Gentleman, we have witnessed one strange case. However, no unusualness should escape the laws lying beneath justice, nor under the name of god. Basing upon reliable evidence and logic that all of us are witnessing, Tom Robinson have no ability nor intent to rape Miss Mayella. He is wronged by the unpolished story crafted by Mr. Ewell and Miss Mayella. A story guilty of ridicule inconsistencies. Mr. Ewell and Miss Mayella may have forgotten about all of the critical eyes laying on them right around this room, watching with upright, scrutinizing for all but the truth.
Under multiple occasions, the testimonies of the two witnesses defied logic. First of all, Mr. Ewell did not call for a doctor when he saw the terrific wounds on his daughter, meanwhile, there is no proof about when or where exactly did the wounds embedded. This is uncommon for any caring father. Meanwhile, considering the medical evidence supporting that the wound on Miss Mayella’s right eye is likely to be stricken by a left hand, Tom Robinson’s handicapped left arm are an indication that there are other unusual causes for the injury. Some may think, what if Tom Robinson had thought of a way to generate this resulted wound? Well, an uneducated man imprudent enough to run his arm through a simple machine like a cotton gin wouldn’t possibly be clever enough to alter professional medical reports or even think fast enough before his action took place.
Judging from another point of view, Miss Mayella’s testimonies are undependable due to her struggles and self-contradictions as she faces the question if Tom Robinson had beaten up her face. Miss Mayella have disregarded our bible when she speaks on this court. She has betrayed the purpose of a trial: to be fair and just. She lied to place a flinch and harmless citizen’s life at stake- for her, and only her own selfish need to earn the peace of mind after her restless guilt of attempting a helplessly black man. All direct and indirect evidence leading to one single solution: Poor Tom Robinson is innocent.
“Actions speak louder than words, but not nearly as often.” Day by day, Tom Robinson has only portrayed himself as an obedient, hardworking, and reverent individual who barely raises his head when he’s talked to. All he did on August 21st was following Miss Mayella’s order to reach for a box on top of a Chiffarobe before any incidents occur. Even Miss Mayella herself stated the fact that Tom Robinson is constantly helping with her choirs. A weak, rustic man like Tom Robinson have no possible motive to ever assault a healthy, young white lady but to demonstrate full reverence to her.
Dear Gentlemen, this is our duty- to follow for nothing but the tangible evidence. This case is crystal clear in terms of who’s the truly innocuous victim. Mr. Ewell and Miss Mayella’s insensitive lie filled with loopholes will not carry them far. A great opportunity is laying in front of us, as the holders of justice, to demonstrate to our audience, regardless of race, that integrity is the only trait that holds until the end, within a court. None can move our passion searching for truth and justifying our constitution.
To Kill a Mockingbird. Dir. Robert Mulligan. By Horton Foote. Perf. Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, and Phillip Alford. Universal-International, 1962. Online. Netflix. Web. 12 Sept. 2016.
This post will focus on Atticus Finch’s closing argument in Tom Robinson’s trial. Watch the clip from the film adaptation and read the transcript of his speech. This will be helpful to those of you who are studying the novel and/or preparing for your Oral Presentations.
In ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Atticus Finch sets a standard of morality that no other character in the book comes close to matching. Atticus is a stable and mature figure who is able to cope with the unreasonable and highly emotional elements of Maycomb. He is one of the few people, in the town of Maycomb, who understand the the individual worth of a persons regardless of the colour of their skin.
Atticus was assigned to Tom Robinson’s case and although he knows that the case will be unfair and he will lose he does all he can to win justice. He is the only lawyer that is able to put some doubt in the minds of the jury.
The actor Gregory Peck, who played Atticus in the film was a civil rights activist and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom award. Peck favoured the role of Atticus over all his other roles and he had this to say about his performance:
“I put everything I had into it – all my feelings and everything I’d learned in 46 years of living, about family life and fathers and children. And my feelings about racial justice and inequality and opportunity”.
Author Harper Lee loved his portrayal of Finch and said of it: “In that film, the man and the part met.”
Atticus Finch delivers his Closing Argument at the Trial of Tom Robinson
Atticus: To begin with, this case should never have come to trial. The State has not produced one iota of medical evidence that the crime Tom Robinson is charged with ever took place. It has relied instead upon the testimony of two witnesses whose evidence has not only been called into serious question on cross examination, but has been flatly contradicted by the defendant. Now there is circumstantial evidence to indicate that Mayella Ewell was beaten savagely by someone who led, almost exclusively, with his left. And Tom Robinson now sits before you, having taken “The Oath” with the only good hand he possesses – his right.
I have nothing but pity in my heart for the Chief Witness for the State. She is the victim of cruel poverty and ignorance. But, my pity does not extend so far as to her putting a man’s life at stake, which she has done in an effort to get rid of her own guilt. Now I say “guilt,” gentlemen, because it was guilt that motivated her. She’s committed no crime. She has merely broken a rigid and time-honoured code of our society, a code so severe that whoever breaks it is hounded from our midst as unfit to live with. She must destroy the evidence of her offense. But, what was the evidence of her offense? Tom Robinson, a human being. She must put Tom Robinson away from her. Tom Robinson was to her a daily reminder of what she did.
Now what did she do? She tempted a negro. She was white and she tempted a negro. She did something that in our society is unspeakable: She kissed a black man. Not an old uncle, but a strong, young negro man. No code mattered to her before she broke it, but it came crashing down on her afterwards.
The witnesses for the State, with the exception of the sheriff of Lincoln County, have presented themselves to you gentlemen – to this Court – in the cynical confidence that their testimony would not be doubted; confident that you gentlemen would go along with them on the assumption, the evil assumption, that all negroes lie; all negroes are basically immoral beings; all negro men are not to be trusted around our women, an assumption that one associates with minds of their calibre, and which is in itself, gentlemen, a lie – which I do not need to point out to you.
And so, a quiet, humble, respectable negro, who has had the unmitigated TEMERITY to feel sorry for a white woman, has had to put his word against two white peoples. The defendant is not guilty. But somebody in this courtroom is.
Now, gentlemen, in this country our courts are the great levelers. In our courts, all men are created equal. I’m no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and of our jury system. That’s no ideal to me. That is a living, working reality!
Now I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence that you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this man to his family.
In the name of God, do your duty. In the name of God, believe Tom Robinson.