Blog Assignment 2: Defending Tom Robinson

Now, before I begin, I urge you to set aside your prejudices for Tom Robinson and to see him as simply your neighbor. See past the color of his skin and look solely at the evidence. This man stands before you on trial for the rape of a woman, with nothing but circumstantial evidence against him. The little evidence that was produced does not even point to Tom Robinson. This man stands on trial for a crime that he did not even commit.

I ask you to look back on Mayella Ewell’s testimony. I can see how this testimony is compelling: when a woman proclaims that a man has taken advantage of her it is natural for people to feel for her. But Tom Robinson is not that man. Look back at the bruises found on Mayella’s face and neck, damages caused by someone who hits predominately with their left hand. Now look at Tom Robinson, a man with a disabled left hand that he cannot even use. It is obvious that someone caused great physical harm to Mayella Ewell, but Tom is not that man. Tom is however, a man with great character, a man that took the time out of his day to go help a woman with her chores without even a penny’s pay.

Now, look back to Tom Robinson’s testimony. Tom stated that he was asked by Mayella Ewell to help her complete some tasks on several different occasions. Tom helped her each time. On that day, the day Mayella alleges she was taken advantage of, Tom was just being helpful when he entered the Ewell house. He only entered the house because he was asked to. He had no thoughts in his mind that anything was suspicious. When Mayella kissed him he left as quickly as possible. And yes, you heard me right. Mayella kissed Tom, Tom did not kiss her. Tom, being the respectable man he is, left and did not take advantage of that situation. However, it seems that Mayella has taken advantage of hers. After Tom left, someone hurt Mayella. Rather than take the blame for kissing Tom, Mayella instead manipulated the situation. She knew that most jury’s would not see past the color of Tom’s skin and would immediately convict him, regardless of the evidence. But you are not a jury that will do that. You are a jury that will simply see Tom as a person. You are a jury that will unravel the manipulation of Mayella Ewell.

This trial is coming to a close. The decision of Tom’s fate rests in the hands of you, the jury. Tom is a man with a wife and children, like many of you. Tom works for a living like many of you. Tom is a man who felt “sorry” for a woman and helped her do her chores. How many of you would have let a woman to chop wood by herself? How many of you would have done what Tom did and helped out? The only thing this trial has displayed is that Tom Robinson is a good man. There is no evidence that he took advantage of Mayella Ewell at all. Now I urge you to look at the evidence supplied today and make the right decision regarding this trial and Tom’s fate.

Works Cited:

To Kill a Mockingbird. Dir. Robert Mulligan. By Horton Foote. Perf. Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, and Phillip Alford. Universal-International, 1962. Web. 14 Sept. 2016

39 thoughts on “Blog Assignment 2: Defending Tom Robinson

  1. One appeal that Katelyn uses is Logos. She walks the jury through the events that happened that evening from the factual standpoint of her client. She also uses Pathos at the end when she tries to get the members of the jury invested in Tom Robinson by allowing them to see things from his perspective. She appeals to the chivalrous southern gentlemen in them that would cause them to do the exact same things that Tom Robinson did.

    If I am being 100% honest this wouldn’t pursued me to acquit Tom Robinson if I were one of the jurors. I don’t think it is Katelyn’s fault because the prejudice that I have built up inside of me for so long is so strong. I feel like no matter who’s account of the evening I heard I would feel that maybe Tom still tempted Mayella. Maybe it was the way he was looking at her or some other part of his physicality that caused her to go crazy and kiss him. Regardless, with my bias, I would still think it was his fault. Being honest Tom would probably get a guilty verdict no matter what closing arguments say because he is being judged by a jury that is not made up of his peers and is not even close to being representative of the community that they live in. No matter if they are poor and do the same work, they will always feel superior because they are white and he is black and I think that is why he would get a guilty verdict no matter what anyone said.

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