15 year old John Maher is dead, the victim of twenty-eight well-placed stab wounds. His Sikh classmate, Duvinder Singh, is accused of the shocking murder.
The 12 jurors prepare themselves for the trial. Charles Gore is having a welcome break from the Seminary where he is training for the priesthood. As he leaves for the Old Bailey Courthouse, he is told that this is his last chance – when he returns, he must either be committed to the priesthood, or leave for good. On arrival in court, he makes friends with Elsie Beamish, a 60-year-old loner. She is pleased to hear he is training to be a priest, but he would rather be reunited with Isobel, the lover he walked out on long ago.
Johnnie Donne has just left rehab for his alcohol problems. His mentor Eddie Fannon believes that jury service will be good for him. On arrival at court, Johnnie makes friends with fellow juror Rose Davies. She has decided that, whilst at court, she will have a change of look to distance her from the life at home with her paranoid, claustrophobic and recently paralyzed husband Len. Their happy marriage has been shattered by a recent car accident. Both Rose and Johnnie have memories that haunt them, and from which they long to be free.
As Jeremy Crawford arrives, he recognises a man working on another trial. Confused, he follows the man home and discovers it is indeed his estranged friend Mark Waters.
Peter Segal prepares for the trial – which he believes is a great honour – but is disappointed to learn that his wife, Marion's, parents are coming to dinner that night. Peter has always had a strained relationship with his parents-in-law, particularly because of their aversion to his being Jewish.
Marcia Thomas, a young single mother to toddler Joy, is distraught when her babysitter falls sick and she has no choice but to call in her estranged mother Ruby.
The media hype surrounding the case has already begun as the other five jurors - Eva, Derek, Warren, Jessia and Hector - arrive. Eggs are thrown at the prison truck as Duvinder is brought to the court. Duvinder comes face to face with the family of the murdered boy, who immediately begin calling insults out. Gerald Lewis Q.C begins his case by summing up his version of events. He tells the jurors that Duvinder undoubtedly murdered John and his evidence will leave no other explanation. Certainly it seems that he has a strong case. His opponent, Q.C George Cording watches and waits as he prepares his defense. The prejudice continues to invade the courtroom, as no sooner is the judge out of the door than the Maher family members again begin to threaten Duvinder.
The jurors leave for the day. Rose and Johnnie are flirting before Rose changes her clothes and hurries home and Johnnie heads to his AA meeting. Charles finds himself the cheapest hotel room he can find and continues searching for Isobel.
Marcia is thankful that the day is over, and hopes that the babysitter will be well again so she does not have to leave Joy with Ruby anymore. That night at dinner, Peter's in-laws show an interest in the case and, although he is forbidden to discuss it, he can't help himself and he is soon telling them all he knows.
John Maher's brothers – Ally and Chris – are determined to get revenge on Duvinder now. However their father, Ron, knows that they can't cause trouble quite yet. He tells them to wait for a guilty verdict before they do anything, but the brothers have already decided to not only punish Duvinder, but also ‘lean' on the jurors to ensure the verdict goes their way.
Duvinder wakes, sweaty and crying, in his prison cell – horrified over the events of the trial. Or is there another reason?moreless
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