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Mr Underwood's editorial makes the point that prejudice is extremely deep-rooted in cultures and communities. This means that, even if on the surface Tom appeared to have access to an impartial justice system, in reality he had no chance at all, simply because of the racist attitudes so deeply entrenched in the society in which he lived. Therefore the system of justice is in itself a sham; it allows punishment to be visited upon the innocent, it does nothing to stem wider social prejudice.This is compared to the killing of innocent creatures like songbirds - to which of course the title of the novel also refers. Mr Underwood also feels that the killing of Tom is even worse because he happened to be a cripple.
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