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During the trial, how long did the jury deliberate before they came back in to announce...

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nani5 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 29, 2012 at 11:27 AM via web

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During the trial, how long did the jury deliberate before they came back in to announce whether or not Tom Robinson was guilty or not?

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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted February 29, 2012 at 11:54 AM (Answer #1)

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We are not told specifically how long the jury take when deliberating Tom’s case. However, we do know that they took long enough for Atticus to feel that he had made a difference in that attitudes towards the way the justice system treated black men-

That jury took a few hours. An inevitable verdict, maybe, but usually it takes ‘em just a few minutes.

Atticus realises that his efforts to prove that Bob and Mayella Ewell were lying, and that Tom Robinson could not have committed such a crime due to his physical disability made some of the jury consider, however briefly, the true nature of those involved rather than just the color of their skin. He may not have been able to get the jury to accept the truth, but they were closer to seeing it than any jury before them.

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mlsldy3 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted January 25, 2015 at 5:45 PM (Answer #2)

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There is not a definitive answer to this question in the book. We do know that the jury took longer than usual to deliberate, but we also know what the outcome will be in the case. Atticus has done everything he could do and proved that Tom was innocent, but because he is a black man everyone knows that he will be found guilty.

Jem is convinced that the jury will come back with a not guilty verdict. He is so convinced that Atticus has done what he had to do to prove the innocence of Tom. Jem is devastated by the outcome of the jury's deliberations. There was no way in the town of Maycomb, that Tom was ever going to be found innocent. I think the jury took longer than usual, because they were a group of people that knew they were going to find him guilty, so they took their time coming back. It was almost as if they were exerting their power over Tom and enjoying every minute of it.  Some of the people on the jury did think about the trial. They did have a harder time coming to terms with the fact that Atticus proved he didn't do it. This was the first time in Maycomb's history that some of them struggled with the decision to convict Tom. 

The whole story goes to show the true nature of people's hearts. Some of them were good and wanted to do what was right, while the others were still stuck in the old way of doing things. These issues are still relevant to this day, just not as in your face as it was back then.

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