TOM ROBINSON'S CONVICTION. As Atticus had predicted, no white jury was going to accept the word of a black man over that of a white man. This social standard was rampant throughout the Deep South at the time of TKAM, and even Atticus' staunch defense was not going to alter the Maycomb jury's decision.
MISS GATES. Miss Gates blasts Hitler and defends the Jews during class, but Scout remembers the conversation she overheard concerning Maycomb's black citizens. "It's time somebody taught 'em a lesson," Miss Gates said. "... they were gettin' way above themselves." It was easy to see that Hitler's persecution of the Jews was evil, but Miss Gates--as well as most of Maycomb and the Deep South--wasn't ready to accept blacks as equals in 1935--or the evil nature of their views.
ALL-WHITE, ALL-MALE JURY. Tom's fate was sealed even before the trial. With no blacks (or women) allowed by law on a Maycomb jury, few Negroes would ever be found innocent against charges made by a white man.