defendant was on trial for murder in Philadelphia. There was strong evidence
indicating guilt, but there was no corpse. In the defenses closing statement
the lawyer, knowing that his client would probably be convicted, resorted to
and gentlemen of the jury, I have a surprise for you all," the lawyer said
as he looked at his watch. "Within one minute, the person presumed dead
in this case will walk into this courtroom."
looked toward the courtroom door. The jurors, somewhat stunned, all looked on
eagerly. A minute passed. Nothing happened.
the lawyer said, "Actually, I made up the previous statement. But you all
looked on with anticipation. I, therefore, put it to you that there is reasonable
doubt in this case as to whether anyone was killed and insist that you return
a verdict of not guilty."
jury, clearly confused, retired to deliberate. A few minutes later, the jury
returned and pronounced a verdict of guilty.
how?" inquired the lawyer. "You must have had some doubt; I saw all
of you stare at the door."
the jury foreman: "Oh, we did look. But your client didnt."