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In To Kill a Mockingbird, what does Atticus show in his cross examination of Sheriff...

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mctl | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted July 27, 2008 at 6:23 PM via web

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In To Kill a Mockingbird, what does Atticus show in his cross examination of Sheriff Tate, and what are the main points in Tate's evidence?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 22, 2010 at 2:06 AM (Answer #3)

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Questioned by the prosecutor, Harry Gilmer, Sheriff Tate testified that he was "fetched" by Bob Ewell on the "night of November twenty-first" who claimed that "some nigger'd raped his girl." Heck found Mayella "lying on the floor... pretty well beat up." Mayella told the sheriff that it was Tom Robinson who had beat her and "took advantage of her." Under cross-examination, Atticus determined that no doctor had been called to examine Mayella, and that she had been beaten on the right side of her face. Additionally, Heck claimed that there "were definite finger marks on her gullet... all around" her throat.

The two latter points were important since Tom Robinson's left arm was crippled and useless. The marks on the right side of Mayella's face could only have been made by a left-handed person's punch; likewise, the finger marks that went all the way around her throat could only have been made by a person with two good, strong hands.

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