In the play Twelve Angry Men, a jury struggles to reach a verdict in a case involving a young accused killer. At first the evidence appears to be overwhelming:
1. The accused has a history of causing trouble.
2. The victim (his father) was killed with an unusual knife belonging to the accused.
3. A neighbor testifies hearing the accused say “I’ll kill you,” and then sees him running from the apartment.
4. A neighbor across the train tracks testifies seeing the accused stab the victim.
5. The accused cannot give convincing details to support his alibi of being at the movies when the killing occurred.
One juror, number 8, questions the evidence and starts to break it down. This reveals that the evidence is not quite so airtight.
Some of the jurors also demonstrate preconceptions and prejudices that obviously color their decisions and judgment. Much of the drama of the play is in the revelation of these prejudices.