To Kill A Mockingbird. The Trial Of Tom Robinson
'Guilty' verdict has been reached in the trial of Tom Robinson. A jury of twelve
whites has reached a verdict that Tom Robinson, a black male, raped Mayella Ewell,
a white woman. The rendition of this verdict has brought to a close a trial that has
captured the news and stirred the emotions of this town for several months. It
somehow seems fitting that this trial, for a most horrible crime, began during the
winter months when all of nature is dead, and has ended with the beginning of
Spring when all of nature seems to come alive.
Tom Robinson, a 25 year old black male, stood accused of raping a 19 year old
white woman named Mayella Ewell. The crime took place in November of last year.
Both the victim and the accused were lifelong residents of Maycomb, County and
were acquainted. Mr. Robinson was represented by County lawyer, Atticus Finch, a
well renowned and respected lawyer.
Highlights of the Trial
The Prosecution's strongest witness was the alleged victim, Mayella Ewell. Ms.
Ewell stated under oath that the defendant, Tom Robinson, was in fact the person
who raped her. However, there were several discrepancies in the testimony that she
provided under questioning and cross examination. The defendants lawyer, Atticus
Finch, tried to capitalize on the contradictory statements made by Ms. Ewell. He
questioned the witness using a variety of techniques and seemed to receive less than
uniform answers to the same questions that were asked in a different manner. At
times the witness appeared confused and became frustrated and emotional as Mr.
Finch continued to try and raise a reasonable doubt among the jurors concerning the
testimony that was being given by Ms. Ewell.
The Defenses' strongest witness was the accused himself, Tom Robinson.
Lawyer Finch called his client to the stand and questioned him about the allegations
that were being made about him. Mr. Robinson answered his lawyer's question...
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To Kill A Mockingbird: Unfair Trial Essay
In To Kill A Mockingbird, Tom Robinson, a casualty in the fight for equality in place of racism, becomes mistreated. He went through some horrible predicaments especially in the event of the trial. In Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, Tom Robinson, shown as an innocent victim by the racism, circumstantial evidence, and opposing evidence, does not deserve a guilty verdict.
Judge Taylor, shown as an "amiable, white-haired and ruddy-faced" man, becomes faced with the running of an unjust law system (Lee165). The jury, described as "sunburned, lanky and all farmers" all accept this system of justice (164). Both white groups of people, it hardly seems fair that Tom went through their court. Tom, subjected to judgment from the white judge and jury, seemed thoroughly mistreated. When Tom said, " Yes suh. I felt right sorry for her, she seemed to try more than the rest of "em-" he exhibited a wrong, sinful quality according to the people of that courthouse (197). The prosecutor then said to the defendant " You felt sorry for her, you felt sorry for her?" showing his disgust to having a Negro sorry for a white person (197). One quote from the book states " The witness realized his mistake and shifted uncomfortably in the chair. But the damage was done. Below us, nobody liked Tom Robinson's answer. Mr. Gilmer paused a long time to let it sink in" and we realize that at this, Toms death sentence, he felt sorry for Mayella Ewell, and might end his time (197). During the time period this event happened, racism ran rampant among those in Macomb. "There are four kinds of people in the world. There's the ordinary kind, like us and the neighbors, there's the kind like the Cunninghams out in the woods, the kind like the Ewells in the dump, and the Negroes" says Jem in his attempt to find ground on the subject (226). The black men in this community don't stand a chance going up against a white man because of the racism exercised by many townspeople in court infers Reverend Sykes when he says "I ain't ever seen a jury decide in favor of a colored man over a white man"(208). When we notice the huge difference of conditions that the white people and the colored people live in we also notice how much racism the classes of people can create and we see where the colored people live in the passage: "a dirt road ran down from the highway past the dump, down to a small Negro settlement, some five-hundred yards beyond the Ewells (171).
The Ewells did not seem to encompass the believability witnesses to a crime need to have. Mr. Ewell made jokes on the stand such as "Well if I ain't I can't do nothing about it now, her ma's dead" even...
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