The performance received generally positive reviews. Steve Rhodes wrote when reviewing it in 1997:
The show starts with a dramatic charge by an excessively somber judge. "I urge you to deliberate earnestly and thoughtfully," he intones with the low bass voice of an old preacher at a funeral. "You are faced with a grave responsibility.".... This idea of a fait accompli decision is shattered when one lone juror has the audacity to vote not guilty on the first ballot. "You think he's not guilty," another juror shouts out in anger to him about the defendant. "I've never seen a guiltier man in my life." This group of 12 strangers slowly but sometimes explosively begin to express their opinions.... Robert Cummings plays the persistent juror who wants to slow down the process at least enough so that the young kid charged with murder gets a fair hearing in the jury room. As Cummings begins to raise questions about a few of the obvious facts of the case, his voice is hesitant. Since it was live TV, one can never be sure why, but he gets his words a bit mixed up at first and almost starts to stutter. It was probably planned, and it is just the kind of realistic event that would happen in such circumstances. Cummings gives the best of several outstanding performances. When the racist barks at him, "That's a stupid question," he does not cower but summons up strength from deep within himself. Like a freight train gathering speed, he gains more confidence by the moment, especially when others slowly decide to change their votes.