Monica is summoned to be a juror on a murder case in which the defendant could get the death penalty . The defendant, Brendan Falstaff, is on trial for the murder of his former girlfriend, Elizabeth Bennett. The prosecution maintains that Brendan Falstaff set fire to Elizabeth's house while she was asleep. The defense, however, maintains that their case in built merely on heresay and circumstantial evidence. After hearing both sides present their case, the jury is ushered into the deliberation room to reach a verdict. Carol Anne is selected as the foreperson and tallies the votes, but Monica holds the up the process by requesting the others to discuss the decision. Monst of the jurors are in agreement that the evidence support Brendan Falstaff guilty, based on investigators' findings that the fire was the result of arson, that a gas can was found in Brendan's trunk and that Mr. Gunderson, the neighbor across the street, identified Brendan's car leaving the scene of the crime. Monica raises some doubt regarding Mr. Gunderson's ability to identify the license plate when he couldn't identify the make of the car. One of the jurors is able to explain this to the other jurors' satisfaction, but Monica remains unconvinced of Brendan's guilt. Outside the courtroom, Tess overhears two officers discussing the case. The one man who could corroborate Falstaff's alibi was a homeless wino whose testimony was inadmissible. Tess is frustrated that an innocent could be convicted, but Andrew reminds her they're here on assignment and refuses to let her interfere with the wheels of justice. Meanwhile, back inside the deliberation room, Monica asks God for help. and her prayer is answered when she notices that one of the jurors is dyslexic. Monica asks the jurors to consider the possibility that Gunderson was dyslexic, and that he merely repeated Falstaff's license plate by memory, having towed his car from in front of his house on numerous occasions. Monica's insight turns the tide as the other jurors start to change their minds. Undone by the prospect of an acquittal, Carol Anne reaches her breaking point and rushes into the restroom. Monica talks with Carol Anne privately and discovers her zeal to convict Brendan Falstaff has more to do with the years, Carol Anne has turned her anger inward, blaming herself albeit without cause. Monica assures Carol Anne that she is not to blame and that she needs to find forgiveness, starting with herself. Carol Anne emerges from the restroom and admits to her fellow jurors how her state of mind clouded her ability to see the truth. She calls for another vote. Back in the courtroom, the verdict is announced and Brendan Falstaff is acquitted. Recognizing the victim's parents sense of grief, Carol Anne approaches them in an effort to help them find the closure she so desperately needed.moreless
Tess: (to Monica) Nobody on a jury ever knows the truth going in. And lots of times, they don't even know the truth when it's all over. Being on a jury is a difficult thing, Miss Wings. It's about facts and evidence, it's not necessarily about truth at all.
The original vote was 11-1 in favor of conviction; the lone holdout eventually convinces the others to acquit, with the last person being someone whose motivation to convict has nothing to do with the case before them. This is the same basic plot as in the Sidney Lumet film "12 Angry Men" (1957).
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