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The Crucible

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The scene starts off in a New York City Court of law jury room. There’s an empty jury room and a judge is giving a set of final instructions to the Jurors. We learn that this is a murder case and that if found guilty, he would be sentenced to death penalty. After these instructions, the Jurors enter.
All the Jurors presume the obvious guilt of the defendant, whom we learn has been accused of killing his father. Eventually, the twelve sit down and a vote is taken. All of the Jurors vote “guilty” except for one who votes “not guilty”, which forces them to discuss the case. The Jurors react against the vote. They decide to go around the table explaining why they believe the boy to be guilty, in hopes to convince the person who voted “not guilty”.
Throughout the discussion we find out an old man living beneath the boy and his father testified that he heard a fight upstairs, and the boy shouting “I’m going to kill you!” and a body hit the ground and then saw the boy running downstairs. The boy claimed he had been at the movies while his father was murdered, but couldn’t remember the name of the movie or who was in them. A women living across the street testified that she saw the boy kill his father through the windows of a passing elevated train. The boy had an argument with father that night, which resulted the boy’s father hitting him twice. Finally, the boy has an extensive list of prior offenses, including trying to slash another teenager with a knife.
One of the Jurors compare him to his own son, another juror reveals strong racist tendencies against the defendant.
As they discuss about the weapon being a “one of a kind” knife, one of the jurors surprises the others by presenting an identical knife he had purchased in a pawn shop two blocks from where the boy lived a few nights prior, shattering the claim that the knife was so unique and identifiable.
They agree to vote by secret ballot. The vote is 10 “guilty” and 1 “not guilty” and so the discussion continues. Then one of the Jurors accuses another Juror of having changed his vote out of sympathy for the boy. The call into question the validity of the testimony of the old man living downstairs. After another heated discussion which raises the question of why the boy would have returned home, after killing his father, they take another vote. This time 4 vote “not guilty,” and the case continues.
After a brief argument, one Juror brings into question whether or not the downstairs neighbor, an old man who had suffered a stroke and could only walk slowly, could have gotten to the door to see the boy run down the stairs in fifteen seconds, as he had testified. One of Juror recreates the floor plan of the apartment, while another Juror times him, and they conclude that he would not have been able to reach his door in fifteen seconds.
After everything calms down, the jurors resume case. Another vote is taken, and the jury is now six to six. They take a break. During this break, it begins to rain outside. Also, they are able to turn the fan on, cooling off the room.
When the case resumes, one of the Juror attempts to break apart the testimony of the arresting police officer that the defendant was unable to name the movies that he had claimed to have seen that evening. He asserts that possibly the defendant just forgot the names of the films and who was in them “under great emotional distress.”
Upon further discussion about the switchblade, it becomes questionable whether or not the defendant would have made the stab wound, “down and in,” which would be contrary to his knowledge and experience with how to use such a knife.
The jurors take another vote, and it is now nine to three, all but 3 Jurors are in favor of ‘not guilty.’
One of the Juror calls into question the eyewitness testimony of the woman living across the street, as she wore glasses but chose not to wear them in court, calling into question whether or not she would have been wearing them in bed, when she saw the murder through her window.
Now, the vote is 11 to 1, and 3rd Juror stands alone. At first, he stands firm, saying that he will be the holdout to make this a hung jury. He launches himself into a final massive rant against the boy that descends into nonsense. 8th and 4th Jurors make a short final plea, and 3rd Juror finally concedes, saying “All right. Not guilty.” Informs the Guard that they have reached a verdict, and the Jurors leave the courtroom.

12 ANGRY MEN

Amy Paredes
Period 6
Mr. Kruip
January 10, 2014

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