was the bedroom?
– Down the hall.
– Don’t you remember that?
– I want to see a diagram of the apartment.
– Why don’t we have him on trial again?
You’re the only one
wants to see exhibits.
– I want to see this one, too.
– I’d like to stop wastin’ time.
If we’re gonna wade through
that nonsense about the body…
No, but I’d like to know if an old man
who drags one foot cos he had a stroke
can get from his bedroom
to his front door in 15 seconds.
– He said 20.
– He said 15.
– 20. What are you tryin’ to distort?
– He said 15.
How does he know how long
He said 15. He was positive about it.
He was an old man! He was confused!
How could he be positive about anything?
I don’t see what you’re going to prove.
The man said he saw the boy running out.
Let’s see if the details bear him out.
As the body hit the floor,
he said he heard footsteps upstairs,
running to the front door.
Heard the upstairs door open,
the footsteps start down.
He said he got to his own door in, at most,
– Maybe he didn’t.
– The old man said he did.
You oughta be at
that hair-splitters’ convention.
Why don’t you stop
making smart remarks?
My friend, for your three dollars a day,
you have to listen to everything.
Here’s the apartment. The old man’s was
directly beneath and exactly the same.
Here are the el tracks, the bedroom, living
room, kitchen, bathroom, hall, stairs.
The old man was in this bedroom here.
He says he crossed to the door,
walked down the hall, opened the door
just in time to see the boy
running down the stairs. Am I right?
That’s the story, for the 19th time.
– 15 seconds after the body hit the floor.
Now, let’s see. It was…
It’s 12 feet from the bed to the door.
The hall is 43 feet.
He would have had to walk 12 feet,
open the bedroom door,
walk 43 feet down and open
the front door, all in 15 seconds.
– Could he have done it?
He walks slowly. He needed help
into the witness chair.
– You make it sound like a long walk.
– For an old man who had a stroke, it is.
– What are you doin’?
– I’m gonna try it.
What do you mean?
Why didn’t his lawyer bring it up?
– Maybe he just didn’t think of it.
– Do you think he’s an idiot? It’s obvious.
– Did you think of it?
– It don’t matter. He didn’t bring it up
because he knew it’d hurt his case.
Or because it would have meant bullying
and badgering a helpless old man.
That doesn’t sit well with a jury.
Most lawyers avoid it.
– What kind of a bum is he?
– That’s what I’m asking.
Pass me that chair.
Those two chairs are the old man’s bed.
I just paced off 12 feet.
This is the bedroom door.
You can’t re-create a thing like that.
The hall was 43 feet.
I’ll pace from that wall and back again.
This is insane. What are you
wasting everybody’s time for?
According to you, it’ll only take
Come on. Knock it off.
- OK, OK, killer.
Will you stand there and mark the front
door? It was chain-locked, remember.
– Who’s got a watch with a second hand?
– I have.
Stamp your foot. That’ll be the body
falling. You can time me from there.
– What are we gonna do, play charades?
– What are we waiting for?
I wanna wait till
the second hand reaches 60.
Aw, come on!
Come on, speed it up.
He can walk twice as fast as that.
If you want me to walk
faster than that, I will.
– Lock. Door. Stop.
What’s the time?
Exactly… 41 seconds.
This is what I think happened. The old
man heard the fight a few hours earlier.
When he’s in bed,
he heard the body hit the floor,
heard the woman scream, got to
his front door as fast as he could,
heard somebody running
and assumed it was the boy.
– I think that’s possible.
Brother, I’ve seen all kinds
of dishonesty in my day,
but this little display takes the cake.
You all come in here with your hearts
bleedin’ about slum kids and injustice.
You listen to some fairy tales. You start
getting through to these old ladies.
You’re not getting through to me.
I’ve had enough.
What’s the matter with you guys?
You all know he’s guilty! He’s got to burn!
– He’ll slip through our fingers.
– Slip through our fingers?
– Are you his executioner?
– I’m one of ’em.
– Perhaps you’d like to pull the switch.
– For this kid, you bet I would.
I feel sorry for you. What it must
feel like to wanna pull the switch!
Ever since you walked in, you’ve acted
like a self-appointed public avenger.
You want to see this boy die because
you want it, not because of the facts.
– You’re a sadist.
Let me go! I’ll kill him! I’ll kill him!
You don’t really mean
you’ll kill me, do you?
– Anything wrong? I heard some noise.
– No, everything’s all right.
We’re just… Friendly little argument.
We’re through with that diagram.
You can take it if you want. Here you are.
What are you lookin’ at?
– Somebody has to start off again.
– I beg pardon…
“I beg pardon.”
What are you so polite about?
For the same reason you’re not.
It’s the way I was brought up.
This fighting… That’s not
why we are here, to fight.
We have a responsibility.
This, I have always thought,
is a remarkable thing about democracy.
That we are…
What is the word?
Notified. That we are notified by mail
to come down to this place
to decide on the guilt or innocence of a
man we… we have never heard of before.
We have nothing to gain or lose
by… by our verdict.
This is one of the reasons
why we are strong.
We should not make it a… personal thing.
If nobody else has an idea,
I might have a cutie here.
Let’s throw it out
and see if the cat licks it up.
– The cat licks it up?
– Yeah. The boy…
Look how dark it’s gettin’ out there.
I bet we’re gonna have a storm now.
Boy, oh boy. It’s really hot, huh?
– Pardon me, but… don’t you ever sweat?
– No, I don’t.
Listen. I… I was wonderin’ if…
Maybe… maybe we should
take another vote.
Great. Maybe we can follow this one up
with a little dancing and refreshments!
– Mr Foreman?
– Well, that’s OK with me.
Anyone doesn’t wanna vote?
Hey, come on.
– I think we ought to have an open ballot.
Call out our votes, you know?
Let’s see who stands where.
Well, that sounds fair to me.
- I’ll call off your jury numbers. One?
Oh, that’s me. I vote guilty. Two?
– Number nine?
– Not guilty.
– Number ten?
The vote is now six to six.
And we go into extra innings here, eh?
Six to six! I’m telling you, some of you
people in here must be out of your minds.
A kid like that!
I don’t think the kind of boy he is
has anything to do with it.
– Facts determine the case.
– Don’t give me that!
I’m sick and tired of facts.
You can twist ’em any way you like.
That’s exactly the point
this gentleman has been making.
You keep shouting
at the top of your lungs…
I’d like to be a few years younger.
That man gets on my…
– My, it’s hot in here.
– Want a drink of water?
No, no. Thanks. Thanks.
– It’s gonna rain.
– Well, how’d you figure that out, killer?
– How come you changed your vote?
– It just seemed there was room for doubt.
– You haven’t got a leg to stand on.
– I don’t feel that way.
– A lot of details never came out.
– Yeah, well, good luck.
Come on. You’re like everybody else.
You think too much, you get mixed up.
– You know what I mean?
– I don’t think you have any right to…
Look at that come down, will ya?
You know, this reminds me
of a storm we had last…
Was it November?
I don’t know. Something.
It was quite a storm we had.
It was right in the middle of a game.
We were behind-seven to six. We’d just
started to move the ball, made a tackle.
It was gonna cut right in, slash through,
slashed right in, cut right through…
We had this kid – Slattery.
He was an ox. A real ox.
I wish I had another one just like him.
I forgot to tell you. I’m the assistant head
coach at Andrew J McCorkle High School.
That’s out in Queens.
And anyway… we’re starting
to move along real nice.
You know, their whole line is just…
just comin’ apart.
And it starts to come down,
cats and dogs, just like this.
Just… whoosh! You know, right down.
Well, it was murder, you know?
I swear, I… I nearly bawled.
Just… We couldn’t go nowhere.
Hey, what is it with this fan here?
Must have been
on the same switch with the lights.
Well, things are lookin’ up here, huh?
Boy, that’s better.
Hey! Two points.
You guys ever go to the Garden?
That’s a damn stupid thing to do.
Oh, I’m sorry. I…
Well, how do you like it? Even-steven.
Pretty surprising, isn’t it?
That… business before, when that tall guy,
whatshisname, was tryin’ to bait me?
That doesn’t prove anything.
I’m a… pretty excitable person.
Where does he come off
calling me a public avenger, a sadist?
Anyone in his right mind
would blow his stack.
He was just tryin’ to bait me.
He did an excellent job.
I think we’re going nowhere here.
I’m ready to walk into court
and declare a hung jury.
– There’s no point in this thing going on.
– I go for that, too.
Let the kid take his chance
with 12 other guys.
The judge won’t accept a hung jury.
We haven’t been here long.
– Well, let’s find out.
– I am not in favour of that.
This kid wouldn’t stand a chance
with another jury, and you know it.
Come on, we’re hung.
Nobody’s gonna change his vote.
– Still no room for reasonable doubt?
Pardon. Maybe you don’t fully understand
the term “reasonable doubt”.
What do you mean, I don’t understand?
How do you like this guy?
I’m tellin’ you, they’re all alike.
They come over here
and before they can take a breath,
they’re telling us how to run the show.
– Boy, the arrogance of this guy!
– All right.
Let’s stop the arguing
for about two minutes in here.
Now, who’s got
something constructive to say?
I’d like to go over something,
if you gentlemen don’t mind.
An important point
for the prosecution was
the fact that after the boy claimed he was
at the movies when the killing took place,
he couldn’t remember the names
of the movies or who starred in them.
– This gentleman has made that point.
– That’s correct.
It’s the only alibi the boy offered, and
he couldn’t back it up with any details.
In the boy’s place,
do you think you could remember details
after an upsetting experience
such as being slapped by your father?
I think so, if there were
any special details to remember.
The boy couldn’t remember the movies
because he wasn’t there.
According to the police testimony,
the boy was questioned in the kitchen,
while the body of his father
was lying in the bedroom.
Do you think
you could remember details?
– I do.
– Under great emotional stress?
– Under great emotional stress.
– He remembered them correctly in court.
Yes. His lawyer took great pains
to bring that out.
He had three months to the day of the trial
in which to memorise them.
It’s not difficult for a lawyer to find out
what played on a particular night.
I’ll take the testimony
from right after the murder,
when he couldn’t remember a thing about
the movies, great emotional stress or not.
– I’d like to ask you a personal question.
– Go ahead.
– Where were you last night?
– I was home all night.
– How about the night before that?
– What is this?
It’s all right. I left the office at 8.30
and went straight home and to bed.
– And the night before that?
– That was… Tuesday night.
– The bridge tournament. I played bridge.
– Monday night?
When you get to
New Year’s Eve 1954, let me know.
Monday night? Monday night…
my wife and I went to the movies.
– What did you see?
– The Scar/et Circ/e. A whodunit.
– What was the second feature?
I’ll tell you in a minute. The…
The Remarkab/e Mrs Bainbridge.
I saw that. It’s called
The Amazing Mrs Bainbridge.
Yes. The Amazing Mrs Bainbridge.
Who was in
The Amazing Mrs Bainbridge?
Barbara… Long, I think it was.
A dark, very pretty girl.
– Ling or… Long. Something like that.
– Who else?
I’d never heard of them before.
It was a very inexpensive
second feature, with unknown…
And you weren’t under
an emotional stress, were you?
– I think the point is made.
– Big point.
You can talk till your tongue is
draggin’ on the floor. The boy is guilty.
Know what I mean, my friend?
– You got those cough drops?
– They’re all gone, my friend.
Oh, boy. Look at that rain.
There goes your ball game.
It’s only a shower.
Besides, they got the infield covered.
Say, could I see that knife
a second, please?
Well, we’re still tied up six to six.
Who’s got a suggestion?
– It’s 5 after 6. Let’s get some dinner.
– Why don’t we wait till 7 o’clock?
OK with me.
There’s something I’d like to say.
It’s been bothering me a little,
and as long as we’re stuck…
There was this whole business about
the stab wound and how it was made.
– The downward angle of it, you know?
– Don’t start with that again.
– They’ve been over it and over it.
– I know, but I don’t go along with it.
The boy was five feet seven inches tall.
His father was six two.
That’s a difference of seven inches.
It’s very awkward to stab down into the
chest of someone over half a foot taller.
Give me that.
I’ll give you a demonstration.
Somebody get up.
Watch this – I don’t wanna
have to do it again.
I’ll make myself about
six or seven inches shorter.
– That’s about right. Maybe a little more.
– OK, a little more.
Now… nobody’s hurt.
– Right. Nobody hurt.
Now, this is the way I’d stab a man
who was… taller than I was.
Look at the angle. Down and in.
And this is the way it was done.
Now tell me I’m wrong.
– Down and in. There’s no argument.
– Hold on a minute.
Will you give me that?
Boy, I hate these things.
– Did you ever see a knife fight?
Anybody here ever see a knife fight?
Well, I have. You know, on my back stoop,
the lot across the street, back yard.
with the neighbourhood.
Funny I never thought of it before.
I guess you try to forget.
– How do you use a switchblade?
– Well, you’d never use it like this.
See, you’d lose too much time
Here’s how. Underhand.
Anyone who’s ever used one
wouldn’t handle it any other way.
– Are you sure?
– I’m sure.
– It’s why they’re made to open like that.
– The boy was pretty handy with a knife?
You think he could have made
the wound that killed his father?
No. Not with the experience he got
all his life handling these things.
– I feel he’d have gone for him underhand.
– How do you know?
– Were you there when he was killed?
– No. Neither was anybody else.
What are you giving us this
mumbo jumbo for? I don’t believe it.
I don’t think you can tell
what wound he might have made
simply because he knew
how to handle a knife.
– What do you think?
– I don’t know.
– What do you mean, you don’t know?
– I don’t know.
– How about you?
– I don’t know about the rest of ’em,
but I’m gettin’ tired of this
yakety-yakkin’. It’s gettin’ us nowhere.
So I guess /’// have to break it up.
I’m changin’ my vote to not guilty.
– You’re what?
– You heard me. I’ve had enough.
– You’ve had enough? That’s no answer.
– Listen, you just take care of yourself.
– You know?
– He’s right.
That’s not an answer.
What kind of a man are you?
You have sat here and voted
guilty with everyone else
because there are some baseball tickets
burning a hole in your pocket.
Now you have changed your vote because
you say you’re sick of all the talking?
– Now, listen, buddy…
– Who tells you that you have the right
to play like this with a man’s life?
Don’t you care…
Now, wait a minute.
You can’t talk like that to me.
I can talk like that to you.
If you want to vote not guilty,
do it because you are convinced he is not
guilty, not because you’ve had enough.
And if you think he is guilty,
then vote that way.
Or don’t you have the guts
to do what you think is right?
– Now, listen…
– Guilty or not guilty?
– I told you. Not guilty.
– Look, I don’t have to…
– You do have to. Say it. Why?
I… I don’t think he’s guilty.
– I want another vote.
– OK, that’s another vote called for.
I guess the quickest way
is a show of hands. Anyone object?
OK, all those voting not guilty,
raise your hands.
One, two, three,
four, five, six, seven…
All those voting guilty, raise your hands.
One, two, three.
Well, the vote’s nine to three
in favour of acquittal.
I don’t understand you people!
All these picky little points you keep
bringing up, they don’t mean nothing!
You saw this kid just like I did.
Don’t tell me you believe that
phoney story about losing the knife
and about being at the movies.
Look, you know how these people lie.
It’s born in them.
What the heck? I don’t have to tell you.
They don’t know what the truth is!
And they don’t need any real big reason
to kill someone, either.
No, sir. They get drunk.
They’re real big drinkers, all of ’em.
You know that. And bang!
Someone’s lying in the gutter.
Nobody’s blaming ’em.
That’s the way they are by nature.
You know what I mean? Violent.
Where are you going?
Human life don’t mean
as much to them as it does to us.
They’re lushing it up
and fighting all the time,
and if somebody gets killed,
somebody gets killed! They don’t care!
Sure, there’s some good things about ’em,
too. I’m the first one to say that.
I’ve known a couple who were OK,
but that’s the exception.
Most of ’em, it’s like they have
no feelings! They can do anything!
What’s going on here?
I’m trying to tell you.
You’re making a big mistake, you people.
This kid is a liar. I know it.
I know all about them.
Listen to me. They’re no good.
There’s not a one of ’em who’s any good.
I mean, what’s happening in here?
I speak my piece, and you…
Listen to me.
I… We’re… we’re…
This kid on trial here. His type.
Well, don’t you know about them?
There’s a… There’s a danger here.
These people are dangerous.
Listen to me. Listen to me.
I have. Now, sit down
and don’t open your mouth again.
Some of the time… I tell you.
It’s always difficult to keep personal
prejudice out of a thing like this.
Wherever you run into it,
prejudice always obscures the truth.
I don’t really know what the truth is.
I don’t suppose anybody
will ever really know.
Nine of us now seem to feel
that the defendant is innocent.
But we’re just gambling on
probabilities. We may be wrong.
We may be trying to let a guilty man
go free. I don’t know. Nobody really can.
But we have a reasonable doubt.
And that’s something
that’s very valuable in our system.
No jury can declare a man guilty
unless it’s sure.
We nine can’t understand
how you three are still so sure.
– Maybe you can tell us.
– I’ll try.
You’ve made some excellent points,
but I still believe the boy is guilty.
I have two reasons. One: The evidence
given by the woman across the street,
who actually saw the murder committed.
That’s the most important testimony.
And two: The fact that
she described the stabbing
by saying she saw the boy
raise his arm over his head
and stab down into the father’s chest.
– She saw him do it, the wrong way.
– That’s absolutely right.
Let’s talk about this woman for a moment.
She said she went to bed
about eleven o’clock that night.
Her bed was next to the window,
and she could look out
and see directly into
the boy’s room across the street.
She tossed and turned for over an hour.
Finally, she turned toward the window
at about 10 minutes after 12,
and as she looked out, she saw the killing
through the windows of a passing el train.
She said the lights went out
after the killing,
but that she got a good look at the boy
in the act of stabbing his father.
As far as I can see it,
this is unshakeable testimony.
– Well, that’s the whole case.
– What do you think?
How about you?
I don’t know. So much evidence to sift.
This is a pretty complicated business.
Frankly, I don’t see how
you can vote for acquittal.
– It’s not so easy to arrange the evidence.
– Throw out all the other evidence!
The woman saw him do it!
What else do you want?
– Well, maybe…
– Let’s vote on it.
OK, there’s another vote called for.
All right. I’m changing my vote.
– He’s guilty.
– Anybody else? The vote is eight to four.
Why is this such a personal triumph
for you, this one vote?
- I say we’re a hung jury.
I say we take it in to the judge.
How about it? I wanna hear arguments.
You, you’re the leader of the cause.
What about it?
– Let’s go over it again.
– We’ve been over it again.
The boy in the grey flannel suit is
bouncin’ back and forth like a tennis ball.
There’s no point in getting nasty.
You keep trying to turn this into a contest.
Maybe we can talk about
setting some kind of time limit.
Yeah. Once around for the deal, huh?
It’s… a quarter after six. Someone
before mentioned seven o’clock.
That’s a point at which we might begin to
discuss whether we’re a hung jury or not.
– Don’t you feel well?
– I feel perfectly well, thank you.
I was saying seven o’clock
would be a reasonable time…
The reason I asked that was because
you were rubbing your nose like…
Oh, I’m sorry for interrupting.
But you made a gesture
that reminded me of something.
– I’m trying to settle something here.
– Well, I think this is important.
Thank you. Now, then.
I’m sure you’ll pardon me for this,
but I was wondering why
you rub your nose like that.
Come on, will you?
At this point I happen to be talking
to the gentleman sitting next to you.
Now, why were you
rubbing your nose like that?
If it’s any of your business, I was
rubbing it because it bothers me a little.
Oh, I’m sorry. Is it…
Is it because of your eyeglasses?
It is. Now could we get on
to something else?
Your eyeglasses made those two deep
impressions on the sides of your nose.
I hadn’t noticed that before.
That must be annoying.
It is very annoying.
I wouldn’t know about that.
I’ve never worn eyeglasses. 20/20.
Listen, will you come on already
with the optometrist bit?
The woman who testified
that she saw the killing
had those same marks
on the sides of her nose.
Holy smoke! He’s right.
Please. Just give me a minute…
and I’ll be finished.
I don’t know if anyone else
noticed that about her.
I didn’t think of it then, but I’ve been
going over her face… in my mind.
She had those same marks.
She kept rubbing them in court.
He’s right. She did do that a lot.
This woman was about 45 years old.
She was making
a tremendous effort to look 35.
For her first public appearance.
Heavy make-up. Dyed hair.
Brand-new clothes that should have
been worn by a younger woman.
No glasses. Well, women do that.
See if you can get a mental picture of her.
What do you mean, no glasses? How do
you know whether she wore glasses?
– Just cos she was rubbin’ her nose?
– She had those marks. I saw ’em.
– So? What do you think that means?
– I’m sick of your yellin’…
Come on. Forget it.
Hey, listen. Listen, he’s right. I saw
them too. I was the closest one to her.
She had these things
on the side of her nose.
What point are you makin’?
She had dyed hair, marks on her nose.
What does that mean?
Could those marks be made
by anything other than eyeglasses?
No. They couldn’t.
I didn’t see any marks!
I did. Strange,
but I didn’t think about it before.
Why didn’t the lawyer say something?
There are twelve people in here
concentrating on this case.
– Eleven of us didn’t think of it either.
– What about the district attorney?
You think he’d pull that?
Have her testify without her glasses?
Ever see a woman who didn’t want to
wear them because they spoil her looks?
- She had marks on her nose.
I’m givin’ you that.
From glasses, right? She didn’t
wanna wear ’em out of the house
so people’d think she’s gorgeous.
But when she saw this kid killin’
his father, she was in the house alone.
Do you wear glasses when you go to bed?
No. I don’t.
No one wears eyeglasses to bed.
It’s logical to assume
that she wasn’t wearing them in bed.
– How do you know?
– I don’t know. I’m guessing.
I’m also guessing that she didn’t put them
on when she looked out of the window.
She testified the killing
took place just as she looked out.
The lights went off.
She didn’t have time to put them on.
Here’s another guess. She honestly
thought she saw the boy kill his father.
– I say she only saw a blur.
– How do you know what she saw?
How does he know all that? How
do you know what glasses she wore?
Maybe they were sunglasses! Maybe
she was far-sighted! What do you know?
I only know the woman’s eyesight
is in question now.
She had to be able to identify a person
You can’t send someone off
to die on evidence like that.
Aw, don’t give me that.
– Might she not have made a mistake?
– It’s not possible?
– No, it’s not possible.
Is it possible?
Do you think he’s guilty?
I think he’s guilty.
I’m convinced. Not guilty.
– What’s the matter with you?
– I have a reasonable doubt now.
– It’s eleven to one.
– What about all the other evidence?
What about all that stuff? The…
The knife? The whole business?
Well, you said we could
throw out all the other evidence.
Well, what do we do now?
I don’t care whether I’m alone or not.
It’s my right.
It’s your right.
Well, what do you want? I say he’s guilty.
– We want to hear your arguments.
– I gave you my arguments.
We’re not convinced.
We want to hear them again.
We have as much time as it takes.
Everything-every single thing that took
place in that courtroom says he’s guilty.
What do you think?
I’m an idiot or somethin’?
Take that stuff about the old man,
who lived there and heard everything!
Or this business about the knife.
They found another one exactly like it?
The old man saw him!
Right there, on the stairs.
What’s the difference
how many seconds it was?
Every single thing. The knife
fallin’ through a hole in his pocket.
You can’t prove he didn’t get to the door!
Sure, you can take all the time, hobble
around the room, but you can’t prove it!
And what about this business of the el?
And the movies?
There’s a phoney deal if I ever heard one.
I’ll bet you $5,000
/’d remember the movies I saw.
I’m tellin’ you, everything that’s gone on
has been twisted and turned!
This business with the glasses?
How do you know she didn’t have ’em on?
This woman testified in open court!
And what about
hearin’ the kid yell? Huh?
I’m tellin’ ya, I’ve got all the facts here.
Well, that’s it. That’s the whole case.
You lousy bunch of bleedin’ hearts.
You’re not gonna intimidate me.
I’m entitled to my opinion.
Rotten kids… You work your life out!
We’re ready now.
– What’s your name?
My name’s McCardle.
– Well, so long.
– So long.