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This paper came from an assignment in which I was supposed to write an account of the trial from each of the following people in parentheses. I received 100 % for it. (A member of the black community sitting in the balcony) When I first heard about the accusations, I was instinctively prejudice against the Ewell's because they were white. But I then realized that I was extremely wrong in doing so. So I went to the trial with an open mind. But as I walked home from the trial, I remembered Judge Taylor saying guilty and pounding his gavel.
What in the world was the jury thinking. They were right there, in the same room I was in, listening to the same people I was listening to, and yet they still favored the Ewell's. It was obvious the Ewell's had lied. I had never known about Tom Robinson before the accusations. But I could tell he was a good honest man, unlike Bob or Mayella. When the Ewell's were testifying, they seemed uncomfortable, and fidgety, and they were quite defensive.
Tom, on the other hand, seemed right at home being questioned. The stories given by the Ewell's were weak, and then when Tom went to testify, the difference was ludicrous! As the jurors went to cast their votes, and even though Tom? s black and the Ewell's are white, I truly thought Tom had a chance. The way Mr.
Finch handled the whole case was superb. If he and Mr. Gilmer had changed clients, he would have had me believing the Ewell's. (A member of the jury who believed that Tom was innocent but was afraid to go against the other members of the jury) Tom Robinson sat next to Atticus Finch, the Ewell's next to Mr. Gilmer. I took a good look at Mayella Ewell and she looked like a gentle enough girl. Then I looked at Mr.
Robinson who, judging by his build, looked like a man capable enough to inflict pain on someone. As the court proceeded, I would glance back at him and observe his facial expressions to maybe see what kind of man he really was. At first, his face was expressionless, but as Heck Tate, and Bob Ewell, and Mayella Ewell told their story, Mr. Robinson? s face became more worried at every mention of beating and rape.
When he was called to stand up by Mr. Finch, I noticed his cripple left arm, and I immediately realized that he couldn? t have beat Mayella. And when Mr. Robinson told his side of the story, the truth became apparent about how Mayella received her injuries. I looked around the jury box and could tell that a few other jurors had pieced together the puzzle.
With the black community in the balcony, I could sense that most of the people would probably side with the Ewell's. But I hoped my fellow jurors would be smart enough to see the light. It came time to cast our vote, and as we left the room I was surprised when someone came up to me and said, I? ve never seen a man so guilty in my life, ya know what I mean? What? Was I not thinking clearly?
Did I miss something? I looked back and saw Mr. Robinson talking with Mr. Finch, and I just couldn?
t picture that man hurting anybody, let alone a woman. But what if he did, and he was set free. He might possibly be so angry about the accusations that he would take up revenge on the Ewell's. I must have been staring off into space because someone nudged me into the voting room. I looked back one more time and realized that if he was tried as guilty, that he could most likely receive a death penalty. I wrote down the letter I and stopped.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could tell the juror next to me was writing Guilty because he was whispering it as he was writing. My I was erased and I took a deep breath. I thought about the courtroom with the balcony full of black people. then about the Ewell's and their stories.
then about Tom Robinson. I looked up and everybody was waiting on me. I wrote down my vote, and as Judge Taylor repeated guilty over and over, I saw Tom Robinson? s life go down the gutter. (A newspaper reporter from New York who was covering the trial) I had come to the trial just as the local sheriff had sworn in. I looked around the courtroom to see a sea of white people on the first level, and a sea of black people in the balcony.
As the sheriff told his story, all the accusations on Tom Robinson started to sound as if they were true. But then I realized that the sheriff himself hadn? t seen Mr. Robinson at the Ewell's. Then he mentioned the injuries of Mayella Ewell.
And for some reason, Mr. Atticus Finch was emphasizing that he claimed most of the injuries were on Mayella? s right side and face. Then Bob Ewell came up to the stand. He looked like a good enough man, a little hillbilly-ish, but so did lots of the other people.
As he told his story, I began disliking Mr. Robinson, but I kept an open mind because I haven? t heard his side of the story yet. Then, as before, Mr. Finch recalled from Mr. Ewell that Miss Ewell injuries were on the her right side.
Mr. Ewell was asked to write his name, which Mr. Finch then made clear that he was left handed. At the moment, the act seemed irrelevant. When Mayella Ewell was called upon, and Mr.
Finch confronted her, she became very defensive. Yet Mr. Finch talked to her as though she was his witness. Miss Ewell was asked to point out who had raped her, and she pointed to Tom Robinson. He was asked to stand up and that?
s when the truth became abundant. A strong young man stood up and revealed his mutilated left arm. I realized then why Mr. Finch had earlier emphasized so much on where Miss Ewell? s injuries were and why Mr. Ewell was left handed.
And Mr. Robinson? s testimony backed up my theory that Mr. Ewell had beaten up Mayella. I was dumbfounded when the jury later ruled unanimously guilty. (One of Tom Robinson?
s children telling his children about it years later) Your grandfather waved at us as we sat down in the balcony. I hadn? t seen him for a long time and during the trial, I watched him a lot because I was scared of losing him. It started one day when Heck Tate had come to the door and took him away.
We saw him later that day and he told us that he might not be with us anymore. It was hot in the balcony and it was hard to pay attention to what was going on because I didn? t know anybody that was talking and they kept using words I didn? t know at the time. I got angry when Bob Ewell had pointed to your grandfather and called him a couple bad names.
I looked over at him and was surprised to see him calmly sitting because most of the people sitting with me were as mad as me. In the beginning of the trial, up until your grandfather testified, people were grumbling and whispering things about the people on the stand. I think I had started to fall asleep one time because your grandmother nudged me awake and told me that your grandfather was about to be questioned. His story confused me because it sounded like a totally different story than the previous peoples? .
Your grandmother informed me later that your grandfather was telling the truth and the other people weren? t. At the end of the trial, when the judge ruled your grandfather guilty, I didn? t know what it meant, but it made your grandmother cry which made me cry. We said goodbye to your grandfather and your grandmother said that there might be another trial. but I never saw your grandfather again. (Judge Taylor writing his memoirs) Let?
s see. It was the year that Maycomb saw snow. It was the trial of Tom Robinson and the Ewell's. I never liked the Ewell's, and I felt they had made the whole story up even before the trial. Tom seemed like a good man and Bob had made it clear that he wasn? t.
I never really met Mayella before the trial, and I remember her acting weird and anxious or something. Especially when Atticus Finch questioned her. He handled her surprisingly well considering the way she was talking him. When the trial first started, I was sure the jury would fall to thinking that it? s a white man? s word against a black man?
s. But Atticus made it clear he wasn? t going down without a fight. I never liked the Ewell's, and when I heard them lie through their teeth, it made me so angry. And when the jurors all voted guilty, I felt like smacking them each in the back of their head and point out the beating that Mayella received on her right side from a man with a cripple left arm. And to top it off, Bob was left handed.
After the trial, I tried to put it in the past, but the whole thing lingered with me because of Tom? s escape attempt. It was obvious that Bob beat up his daughter, but I don? t understand how Mayella could have lied like she did, and I don?
t think I ever will. (One of the white spectators down on the floor) From where I was sitting, I could see Tom Robinson. When I first heard about what he did, I didn? t care, but then I found out that some people believed that he didn? t do it. I? ve never known a black man personally, but it seemed like what Tom did would be typical.
From what I heard, Tom was pretty strong and was very capable of beating and raping a nine-teen year old girl. Some said he had huge hands and he would strangle chickens with them. But sitting their at the trial, he didn? t seem like the big bad Tom I heard of.
The testimonies from Ewell's sure made me hate Tom though. I frowned when I looked at him. But when he was asked to stand up, I was shocked to see his crippled left arm. And when he testified, he seemed like a real nice man.
He could easily have been lying, but then so could the Ewell's? , because after all, they were Ewell's. But then again blacks aren? t honest, at least that? s what I?
ve heard. But then again what Mr. Deas said contradicted that. When he was ruled guilty, I didn? t know what to think so I just tried to forget it. Then, Tom went and got himself shot trying to escape which wouldn?
t make sense if he was innocent. (Atticus as he goes through the trial) I sat next to Tom reviewing my plan for the trial. I had previously gone through and planned what I would do in case something unexpected popped up. And I prepared a closing speech that should make the jury think before voting guilty. I plan for the jury to rule guilty so that I? m not as disappointed. I thought about Tom and the big chance that he?
ll never see his kids grow up. And then I thought about how I would feel if I couldn? t see Scout or Jem grow up. I looked up at Judge Taylor and was glad that at least he was on my side, for the most part. Heck stepped down and Bob took the stand. I disliked that man even though I shouldn?
t. But as he told his fictional story, I began to dislike him with a passion. How could you lie in front of so many people knowing that an innocent man will have to pay consequences which he shouldn? t have to live with.
And as I revealed that Mayella? s injuries were on her right side, and that Bob was left handed, started to re-convince myself that he had beaten his own daughter. While questioning Mayella, I understood why she would be so defensive and nervous. I thought of the consequences she would face if she accidentally revealed the truth and in doing so, make a fool out of herself and even worse, her father. I can? t imagine what she must be thinking having to lie to protect her abusive father.
I made it obvious that Tom? s left arm was cripple, I was sure almost everybody in the courtroom understood what I doing. And maybe they might even be able to realize what really happened to Mayella. Tom was a big help being calm and collect while questioned. When I made my closing speech I realized how well I remembered it because I wasn? t thinking that hard while giving it.
My mind was still on Tom and what faced him in the future. Guilty... just as I planned. As I left the courthouse, all I could think of was Tom?
s wife and children and what they would have to go through. (Mayella Ewell) There? s Tom Robinson. If he wasn? t so nice, this wouldn? t be so hard. I wish I hadn?
t have tried to come onto him. We had a good relationship he? d do chores for me once and a while and he didn? t seem to mind doing them.
Now it? s either him or me. Why? d my dad have to go and get all mad. So what if he? s black, it doesn?
t matter. He could have just beat me and left it at that. He didn? t have to go and blame Tom for it. As Heck Tate recalled that night, I repeated in my head what our story was.
And then I thought about what would happen if I told the truth. Where would all my brothers and sisters go? How would we get along? So I kept with the story. I couldn? t even look at Tom because I knew the jury would most likely think him guilty because he?
s black and I? m white. I could tell that I was going to have a hard time being questioned by Mr. Finch. He seemed like he really knew what he was doing. It almost seemed like he might be able to trick me into revealing something I?
m not supposed to. I was sure that if he did, that I would break down and tell everything. While he questioned me, to keep from saying too much, I tried being defensive which seemed to work, for a while. I kept looking at Tom which didn?
t help, and then Mr. Finch almost broke me down, but I barely recovered and made the Judge mad. When Tom went and told his story, I almost started crying because I knew it was the truth and then I remember what my dad did after he ran off. With all Mr. Finch said and revealed, I was surprised when Tom was ruled guilty. After that, Tom had looked at me in a way that made me cry when I got home.
This paper was written by Marc Ybarsabal, a student from Thomas Worthington High School in Worthington, Ohio.
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