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A murderer was on trial facing the death penalty. The trial was confusing in many ways. There were four judges ... or maybe there were twenty four. That's confusing on it's own. The accused made a plea to be released. The judges rejected it. The really strange thing is that the judges invoked the name of Allah in their response. As far as I can tell none of the participants were Muslim.

You have probably heard of this case. Can you identify it?

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I remember this case - poor boy... (shakes head)

This describes elements of the song Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen!

A murderer was on trial facing the death penalty

In the lyrics to the song the singer tells his Mama that he:

"...just killed a man.
Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger, now he's dead"


The next verse conjures up an image of somebody facing the death penalty:

"Too late, my time has come
Sends shivers down my spine
Body's aching all the time
Goodbye everybody - I've got to go
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
Mama, ooo - (anyway the wind blows)
I don't want to die
I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all..."

The trial was confusing in many ways. There were four judges... or maybe there were twenty four. That's confusing on it's own.

Take a look at the music video for this song, specifically at 3:42, for example. The 4 members of Queen all sing the judges' lines in this rock opera, but there are moments (like this one) where the video shows 6 copies of the group at once, i.e. 24 of them!

The accused made a plea to be released. The judges rejected it. The really strange thing is that the judges invoked the name of Allah in their response. As far as I can tell none of the participants were Muslim.

The murderer and his supporters plead for leniency:

"I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me."
"He's just a poor boy from a poor family.
Spare him his life from this monstrosity."
"Easy come easy go - will you let me go?"


And the judges respond with:

"Bismillah! No - we will not let you go!"

Here, the word 'Bismillah' is an Arabic phrase meaning "in the name of God" (it's also the first word of the Qur'an).

How did the trial end, you ask? I'm not entirely sure that really matters...

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    $\begingroup$ Ninjaed! shakes fist Oh well, easy come, easy go. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Dec 18, 2020 at 11:34
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    $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan Apologies - I needed a little escape from reality before getting back down to work! ;-) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Dec 18, 2020 at 11:35

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