If you were a jury, what would be your thoughts during and after the trial in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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cldbentley's profile pic

cldbentley | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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As a jury member during the trial of Tom Robinson, I would have been impressed with the approach Atticus Finch took to maintain Robinson's innocence.  Finch did an excellent job of ensuring that the points he made were easily understood by all of those on the jury, as well as the community members who made up the large audience crowding the courtroom.  Throughout the trial, Atticus Finch remained kind and courteous and never seemed to "lose his cool;" his calm demeanor served to emphasis the inappropriateness and crudeness with which Bob Ewell (and occassionally Mayella) presented himself.  The respectful manner used by Finch to address all of those around him revealed his intelligence and professionalism, which could easily have had some influence on the way that jury members viewed the facts and suppositions of the case.

Mr. Gilmer was clearly an intelligent, capable attorney.  Although the outcome of the trial indicates that jury members did not recognize his lack of evidence condeming Tom Robinson, the reader should note that Gilmer uses his cleverness and abilities to actually cast a shadow of doubt on the sincerity and honesty of the Ewells' story.  For example, Mr. Gilmer does question Mayella Ewell, but also ends his time by mocking and making light of Mayella's supposed (bad acting?!) fear of Atticus Finch.

Mr. Gilmer called attention to the hot day by wiping his head with his hand.  "That's all for the time being," he said pleasantly, "but you stay there.  I expect big bad Mr. Finch has some questions to ask you."

Gilmer's humorous comments were probably intended to cause the jury to recognize the ridiculousness of her attitudes and actions, as well as to fail to take her seriously.

atanakol's profile pic

atanakol | High School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

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Atticus as an intelligent lawyer, defended his client, Tom Robinson, who was the victim of discrimination in a white dominant society. Atticus proved that Tom was innocent as he could not use his hand as a disabled man, which was crucial for the flow of the trial. The prejudice against him could be weakened through Atticus's tactics that gave way to reality and proof of his innocence. Even living in a racist society, as an honest member of this society, if ı was the member of jury, ı would vote for his being not guilty . If you are representing justice, you cannot vote in favour of majority, who can be blinded by the sense of superiority but still be wrong. If you are standing for universal values, you stand by the voice of fairness, which can be a small portion, or a minority. Speaking out for justice should be the duty of a jury member.

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