Tom Robinson Trial Research Paper

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Tom Robinson’s trial shows that, in spite of clear evidence, people in To Kill a Mockingbird are more inclined to find someone guilty of a capital crime than do what is right, just because the defendant is black. This shows widespread contempt and distrust of black people in that time period, especially in the justice system. The trial starts with the Sheriff, Heck Tate, taking the stand. He confirmed that he was called, that she was injured and that Mayella, the victim, did not receive medical treatment, despite being injured. Next, Bob Ewell, Mayella’s father, took the stand. He stated that he heard Mayella screaming. He went on to state that he saw “the defendant having sexual intercourse with (Mayella)”, and that it looked like there…show more content…
She said that “(Robinson) chunked me to the floor an’ choked me’n took advantage of me” She went on to say that she “hollered for all (she) was worth”. During Atticus’ cross-examination, she said that he father was “tollable, ‘cept when... he’s drinking”, and stuck with her story, even as it started to become less likely as Atticus continued, and more likely that her father was forcing her to pursue the charges despite them not being true. The only witness for Tom Robinson was himself. He testified that “(Mayella) sorta... hugged me” and “She reached up an’ kissed me ’side of th’ face. This is consistent with the implication that Bob was mad at Mayella and Tom not for having sex, consensual or otherwise, but for having a hug and a kiss. It further implied that he was the one that inflicted injuries on Mayella. In Atticus's’ closing statement, he said that “The witnesses for the state, with the exception of the Sheriff... (were) confident that (the jury) would go along with them on the assumption - the evil assumption, that all Negroes lie, that all Negroes are basically immoral beings, that all negro men are not to be trusted around our women”. This, along with other things, shows that he believes (most likely correctly) that the Ewells are

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