The trial of Tom Robinson in “To Kill a Mocking Bird” Essay
The trial of Tom Robinson in “To Kill a Mocking Bird”
I walked into the court room, and looked at the jury, they were all white, I knew that it would have to be a miracle to get the jury to come back with the verdict that Tom Robinson was innocent. But I had a plan. If the trial goes well, I will appeal against the verdict, and then the court case will go to another place, where the jury won’t be so biased against black people.
The trial started and the first person who took the stand was the Sheriff, Mr Tate. The oppositions Lawyer, Mr Gilmer, was the first to ask Mr Tate some questions, all Mr Gilmer asked the Sheriff was what had happened on that night, the Sheriff replied by saying that he saw Miss Ewell on the floor beaten up, and that she had told him Tom Robinson had beaten her up and that Tom Robinson had took advantage of her. Things hadn’t started well for me and Tom Robinson. I stood up and proceeded to ask Mr Tate some questions, the first question I asked was if he had called a doctor, Mr Tate replied by saying no, I asked him in a different way another two times, to make my point clear that no doctor had been called.
I then asked him to describe the girls injuries, he described them and I asked on what side of her face was her black eye, after a couple of tries he finally said it was her right eye, and that it was mainly the right side of her face that was banged up badly. This was good news for me and Tom Robinson as I knew that Tom couldn’t use his left hand, and it was obvious that who ever beat her up was using his left hand, I didn’t reveal this to the court just yet. I then sat down and Mr Tate left the stand.
The next person who was called to the stand was the father of the girl who was beaten up, his name was Robert E. Lee Ewell. Mr Gilmer was the first to question him he asked a couple of questions, and then he asked the important question. He asked Mr Ewell what he saw on that night, Mr Ewell replied with that he saw Tom Robinson having sexual intercourse with his daughter Mayella, he then said that he ran into the house but Tom Robinson had got out of the front door, moments before he had got there, He then said that he didn’t chase after Tom Robinson because he was more concerned with his daughter Mayella, he said after making sure she was alright, he ran down to the Sheriffs and got him to come back to the house.
Mr Gilmer then sat down as he had no further questions to ask, Mr Ewell left the stand, but bumped into me as he tried to get back to where he had come from, I told him to go back to the stand as I had a couple of questions to ask him. I asked Mr Ewell a few questions, I then got him to write his name on the envelope, hoping to prove that he was left handed, as the person who beat Mayella up was left handed, Mr Ewell wrote his name and it showed he was left handed. I asked Mr Ewell if he was left handed and he said yes he was. That was my last thing to do with Mr Ewell so I sat down waiting for the next witness.
The next person that took the stand was the victim Mayella Ewell. Mr Gilmer asked Mayella to tell everyone what had happened on the night she was beaten up on. Mayella burst into tears about a minute into questioning, and said that she was scared of my questioning techniques. After the Judge calmed down Mayella, she started to tell the jury what had happened on that day. She said that she called him over to bust up a chiffarobe, she said that he came to her and she said to him I’ll just go get you a nickel, I went inside to get him a nickel and he ran up behind me, and grabbed me by the neck, he was cussing me and then he started to beat me. Mr Gilmer waited for Mayella to collect herself, when she was ready she said that he forced her to the floor and took advantage of her. I started asking Miss Mayella some questions, trying to build up a picture to the jury of her life at home, I then asked weather her father was good to her, she replied with a firm yes, but then she said except, but she stopped, I asked except when, but she replied as if she had never said the word except.
I then asked her weather her father had beaten her when he was on the drink, she replied with a firm answer of no. After a few more questions I told Tom to stand up, I then asked Mayella if this was the man who raped her, she replied with a yes. I then started to ask questions trying to get to her heart and make her tell everyone that it was her Dad who had beat her, but she wouldn’t answer any of my questions. She then started shouting that if we don’t find Tom Robinson guilty then we are all yellow cowards. She then burst into tears again. Mayella was allowed to leave the stand. The court then took a ten minute break.
We then called the final witness, Tom Robinson. I started by asking Tom about weather he had been in court before and he had said yes, I used this to show that Tom has nothing to hide. Tom then began to explain that he had done a lot of jobs for Mayella and that he never charged her for it. Tom then started to explain what happen on the night in question and he said he went in because Mayella called him in, but Tom said there was nothing for him to do, but Mayella told him to get a box of the top of the chiffarobe, I did what she said but she grabbed my legs, when I got down she hugged me around the waist, she then kissed me, I ran for the door but Mayella blocked, but then her dad looked through the window and shouted at Mayella, you god damn whore, Ill Kill you. I then just ran out of there. I asked if he had raped Mayella, he replied no sir, I asked if he had harmed her and he said no sir. That was the last of my questioning. Mr Gilmer now started to question Tom. He started saying stuff at Tom trying to break him down and trying to make him look like a liar in front of the jury, but Tom had an answer for all of his questions.
That was the end of building up the evidence to prove Toms innocence. It was now time to go over all the evidence with the jury in a short summary. I proceeded to say that mostly the beating that was given to Mayella was done by somebody left handed, and we have all seen Mr Ewell write his name with his left hand, and we have all seen Tom Robinson swear on the oath with the only hand that he can use, which is his right hand. I then gave a long passionate speech about all men being equal, all the time trying to reach the jury’s hearts because I knew if I couldn’t reach their hearts and try to change their feelings about black people then we would loose the case because we live in a racist society where white people think they are superior to black people.
That was the end of the trial and it was all down to the jury. I started walking around in the court room waiting for the jury to return with their verdict. Finally the jury the returned, they passed the piece of paper with the verdicts on to the judge, the judge polled the jury: guilty, guilty, guilty, the whole of the jury had returned with the verdict guilty. I walked over to Tom and had a word with him, I then left the court room, I was saddened by the fact that the jury had let the colour of the mans skin decide that he was guilty, but I knew we could appeal against the ruling and have the trial taken to another place in the country, where Tom would receive a fair trial, and that trial I would win and Tom would be free.