Twelve Angry Men Summary

On a hot summer day in New York City, twelve men are called to sit on the jury of a murder trial. The defendant, a young man, is on trial for killing his abusive father. He's being tried for first-degree murder, which means that if he's convicted he'll receive the death penalty.

  • Irritated by the heat, the jurors cast a preliminary vote: eleven guilty, one not guilty. Juror Eight voted not guilty and demands that they discuss the case before casting another vote.
  • Juror Eight begins to poke holes in the prosecutor's case. He says the knife is a common one, and anyone could've killed the father. He notes that the witnesses (the old downstairs neighbor and a woman across the street) are not likely to have seen what they said they saw.
  • Gradually, most of the jurors change their votes. For a while, it seems like they have a hung jury, but Juror Eight's arguments are successful. The last holdout, Juror Three, finally changes his vote to not guilty. The boy is acquitted.

Summary

Twelve Angry Men

Act 1

Twelve Angry Men takes place in a jury room in the late afternoon on a hot summer's day in New York...

(The entire section is 1402 words.)