The Case for the Defence

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The Case for the Defence is a short story by Graham Greene which is about a case which takes unusual turns. Published in 1954, it is part of the short-story collection Twenty-One Stories.


The Case for the Defense is a short story penned down by Graham Greene. In this story, a man named Adams murders an old lady; the murder case is named as the 'Peckham Murder Case'; there are five witnesses to that brutal murder. Gradually, the murder case is introduced in the court where one Adams brother stands in the box while another Adams, identical in looks takes his seat at the back. Adams is sitting with his wife. The witnesses are called to share their memories of the murder night and one after the other they do. The last witness, Mrs. Salmon, also the prime person in the story identifies the man standing before her as the murderer; but soon as she is pointed to look at the Adams at the back, she is confused. There is a dilemma hanging in the air as to who is the real murderer. The Adams standing in the box thereby is acquitted as lack of evidence takes over. But later on, justice overpowers the plot of the Adams. While going out of the court, one of the Adams brothers is hit by a speeding bus, his skull being exactly hammered just as the way Mrs.Parker's had been.And, the other brother cries over his dead brother's body. The real murderer is still unknown to the reader. So, all we can deduce from this story is the concept of divine justice - may be under the influence of some plan or idea, a criminal could escape; but since the devil gets his due, so did he.