A young man is on trial for the first degree murder of his own father - a charge which carries a mandatory death sentence. As the curtain opens, the twelve men are instructed by the judge on the gravity of their deliberations, saying that if there is the slightest doubt in their minds as to the guilt of the defendant, they must acquit. Eleven members believe that the young man is guilty; one juror - Juror 8 - is not convinced, and asks the others to persuade him. The drama depicts a jury forced to reconsider its nearly unanimous decision by the single dissenter who sows a seed of reasonable doubt. Throughout their deliberations, the men do not even call each other by name - because they don't know their names. But as the deliberation goes one, they learn more about each other than they ever bargained for.