In addition to the idea of protecting "the mockingbird," Boo Radley, Heck Tate, sherriff in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, seems reluctant to subject frail and mentally delicate Boo to the rigors of another court case that could easily end in travesty as did that of Tom Robinson. At any rate, Boo's trial could be, as Scout remarked of Tom's "a carnival."
Like Tom Robinson's trial, the interrogation of Boo--not to mention his father--would become an event that would bring out the curious and the cruel. As Mr. Tate himself tells Atticus,
To my way of thinkin', Mr. Finch, taking the one man who's done you and this town a great service an' draggin' him with his shy ways into the limelight--to me, that's a sin. It's a sin and I'm not about to have it on my head. If it was any other man, it'd be different. But not this man, Mr. Finch.
Here is Mr. Heck Tate's statement is another motif of Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize winning novel, "The greater good is always the most important."