Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Circumstantial Evidence is so expertly acted and directed that the audience is willing to forget its gaping logic holes. Pugnacious family man Joe Reynolds (Milo O'Shea), blowing his top as usual, threatens violence to an unlikeable storekeeper (Ben Welden). When the latter is killed, Joe is arrested for murder. Thanks to circumstantial evidence and faulty eyewitness accounts, Joe is sentenced to death in what seems to be a matter of days-and never mind that the defense attorney hasn't the presence of mind to enter medical testimony into the record. While awaiting his fate on death row (one of the nicest, most inviting death rows in cinema history), Joe is regularly visited by his young son Pat (Billy Cummings), who has always believed in his dad's innocence. For Pat's sake, Joe escapes from prison on the eve of his execution. Meanwhile Pat and a family friend, postman Sam Lord (Lloyd Nolan), have sought out the eyewitnesses whose testimony cinched Joe's conviction; with a little gentle persuasion, the witnesses probe their memories and realize that they were mistaken, and that the victim's death was accidental. Armed with this new evidence, Pat and Sam convince Joe to break back into jail so that his release can be secured through the proper channels.
arrest, conflict, conviction, criminal, electric-chair, escape, evidence, execution, false-accusation, false-conviction, father, grocer, investigation, killing, murder, prison, son, testimony, witness