Closing Argument By Defence

Dear members of the jury, to begin with, I would like to ask you to judge the case and the person accused, Tom Robinson, only by facts and evidences provided by both sides of the case. Considering the fact that you are the ones that draw final decision and you are the ones that decide the fate of this young man, I would like to ask you to look at the case from a perspective that is uncommon for our society, a perspective which has been refuted by generations, a perspective that all of us are born equal. However, understanding the barriers and barricades that we have built in our society, it is in my understanding that just asking to be objective might not be enough.

That said, I would like to start the closing argument by underlining the facts that not only question the credibility of the other side, but have also been refuted by the defendant. The evidence, provided by sheriff Heck Tate, displays that Miss Mayella Ewell has been beaten up by a left-handed person. However, Tom’s left hand is no use for him. Moreover, taking into consideration the fact that Bob Ewell, Mayella’s alcoholic father, is left-handed, it is highly unlikely for any reasonable person to question the guilt of the person accused of this crime. The fact that this case is happening, undermines the basic principles of justice. Therefore, I would like you to look into the depths of your hearts, a part which has been concealed by the stereotypes of our society, a part which we sometimes forget that exists, but a part that is an integral piece of us – empathy. I want you not only to understand the feelings of Tom Robinson and his family, but also to feel the pain that they have to suffer. This man has been separated from his family simply because of the fact that he felt sorry for Mayella Ewell. We are still standing here not because of the fact that evidence might illustrate that this person is guilty, but because of the fact that Tom Robinson is a young, black man who simply felt sorry for the white lady! I would like you to understand and feel all of the humiliation and disgrace Tom Robinson has to overcome because of the improbable testimony of two white witnesses. I would like you to look at Tom as your own individual brother, cousin, friend or child and decide for yourself: is Tom Robinson guilty of the terrible crime that he is accused of?

As my final words, I would like to remind you to do what you came here to do, to do your jobs as jurors, to do your duties and to do your privileges – serve the justice, the justice that has no race, a justice that is based on facts and evidences. Therefore, after reviewing the testimony of Tom’s innocence, I am confident that you, gentlemen, will come to a decision “to restore this man to the family” and find this man not guilty for the crime he simply did not commit (TKM).

Thank you for your attention.

To Kill a Mockingbird. Directed by Robert Mulligan.

Universal Pictures. 1962.

The defence

Long ago since the creation of Constitution, the place of the court has always been undebatable. Yet throughout my whole career life I’ve never seen a case so rash and so unmeticulous like this.Lack of medical evidence raised by third party, lack of the formal interrogation done  by enforcers, this case has been brought directly to the court to be a total farce and to be someone’s redemption for his or her own guilt. It makes me wonder again and again what is the real purpose behind all this, and what is the real reason that can account for all today’s shoutings and hysterical quarrels exploded on the court.So let’s start again and see what is really going on.

Tom Robinson, a negro, had his left-hand hurt badly during an accident when he was just a boy. The only functional hand he possesses now is his right. However, our poor Ms. Mayella was beaten seriously on her right face which suggests she was actually beaten by a man who is left-handed. Furthermore, the official testimony from our sheriff indicated that the guy who beats and “probably” rapes Mayella was once grabbing her neck and trying to choke her, however the traces on her neck, as we may see, show that the perpetrator has to have both hands on her neck to cause such serious injuries.Beside the unquestionable evidence mentioned above, countless flaws and contradictions exist in prosecutors’ statement. The most confusing and unreasonable part of Mr. Ewell’s statement is that why didn’t he run to the doctors at the very first place when witnessing his own daughter was that seriously injured. This action makes me doubt the reason for him to call Sheriff is not his instinct but is a planned move. So Tom Robinson can’t be proved guilty by prosecutors’ testimony, what is behind all their anger?

It’s guilt.It is Ms. Mayella’s guilt for kissing a young and strong black man.It is Ms. Mayella’s guilt annoys her that she wants Tom to disappear. She felt sinful for wanting a black man due to our distorted social trend nowadays—that the Blacks are black because they’re inferior people. Now I urge all of you in this court to consider why is Tom different from us? He needs food as we do too, he needs to sleep at night as we all do too, and he thinks in his head like all we do too. He is a human as we all do, but the reason we can’t accept his “sorry” for a white lady is just he’s black. Why? Why in god’s name would we praise out ancestors every day for declaring independence while forgetting that there’s a belief in their heart that shouts ” All men are created equal” ! Gentlemen, as the greatest levelers that directly demonstrate justice, as the weights that would be put on the scale to make it balance, I urge you to consider both the hard evidence that is presented in court, and the rightness of our values today. I urge you to put down the bias and strange beliefs that once rooted in your heart and think rationally. I urge you to think twice, let’s bring Tom home.

Blog Assignment2

At the very end of this court, as merely a US citizen, I should say that I would like to send my empathy to Mayella, not because of her experience of intercourse with a colored man but because of her ignorance and foolish reaction of breaking the taboo herself. In our current society, it is an inexcusable for white woman fault to seduce a colored man. Mayella just did so and, more than that, she not only kissed him and tried to intercourse with him, but also she was spot by her father, Bob Edwell. Most importantly, who she tempted was a grown, strong nigger. Such a miscreant misconduct! If this spread as a scandal, how will her life be? How will be the damaging effect that will pose to her entire family? No matter how, those were going to be the matters that they could not accept. Especially, those were the matters that she could not accept. She, therefore, made a decision to destroy the only people who was able to expose this scandal. She pretended herself as a victim. She charged Tom, the innocent colored man, under the crime of rape. It is probably because she, as a white woman, she knew for sure that she could will the sympathy within the juries; she knew the hierarchy within our society that white people are always over niggers; she knew that, thanks to the hierarchy, people would not bear a colored man feeling sorry for a white woman who he copulated with; she knew that people possess the stereotype that nigger are always liars and evils.

 

However, when we dig deep to her thought, we could find one thing that might be wrong. Colored men are not always liars nor evil. They can be the law-binding citizen who are industrious and willing to help. Just as defendant, tom was a law-binding worker and the helpful nature of him drive him to enter Malleya’s room to fix her sound door without a second thought.  Then, he was seduced by the woman, who asked him for help, and now is charging him for crime, just because she could not accept the impact of her behavior. Mellaya, in this case, is the people who is really guilty and need empathy.

 

Then, when we think about what she just talked, we can easily extract the point that she was not telling the truth. She said that Tom strike her at her right face and try to strangle her. However, as we previously demonstrated, Tom ‘s left hand was disable when he was 12 so that he could neither strike Mellaya’s right face with his left hand nor strangle her, which required the effort combined by two hands. I know the fact that I just stated might be a bit challenge to the preconception toward this case of you own. Some people even wanted to distort the fact in order to let the hold case make sense to their stereotype of colored people and the sympathy of Mellaya.

 

Gentlemen, this is not a call for equality of all race. This is just merely a call of justice. And here where I am standing and where you guys are all sitting is a place that stands for the quality of all citizen. We would not kill a mocking bird because it always sings beautiful song to us. As is Tom, an upright, straightforward colored man who is always willing to help. Hence, Gentleman, I beg you to stand for justice and punish the people who is really guilty.

Atticus’s closing speech

 

Initially, I believe the accusation of this case should not be proposed because there is no testified medical evidence for violence and no verifiable material provided. All we know the alleged fact only relies on the plaintiff and witnesses’ statements. However, I also have faith in the judicious jurors who can make rational and empathetic decision with justice from every equal human being. And I know that our court can protect rights fairly and for the name of god, there is no reason for us to kill an innocent person like we can’t not kill a “mockingbird” which only sing and does no harm to others. As a lawyer, I have fidelity and loyalty integrity to the law and I’m here to reveal the veil of the truth and promote justice.

In order to rationally reconsider the evidence asserted by witness, I think Tom gave us enough testimony to demonstrate that there is no way for him to hit Mayella Ewell on her right face. As we can see, He even could not lift his left hands. Furthermore, imagine if our children get hurt, don’t you think the only thing we will do immediately is to call the doctor and make sure our children are safe? But obviously, this father here doesn’t care about his daughter but concentrate on perpetrator. However, the reason why Tom stopped by her house every time is to help Mayella instead of filthy thinking. There is no logic to maintain that Tom wants to rape her because he is young and strong. There are definitely someone lying here and both of chief witness and defendant are victims. “I have nothing but pity in my heart to Mayella because she is the victim of cruel and poverty and ignorance”.(TK) It’s her own family and even society’s evil assumption, Negros are basically immoral beings and cannot trusted by white woman, makes her feel shame and guilty. But there is no rational belief and forgivable excuse for her to condemn innocent Tom to death sentence and let guiltless Tom to offset her misbehavior and misconduct.

I want all jurors to “assail our role in public deliberation” and put away the “first-person reference”. ( Nussbaum Rational Emotions 59) If this is a court which white man only feel empathy about white people and don’t even want to have any emotional and reasonable   appeal to Negros, this injustice court should be dismissed and send Tom to his home. It’s jurors’ duty to avoid the bias and become judicious “third-party” people. Let us concentrate on the intangible but indelible assumption in our mind that all Negros are evil inborn and no matter what they do can be regarded as detrimental to society. We have to admit our society often takes the unequal rules and monstrous value on Negros. And the value is extremely radical that even if someone render logos and pathos to the unfair facts, they just ignore them and stick to pervious assumption. However, our country is equal to everyone and our court is justice to every single person nevertheless nationalities, races or gender. So how can we put an a moral and respectable person “ at stake”and force him to suffer from the evil and wrong assumption that black man are congenitally mendacious and detrimental to society? (TK) Where is our humanity as human being? Where is our intelligence to put Pathos and logos in the first place? Where is the equity of our country? Again, I hope you gentlemen can get rid of personal bias and make decision by evidence.

Cited from

To kill a Mocking Bird, Directed by Robert Mulligan , Distributed by Universal Pictures, Released on December 25, 1962

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cite from To Kill a Mockingbird By Nelle Harper Lee

Hoffman, Martin L. “Empathy, Justice, and the Law.” Empathy: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives. Ed. Amy Coplan and Peter Goldie. Oxford, UK: Oxford UP, 2011. 230-244.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atticus Finch Closing Speech

First of all, I want to make sure one fatal thing, that the people of Macomb, either standing or sitting here, all believe that in the court, justice will not partiality for anyone and every person deserves their result, and this trail will certainly be transparent, fair and equally for every person who sits either on the plaintiff or the dock.

It is no exaggeration to say that the so-called evidence provided by accusers is, self-conflicting and persuading. The plaintiff claims that Mayella Ewell was raped and beaten hard by a young Negro, whose name is Tom Robinson, but there is no witness on the scene but themselves, whose testimony has not been called into serious question and has not be confirmed to be creditable.(TKM) Moreover, the only trustable evidence which indicates that Mayella Ewell has been beaten severely by a man’s left hand, has completely contradicted with the defendant’s situation. The condition of Mayella Ewell’s injury indicates that she was beaten by a left-handed person and there is finger marks all around her neck, but the defendant’s right hand has been paralyzed by cotton gin several years ago.

Furthermore, from the defendant’s experience, it is not hard to imagine that a white young woman, after tempting a Negro and feels guilty, tried to get rid of this thorn in her side. Because both she and her father know that, breaking a traditional taboo that love a person beyond races will be hounded from our mist and even despised by people around them, they have to clear away this man, Tom Robinson, even he did nothing wrong. If there is one thing that Tom Robinson was wrong, it is that he was tempted by a young white woman. If there’s another thing that Tom Robinson did wrong, it would be his over kindness and sympathy that led him to be cheated. The accusers subjectively consider blacks as liars and won’t be trusted, actually, I believe most of the people sitting here, have the same opinion with the plaintiff. However, this assumption itself is a fault and should never be considered right. And in this case, there is not a single reason to continue thinking that Tom Robinson is guilty under the circumstance of unpersuasive or even self-conflicted evidence, incredible witness and clumsy fraud. There should be no discriminate in the holy court and I believe, our jury will be extremely impartial. To say it in another way, if white is always true and can decide anything over black, we would neither need a court which is designed especially for tribunal, nor a solemn and sacred trail like this. The people who judge the case would never be the ones who always think that white is better than everyone and trusts no one except the people with the same color of their skin. The people who judge the case would be either knowledgeable or reputable, and many of whom consists of the jury. As a result, I am confident that our jury will review the case without any prejudice and focus on the evidence provided, and make the fairest decision to Tom Robinson. “In the name of God, do your duty.”(TKA)

 

Work Cited

To Kill a Mockingbird. Directed by Robert Mulligan. Universal Picture. 1963.

Final argument from the perspective of Atticus

Frankly speaking, when I first took the case of Tom Robinson, I felt complex. I know that many of you are questioning my motive and purpose of serving as the lawyer of a black-skin man, of a strong negro who is charged as raping a beautiful white woman but I am chosen to do so. However, regardless of all the doubts about me, same to you, the reason that I am here is to seek for truth. At least, as a lawyer, my tendency of finding truth and punishing the evil pushes me to do so because I will never yield to guilt.

Sitting right beside me is a negro, Tom Robinson, who is charged with raping. I acknowledge that rape, even for a poorly-educated man raised in countryside, is regarded as a crime that deserves no forgiveness, let alone for the good-mannered gentleman present. And I admit that some black people, early from childhood, are pictured as stupid, evil and dirty, the race of whom seems to be kind of related to such kind of crime. Like most of people here, I fostered such prejudice young and rooted it in mind till adult, when I employed a black woman and found that she is kind, hard-working and plain, not as I had expected.

Undoubtedly, Laws are created to guarantee the fairness of the society. And in this courtroom, the dominating power is justice, while every one of you are now serving as the guardian of justice. Justice exists regardless of class or race. So, to achieve justice, we have to ensure that the final decision is made through considerable reasoning and compelling evidence to prove the guilt of the defendant.

From a logic perspective, solely referring to the testimony of two witnesses is of course not sufficient to solidify the guilt of Tom. Moreover, no medical evidence is provided to prove the crime of raping. People seated here are believed to be discriminating, let alone the jurors. And guilty should be convicted with compelling arguments, not with emotion or feeling. Poor Mayella feels guilt because in our common sense it is not allowed for a white girl to kiss a black man. She is trying to mislead the truth and remove her guilt by convicting Tom the crime of raping. For her, I feel pity. She is not well-educated, not familiar with laws, not knowing the essence of justice and the meaning of that toward the whole society. But fortunately, you do and all the jurors also. Since the injury is on the right side, it is not possible for a man with right hand to beat her.

Setting aside indispensable reasoning, human beings are born with emotions. What I want to emphasize is that just as the anger raised for Tom when you first know about this case, we should also consider what if it is not true. What if Tom did not rape Mayella? What if Mayella is lying, only to clear her guilt of kissing a negro? And how could a girl charge a kind helper in the crime of rape? If the case happening on you, your son or your lover? The assumption that negros always lie is ridiculous. Their dishonesty may exist in some cases, but not enough to be judged as “always”. Since there is not sufficient evidence to prove the crime of Tom, for the sake of justice, Tom should be neither guilty nor innocent. If Tom is finally convicted with rape based on such unreasonable arguments and prejudice, it would be a great loss of justice, wisdom, calmness, which should be attached, as in our sense, to the graceful and royal white people, regardlessly, though the sense might not be so true now.

It is not only the call for fairness, but the call for a justice-dominating society. A single misleading decision might be temporary, but profound effect would continue. Be careful with your choices, which might influence generation by generation, based on your wisdom.

Blog post assignment 2

I want to make a demand before I proceed to my arguments. I demand that for the sake of justice, we treat everyone here as a fellow human being. Just for a few minutes, let us forget that Tom Robinson is a negro and Mayella Ewell a white woman. Just as Tom felt sorry for Mayella and helped her do her shores, let us as well sympathize with him and treat him as a fellow human being whose freedom is as valuable as ours.

Imagine that your daughter is being beaten and raped. You happen to hear her scream and by reaching her, you notice how badly she was abused. I imagine that first, you call a doctor to try and save her life if she is very injured (as Mayella claims she was). Second, you call the police to report who the rapist is. If the crime happened last year on August 21st, why did it take the Ewells so long to report Tom Robinson? And, why didn’t they call a doctor if she was that injured? This shows that there something that Ewells are hiding from us.

During her testimony, Mayella said that when she was going to get the penny promised to Tom, someone came from behind and started beating her on the neck. The only thing she remembers after that was her dad. According to what Mayella said, she doesn’t remember being raped nor has she confirmed who was beating her (she was beaten and passed out). Rape, ladies and gentlemen, isn’t something someone easily forgets. It isn’t the piece of the puzzle that should be missing from her memory. Not only can’t Mayella prove that she was raped using medical evidence, but she cannot even testify it. There is therefore no one who should be convinced of Tom’s guilt (raping Mayella).

 If Tom was used to help Mayella in exchange of only a penny, it actually sounds like they were in good terms with each other- they were good friends. Why then would Tom have needed to use force first without trying to get her consent, since it seemed that they got along? According to Mayella’s testimony, Tom didn’t try at any time to seduce her, or try to talk to her in the first place. It even sounds a little strange that Mayella was the one to always call him to help her; Tom never offered to help her first.

If the United States Constitution says that all men are born equal and free, then each man is inherently innocent until proven guilty. In this case, however, no evidence was shown that proves that Tom Robinson has raped Mayella. All the testimonies, apart from Mayella’s who doesn’t even remember most of what Tom is accused of, talk about what happened before and after the “rape” but not during it. Therefore, for as long as no one proves “beyond reasonable doubt” that Tom raped Mayella, Tom is innocent.

God Almighty that we all pray says “Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you. Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established.” Proverbs 4:24-26. I demand that upon our integrity as Americans, everyone judges according to what they are convinced of. If we claim to be men of God, then we owe Tom ( who is a man of God) our justice. Let us have the decency to make the truth prevail above anything else.

 

Work cited:

Thomas, Nelson,”The Holy Bible, New King James Version,”  1982 Proverbs 4:24-26.

https://www.bible.com/bible/114/pro.4.24-27.nkjv#!

 

Blog Post 2

To begin with, as a lawyer with many years of experience, I would like to accentuate that all the accusations toward Tom Robinson should not be taken into discussion. The evidence needed to accuse Tom being the perpetrator of raping and beating Miss Meyalla, including fingerprints, semen samples, cannot be provided by the prosecutor. The only evidence that can prove the crime has taken place is the testimony of two witnesses and the so-called victim herself, which have not been testified by any means. The victim claims that Tom “choked her while beating her face, which makes her right eye bruise.” Anyone with common sense would agree that such complex gesture described above requires two working hands. However, Tom’s left arm got paralyzed at a very young age. Besides, in order to cause bruise on one’s right eye, the perpetrator needs to punch with his or her left fist, which makes no sense since Tom cannot use his left arm. Similarly, Mr. Heck, one of the witnesses, states that there were finger marks all around the victim’s neck, which is also not possible to achieve with one hand. As for the testimonies of Miss Mayella, too, are doubtful. When asked to identify the criminal, Miss Mayella showed a sense of uncertainty and was not dare to look into Tom’s eyes. According to Tom, a law-binding hard-working respectable Maycomb citizen just like you and me, he was merely helping Miss Mayella with her chores without taking a nickel in return when she suddenly kissed him. I believe that Miss Mayella accuses Tom of raping her just to cover up the fact that she kissed a black man. Which makes perfect sense since in our society, it is terribly wrong for a white woman to kiss a black man.

Gentlemen, can you imagine being accused of such a major felony by the person whom you have just helped? I know most of you somehow hold some negative opinions toward black people, but today’s trial is not about which race the defendant and prosecutor are. It is about whether the crime accused actually has taken place, which has nothing to do with the race. You do not judge a man by his race, his origin or his appearance. You judge the man by what he has done. And Tom has never done the crime! I would assume most of you are not convinced by the story given by the prosecutor. However, not many of you would openly admit the truth either, because you are intimidated by the idea of helping a black person, because you are embedded with a conviction that all black men are evil and ingenious, because you are not willing to embrace the idea that all men are created equal. In the name of god, I ask all of you to respect the truth, the court and the integrity of the law. If you gentlemen still insist that Tom is guilty, you may keep holding on to that thought, as long as it makes you sleep at night.

Atticus Finch Closing Comments

I want to first acknowledge the resilient and understanding nature of the people of Macomb. The reason that we sit in this very courtroom today is that every man deserves due process. Whether black, white, man or woman…we all are entitled to the process and a fair trial. I know that this town especially will stick to this.

It is simply reality that we live within a society of rampant prejudice. Black men like Tom Robinson himself experience the world completely different than their white counterparts. I am not here to argue my perfection or lack of prejudice. I do not expect widespread equality as a result of this verdict. I am in front of you today because this is a simple and clear cut case. This is no longer about race for me, but fairness. I have been working in the legal system for over 30 years and this is what we strive for on a daily basis. The legal system is meant to establish justice among people…regardless of class,race or gender. I stand before you today because I cannot stand to watch a genuine and hardworking man named Tom Robinson be completely disregarded.

The facts are never ending. We have seen both Mr. Ewell and his daughter appear on this stand. Poor Mayella is clearly very disheveled and confused. She does not know how to act upon this situation. She has been placed in a family that is not easy to live in. With a father who is disapproving and abusive of alcohol, she is constantly put in a position of confusion. Similar to the rest of us, she wants to act in the right way. She wants to do and say the right things, but we cannot forget the barriers that are placed upon Mayella. She must constantly act under fear of her father and this is only logical for her. Though, this cannot be disregarded in the consideration of this case. Mayella was not sitting on this stand in great fear of her alleged rapist. She cannot bear thinking of taking one step that her father disapproves of, knowing the great consequences that will follow for her.

Set aside the overwhelming evidence for Tom Robinson that I have presented to you today. I want you to take a second and imagine Tom Robinson as your own son or brother. Not that it is easy for us to consider a black man as one of us, but it is a simple reality that Tom Robinson is a son and brother. He has a family who loves and cares for him. We all have large expectations for our family. Tom Robinson was living these out. He was being a compassionate and caring man, as we expect from all of our family members. He saw a girl who was in need of help and he acted. He politely went about his work and did this from the bottom of his heart. As a result of this, he was stabbed right in his back. We need more actions like this in our world, yet we want to throw the caregivers in jail! So all I ask you is to think of your own brothers and sons. If you wish for them to be thrown in jail for their good deeds, then treat Tom Robinson as if he were one of your own. If not, give him the same treatment.

defending for Tom Robinson

Gentlemen in the jury, before I started my closing argument, I want to first mention a personal anecdote of mine and hopefully you can feel the same way I did. As many of you may know, I was a good shooter when I was young and I shoot a lot for fun at that time. But there was one time that I truly felt guilty inside my heart because I shoot a mockingbird to death. I couldn’t help thinking of this: The mockingbird doesn’t do any harm to me and instead it makes pleasant music, but I just killed it for no reason. Since then, I keep reminding myself of the mockingbird and that I won’t let this thing happen again.

OK, now I’ll start my argument.

To begin with, I want to refute the accusal of   Tom beating Mayella. As Tom mentioned, he lost his left arm’s muscle ability when he was 12, while the Mayella was apparently hurt by someone using left arm. So there’s no chance that Tom could beat her in this way. Also, according to Bob’s testimony, he didn’t call doctors throughout the event, and I think this is totally unexplainable. Gentlemen, you all have your own child, please image if your child was hurt by someone else, at very first you may get extremely angry and want to find the guy, tearing him apart immediately, but the first thing you will do must be to call a doctor and check if anything goes wrong with your child. There’s no reason that Bob just leaved his daughter unattended without calling a doctor unless it was himself who beat her, which is quite possible because he is a left-hand person as proved by his writing habit.  [TKAM] Second, according to Tom’s words, Mayella tried to tempt and kiss him, a black man, a man that is considered immoral being and liar by the society. I understand her panic and guilt about breaking the taboo, and I feel pity for her because she is also the victim of the poverty and ignorance. But this should not be the reason that she tries to put an innocent man into death. At last, I want to emphasize that Tom Robinson has all attributes of a good human-being and therefore won’t do things to hurt people. Though aware of the social prejudice and race difference, He could still feel sorry for a white woman and offer his help as a friend, asking for nothing. This should be enough for us to change our prejudice opinions against all black man. Every race has good people and bad people, and there’s absolute no reason for us to judge someone though his skin color. Tom Robinson is a kind young man with no doubt. But what did his kindness get him? Being accused and the risk of losing his own life. This is certainly unfair to him. Tom Robinson is just like the mockingbirds that do no harm but sing for us. Gentlemen in the jury, please remember, you should always feel sin to kill a mockingbird.