12 Angry Men Act 2 Summary

Act 2 picks up just where Act 1 left off with the Foreman counting the ballots. He reads one "not guilty" vote and some of the jurors are surprised and upset. They want to know who voted not guilty. They start accusing Juror five until Juror nine speaks up and admits that he was the one who changed his mind because he wanted to support Eight in standing up to the rest of the jurors. Seven wants to know who they think killed the father if the son didn't do it, but Eight reminds him that it's not their job to decide who did commit the crime, just whether or not the boy on trial is guilty.

Three and twelve are frustrated, so they start playing a game of tic tac toe to pass the time, which angers the others. Eight starts asking questions about how fast an el train passes a certain point. Juror five guesses it would take the el ten seconds to pass a given point; therefore, Juror eight doesn't think the old man could have heard the boy say "I'm going to kill you" with an el train roaring past. Juror three wants to know why the old man would lie, so Juror nine suggests he might be looking for attention. Juror nine points out that the old man had a ripped jacket and used two canes, he probably wanted to feel important, so perhaps he embellished his story. Juror nine feels like he understands what the old man is feeling because he has felt the same way.

Juror two passes around some cough drops while Juror eight points out that even if the old man did hear the boy say "I'm going to kill you," it doesn't mean anything. People say similar phrases every day without killing anyone. Five decides that he would like to change his vote to not guilty. Five then wonders how the old man could have run to the front door if he used two canes. Eight asks the Foreman if they can look at the diagram of the apartment. Juror two says that the old man claimed he made it to the front door in fifteen seconds. Three points out that he's an old man, so how can he be sure about anything then realizes that he's validating Eight's previous point about him not hearing the boy yell. Eight looks at the diagram that the guard brings in and starts estimating the distance from the bedroom window to the front door at forty-three feet. Eight starts setting up a similar course to time how long it takes to walk about forty feet. Two says he will time Eight as he walks the forty feet between the chairs. Ten shouts that Eight is moving too slow, so he speeds up his simulation. Two announces that it took thirty-one seconds. Eight says he guesses that the man heard someone racing down the stairs and just assumed it was the boy without actually seeing him. Three becomes angry with all these tricks. He thinks the boy deserves to die; in fact, he'll kill him personally. When Eight challenges him saying that he personally wants to see the boy die, it's not based on facts, Three screams that he will kill him. When Eight asks if he really means that he will kill him, all the jurors stare in silence as the act ends.

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