Scene: A courtroom in Oklahoma where a person is on trial for murder.
There is strong evidence indicating guilt; however, there is no corpse.
In the defense’s closing statement the lawyer, knowing that his client is guilty and that it looks like he’ll probably be convicted, resorts to a clever trick.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I have a surprise for you all,” the lawyer says as he looks at his watch.
“Within 1 minute, the person presumed dead in this case will walk into this courtroom,” he says and he looks toward the courtroom door.
The jury, somewhat stunned, all look on eagerly. A minute passes. Nothing happens.
Finally, the lawyer says: ‘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, retires to deliberate. A very few minutes later, the jury returns and a representative pronounces a verdict of guilty.
“But how?” inquires the lawyer. “You must have had some doubt; I saw all of you stare at the door.”
Answers the representative: “Oh, we did look. But your client didn’t.”