GUILTY OF MURDER
A defendant was on trial for murder in Oklahoma. There was strong
evidence indicating guilt, but there was no corpse.
In the defense’s closing statement the lawyer, knowing that his client
would probably be convicted, resorted to a trick.
"Ladies 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."
He looked toward the courtroom door. The jurors, somewhat stunned,
all looked on eagerly. A minute passed. Nothing happened.
Finally 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."
The jury, clearly confused, retired to deliberate. A few minutes later,
the jury returned and pronounced a verdict of guilty.
"But how?" inquired the lawyer. "You must have had some doubt; I saw all
of you stare at the door."
Answered the jury foreman: "Oh, we did look. But your client didn’t."