To Kill A Mockingbird: Unfair Trial Essay

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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 after warned by the Judge not to do so (172). Mayella does not seem so sure that her father acts well towards her in the quote: ""˜Except nothing", Said Mayella. "I said he does tolerable."(183). In the citation ""˜Except when he's drinking?' asked Atticus so quietly that Mayella nodded" we see that Mayella, afraid to tell anyone about her home problems and her fathers abuse, will not reveal her hurt. She does not seem any more collected when she says, "No, I don't recollect if he hit me. I mean, yes, I do, he hit me" or when she says "Yes he hit- I just don't remember" (185). One portion of the trial goes over the fact that no doctor was ever called at any point in the night of the accused crime. When Atticus says, "Did you, during all this running, run for a doctor?" or "Didn't you think she should have a doctor immediately?" (175). The resounding answer: No. When the question "Did you not think the nature of her condition warranted immediate medical attention?" Mr. Ewell answered that "He had never thought of it, he had never called a doctor in any of his life, and if he had it would have cost him five dollars" or "Wadn't no need to. I seen what happened" (175). Another part of the trial entertains the establishment of the crime of rape. Atticus asks, "Did you call a doctor sheriff? Did anybody call a doctor?" and "Didn't call a doctor?" to the sheriff. Sheriff Tate tells him "I'll tell you why I didn't. It wasn't necessary, Mr. Finch. She was mighty banged up. Something sho' happened, it was obvious" (169). I agree with Atticus when he says, "the state has not produced one iota of medical evidence to the affect that the crime Tom Robinson is charged with took place" (203).

The opposing evidence showing us Tom's true innocence surpasses all other evidence. The clear and plain evidence that Tom's left arm does not function and Mayella shows bruises on the right side of her face, as well as all around her neck tells us how truly unfairly they condemn Tom. They clearly establish in the courtroom that Tom cannot use his left arm when Jen says, "Scout, look! Reverend, he's crippled!" (186). Tom, being truly crippled had a machine that "tore all the muscles loose from his bones" (186). Sheriff Tate testified this passage: "It was her right eye Mr. Finch. I remember now, she was bunged upon that side of her face"¦" (168). Which shows us where Mayella, beaten, sports blue marks. Mr. Ewell said both, "I hold with everything Tate said" and "I holds with Tate. Her eye was blacked and she was mighty beat up" showing us how stable his remarks become when he feels sure he can win (176). When Atticus asks, "Mr. Ewell, can you read and write?" everyone becomes shocked and an objection appears from the crowd because they cannot yet see the importance of this question (176). The importance of this question becomes lucid after Atticus asks again, "Will you write your name and show us?" (176). Judge Taylor exclaims, "You're left handed, Mr. Ewell" and must silence again, the crowd below (177). The two testimonies of the Ewells and Tom Robinson flatly contradicted each other in this grueling trial. First, Tom Robinson said, "She hugged me. She hugged me round the waist" while Mayella Ewell testified, in Atticus's words that "The defendant hit you, grabbed you around the neck, choked you, and took advantage of you" (194, 185). Mayella Ewell asked "Was this the first time you asked him to come inside the fence?" said, "Yes, it was" (184). This shows us she clearly testifies to never before inviting Tom Robinson into her home. In contradiction, Tom Robinson testified "one day she asked me to come inside the fence and bust up a chiffarobe for her" "way last spring" (191). This, along with the passage: "She'd call me in, suh. Seemed like every time I passed by yonder she'd have some little somethin' for me to do" shows us that Tom has a completely different story then Mayella does, and the jury has no reason to convict either of these two on circumstantial evidence (191). In layman terms, Atticus Finch says the following about Mayella Ewell's testimony: "flatly contradicted by the defendant" (203).

Tom Robinson, an innocent victim, became mistreated by racism, lack of circumstantial evidence, and opposing evidence, in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, also showing great courage. The mistreatment of Tom Robinson shows us an unfair trial passed as normal in the small town of Macomb.