To what extent was Tom Robinson’s fate sealed the moment Mayella Ewell accused him of rape.
Maycomb is presented as a town fill with many prejudices. However, in the American south of the 1930s racial prejudice was probably the most dangerous and most lethal. This can be seen in the case of Tom Robinson, a black man who is accused of raping a white woman. The implications of being found guilty of such a crime would almost certainly have been the enforcement of the death penalty. The likelihood of being found innocent would have been extremely remote, as can be seen throughout the trial of Tom Robinson. The only remotely positive aspect to Tom Robinsons’ trial is that judge Taylor appoints Atticus Finch as his lawyer. Atticus is a dedicated defence lawyer who really cares about the law being without prejudice. In his closing speech at the trial he says: “our courts have their faults, as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal.” He makes this statement in vain hope that the jury might be persuaded to see past tom Robinsons’ colour and be judged purely in the eyes of the law. Sadly, in Maycomb at this time, this war was never going to happen. Throughout the course of the trial it becomes increasingly evident that would have been physically impossible for Tom Robinson to have committed the crime of which he is accused. The deformity of his left arm, stemming from a childhood accident, would have prevented this from being possible. Although all the evidence suggests Tom Robinsons’ innocence, it becomes increasingly apparent that the trial is merely a formality and that the white male jury had found him guilty before he had entered the courtroom. This can be seen by the way in which the white men in the town form a lynch mob and head to the Maycomb jail prior to the trial with the intention of despairing their own form of vigilante justice. They make their intentions clear to...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document