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This is a good question. A little context will go a long way in answering this question. The young man (sort of a boy) who is on trial is said to have stabbed his father to death. Hence, the charge is not just murder but cold blooded murder.
What makes the play even more tense is that much evidence points to the fact that the boy did kill his father. The boy admits to buying a knife, which he says he lost. Not only this, this boy has a record of breaking the law and in the past even got into a knife fight. In light of this, the sentence would be death. This is made clear right from the beginning. First degree manslaughter has a mandatory death sentence.
As the story progresses, juror eight is able to cast reasonable doubt.
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