Waiting for Jury Verdicts with Bated Breath: The Most Suspenseful Ones in Literature and Film

The climax of a courtroom drama lies in the verdict. With all eyes fixed on the twelve members who hold the power to change lives in their hands, we eagerly wait to see the decision which could only go one of two ways, either of which could spell disaster for someone.

In books and movies, authors have relished that heart-clenching moment, the moment that the jury files in and says “We have a verdict, Your Honor.” They hand a piece of paper to the judge. The judge opens it. Reads it. That’s the instant the judge knows something that no one else but judge and jury know. The fate of another human being.
In books and movies, the verdict may come at the beginning, at the middle, or at the end. Whichever way, it’s the moment we wait for, the moment we can’t predict, and the moment we wonder: what would we do if we were on the jury? Is it fair, is it right, did the good guys win? And who are the good guys anyway?

In this list, Crime Reads compiles some of the most suspenseful verdict moments in which the jury gives their decision and the judge hands it down.

(Image credit: Pixabay)


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