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.