Twelve Angry Men

Although the accused youth never appears as a character on stage, discussion of his actions and motivations drives the play. The youth is referred to as a “kid” by many of the jurors. He grew up in a slum without a mother, and is an immigrant—all facts that color the jurors ideas about him and his guilt. He is accused of stabbing his father to death.

Accused kid Quotes in Twelve Angry Men

The Twelve Angry Men quotes below are all either spoken by Accused kid or refer to Accused kid. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the The Dramatic Publishing Company edition of Twelve Angry Men published in 1983.
Act 1 Quotes

Murder in the first degree—premeditated homicide—is the most serious charge tried in our criminal courts. You've heard a long and complex case, gentlemen, and it is now your duty to sit down to try and separate the facts from the fancy. One man is dead. The life of another is at stake. If there is a reasonable doubt in your minds as to the guilt of the accused . . . then you must declare him not guilty. If, however, there is no reasonable doubt, then he must be found guilty. Whichever way you decide, the verdict must be unanimous. I urge you to deliberate honestly and thoughtfully. You are faced with a grave responsibility. Thank you, gentlemen.

Related Characters: Judge (speaker), Accused kid, Murdered father
Page Number: 9
Explanation and Analysis:

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Ten: It's tough to figure, isn't it? A kid kills his father. Bing! Just like that. Well, it's the element. They let the kids run wild. Maybe it serves ‘em right.

Related Characters: Ten (speaker), Four, Accused kid, Murdered father
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:

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Three: I never saw a guiltier man in my life... You sat right in court and heard the same thing I did. The man's a dangerous killer. You could see it.

...

Eight: He's nineteen years old.

Related Characters: Three (speaker), Eight (speaker), Accused kid
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:

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Eight: There were eleven votes for guilty. It's not so easy for me to raise my hand and send a boy off to die without talking about it first.

Related Characters: Eight (speaker), Accused kid
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:

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Eight: I don't want to change your mind.... I want to talk for a while. Look – this boy's been kicked around all his life. You know – living in a slum – his mother dead since he was nine. That's not a very good head start. He's a tough, angry kid. You know why slum kids get that way? Because we knock 'em on the head once a day, every day. I think maybe we owe him a few words. That's all.

Related Characters: Eight (speaker), Accused kid
Page Number: 15-16
Explanation and Analysis:

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Ten: I don't mind telling you this, mister. We don't owe the kid a thing. He got a fair trial, didn't he? You know what that trial cost? He's lucky he got it. Look, we're all grownups here. You're not going to tell us that we're supposed to believe him, knowing what he is. I've lived among 'em all my life. You can't believe a word they say. You know that.

Related Characters: Ten (speaker), Eight, Accused kid
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 2 Quotes

Eight: You want to see this boy die because you personally want it—not because of the facts.

Three: Shut up!

[He lunges at Eight, but is caught by two of the jurors and held. He struggles as Eight watches calmly.]

Three: Let me go. I'll kill him. I’ll kill him!

Eight: You don't really mean you'll kill me, do you?

Related Characters: Three (speaker), Eight (speaker), Accused kid
Page Number: 43
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 3 Quotes

Five: …Anyone who’s ever used a switch knife would never have stabbed downward. You don’t handle a switch knife that way. You use it underhanded. [Illustrates.]
Eight: Then he couldn’t have made the kind of wound that killed his father.
Five: I suppose it’s conceivable that he could have made the wound, but it’s not likely, not if he had any experience with switch knives, and we know that the kid had a lot of experience with switch knives.

Related Characters: Five (speaker), Eight (speaker), Accused kid, Murdered father
Related Symbols: Switch knife
Page Number: 56
Explanation and Analysis:

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Ten: …You know, they get drunk, and bang, someone’s lying in the gutter. Nobody’s blaming them. That’s how they are. You know what I mean? Violent!…Most of them, it’s like they have no feelings…They’re no good. There’s not one of ‘em who’s any good. We better watch out. Take it from me.

Related Characters: Ten (speaker), Accused kid, Murdered father
Page Number: 59
Explanation and Analysis:

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Three: …You made all the arguments. You can’t turn now. A guilty man’s going to be walking the streets. A murderer! He’s got to die! Stay with me!...

Four: I’m sorry. I’m convinced. I don’t think I’m wrong often, but I guess I was this once. There is a reasonable doubt in my mind.

Related Characters: Three (speaker), Four (speaker), Accused kid
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:

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Eight: [to Three] They’re waiting. [Three sees that he is alone. He moves to table and pulls switch knife out of table and walks over to Eight with it. Three is holding knife in approved knife-fighter fashion. Three looks long and hard at juror Eight and weaves a bit from side to side as he holds knife with point of it in direction of Eight’s belly. Eight speaks quietly, firmly.] Not guilty. [Three turns knife around and Eight takes it by handle. Eight closes knife and puts it away.]

Three: Not guilty!

Related Characters: Three (speaker), Eight (speaker), Accused kid
Related Symbols: Switch knife
Page Number: 63
Explanation and Analysis:

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Accused kid Character Timeline in Twelve Angry Men

The timeline below shows where the character Accused kid appears in Twelve Angry Men. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Stubbornness and Taking a Stand Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
Juror Eight replies that he wants to be heard out. He explains that “slum kids” get tough and angry because “we” – meaning society – are always knocking them down.... (full context)
Act 2
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
...that he would vote “not guilty” if he could see any evidence in the accused kid’s favor. Two agrees that the kid is clearly guilty. Four wonders what "guilty beyond a... (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Seven asks Eight who killed the father if the kid was not the murderer. He wonders who else could have had a motive for doing... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Three says the old man heard the kid yell at his father, “I'm going to kill you,” and then heard a body hit... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
...is incredibly loud. Eight then points out that the old man swore he heard the kid’s scream and the body fall. The woman across the street saw the murder through the... (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Stubbornness and Taking a Stand Theme Icon
...raises another point. He says that even if the old man could have heard the kid yell, “I'm going to kill you,” the boy probably wasn't using this phrase to indicate... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
Three disagrees and says that the way the kid said it indicates that he meant it. He screamed it at the top of his... (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Seven wants to know why the kid’s lawyer wouldn't have brought up the points that Eight has raised. Five says that lawyers... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
...heard someone on the stairs, but didn't see the person and assumed it was the kid. (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
Three says that Eight is making up wild stories because he feels sorry for slum kids. He says the kid is guilty and he must pay. Eight asks if Three is... (full context)
Act 3
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Stubbornness and Taking a Stand Theme Icon
...run downstairs nor could he have heard the scream. He also says that if the kid did yell, “I'm going to kill you” then Three’s actions show that this doesn't mean... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
...change his vote and says, “we are not a hung jury” because he believes the kid is guilty. The discussion must go on. Four asks Two why he changed his mind.... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
...how long it took him to get to the door, but right about seeing the kid running down the stairs? He points out that the absence of fingerprints on the knife... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
...points out that the father may have writhed around for a few seconds, and the kid may have stood there watching. Perhaps the kid held his father’s mouth to prevent him... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Four points out that their reenactment didn't take the time it took the kid to run down the stairs into consideration. Four says the old man may have been... (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
...gone over in court extensively. Two says he wasn't convinced. It seems like the shorter kid should not have stabbed his taller father with a downward stroke. (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Eight points out that the kid was an experienced knife fighter; he was sent to reform school for stabbing someone else.... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...who has used such a knife before would never stab downward. Eight confirms that the kid could not have made the type of downward stab that killed his father. Three and... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...that the jurors look at the situation logically and consistently. He asks them: is the kid smart or is the kid dumb? Eight says that this kid is experienced with a... (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...someone else on the train might've also seen the murder. It would take a dumb kid to take that chance. Eight continues the kid is dumb enough to use an obvious... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...can the old man lie only part of the time? Eight says that for the kid to be guilty he must be both stupid and smart and for the kid to... (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...those of Three, Four, and Ten. Ten says he cannot understand how others believe the kid is innocent. He says that "those people" always lie and that they don't feel the... (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...and Twelve go to the window. Ten says these people are no good and this kid is one of them. Three stays at the table, while Four gets up and moves... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
...unable to fall sleep and turned to the window at 12:10 AM. She saw the kid stab his father. Four says that in view of this testimony, he can't vote “not... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
...to put her glasses on. He says this woman may have thought she saw the kid in the act of killing, but she might have only seen a blur. Three wonders... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Stubbornness and Taking a Stand Theme Icon
Eight asks Three for his arguments in favor of the kid’s guilt. He says that they have time to keep discussing the case. Three appeals to... (full context)