A defendant was on trial for murder. 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 you
have a reasonable doubt in this case as to whether anyone was killed, and
I insist that you return a verdict of not guilty.”
The jury 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.”
The jury foreman replied:
“Yes, we did look, But your client didn’t.”