When the law does not succeed in punishing criminals, citizens should not do so. Link it to the book To Kill a Mockingbird.

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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This is a great topic. In To Kill a Mockingbird, justice is not served, as you know. Tom Robinson is unjustly accused, and a racist jury finds him guilty. Later Tom is tragically shot in prison. 

When all of these things happen in Maycomb, those who side with the truth do not take matters into their own hands. They still uphold the law and through lawful means try to change people. This might be slow, but there is evidence that there is some traction forming and people one by one are changing. At least this is the hope. 

Miss Maudie says something very interesting concerning this as she is trying to explain to Jem that other people do care. From this perspective, fighting and standing for what is right in a lawful way is the best policy. In the end, change is possible and when it happens those who stood for justice in this way will be blameless.

Here is what Miss Maudie says:

“His colored friends for one thing, and people like us. People like Judge Taylor. People like Mr. Heck Tate. Stop eating and start thinking, Jem. Did it ever strike you that Judge Taylor naming Atticus to defend that boy was no accident? That Judge Taylor might have had his reasons for naming him?"

This was a thought. Court-appointed defenses were usually given to Maxwell Green, Maycomb’s latest addition to the bar, who needed the experience. Maxwell Green should have had Tom Robinson’s case. 

"You think about that,” Miss Maudie was saying. “It was no accident. I was sittin‘ there on the porch last night, waiting. I waited and waited to see you all come down the sidewalk, and as I waited I thought, Atticus Finch won’t win, he can’t win, but he’s the only man in these parts who can keep a jury out so long in a case like that. And I thought to myself, well, we’re making a step—it’s just a baby- step, but it’s a step.”

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