Kate Wilson, a new saloonkeeper in Laramie, has a history of legal transgressions for which the all-male juries of the time refuse to convict her. As the episode opens she has escaped punishment yet again, this time under the watch of Marshal Dan Troop.
When the celebration at the saloon gets too noisy, Dan tells Kate he'll shut her down if she doesn't quiet the party. Kate responds by trying to seduce him. No luck. But her boyfriend Carter tries to warn Dan off anyway. Kate assures Carter she was only trying to put Dan in his place.
Harry Tate, the newspaper editor, has kept track of all the crimes in the territory. Kate has escaped justice many times. One in particular catches Dan's attention. She shot a man in cold blood in an alley, but her boyfriend Larry Bennett took the blame and was sent to prison for manslaughter. After Kate's men rob an old man in an alley and Johnny gets a gun butt on the back of the head when he goes to help, Dan decides on a plan of action. He tells Johnny to take care of things for a few days.
Dan puts Bennett in jail where a visit from Kate new boyfriend only makes him more anxious to testify against her. Dan puts Kate under house arrest at the hotel with Johnny to guard her. She asks Dan who's going to watch Johnny while he's watching her. She engages Johnny in a poker game for penny stakes.
The look on Johnny's face as Kate tells him a sad story about getting into this fix because she didn't want to die young of hard work like her mother, suggests that he could be duped into sympathizing with her, but not enough to shirk his duty. Her lawyer is concerned that Dan might have an ace up his sleeve. Kate just tells him to make sure all the jurors are between 45 and 50. Before the trial begins, it's clear the jurors are all smitten with Kate, just as the previous ones were. However, Dan, the prosecutor and judge have a plan. The judge dismisses the whole jury, finding that they cannot be impartial. Then Dan leads the next jury panel to the jury box, 12 women.
Kate's lawyer objects. But the judge reminds him that women have had the vote in Wyoming since 1869 and are therefore permitted on juries. He's also informed there are enough women waiting to serve that there will be more than enough left if he decides to use his peremptory objections on the first set. Kate decides to plead guilty. She tells Dan that maybe if she'd met a man like him a long time ago, she wouldn't have ended up like she did.
NiteOwl Review: An interesting episode which basically played for the punch line of the all-woman jury. Not one for collectors looking for episodes with future big-name actors. Anthony George was probably the most familiar name in the guest cast. He was a regular in 1960 on The Untouchables with Robert Stack, then costarred with Doug McClure and Sebastian Cabot on Checkmate for two years (Sep 1960 to Sep 1962). Nothing here for collectors particularly interested in the back stories of or interactions between the main characters.
Kate Wilson charms the jury
Kate's attentions to Dan do nothing but rile her boyfriend
Harry Tate has a crimes list
Johnny spots one in progress
Dan visits Larry Bennett in prison
Johnny plays penny stakes poker with Kate
He hangs on her every word
Dan leaves Johnny on guard
The judge wants a jury with an open mind
A resolute stream of female jurors files in
Kate realizes she won't escape this time
Original air date Nov 9, 1958
Directed by Richard L. Bare
Written by Edmund Morris
John Russell as Dan Troop
Peter Brown as Johnny McKay
Jean Willes as Kate Wilson
Anthony George as Larry Bennett
John Reach as Carter Knox
Harry Cheshire as Judge Trager
Jon Lormer as Harry Tate
Don Beddoe as Jim Tyler
Tom Jackson as the Warden
Official Peter Brown Fan Site