Jem takes the guilty verdict of Tom Robinson harder than Scout or Atticus. While Dill had cried earlier in the trial:
Now it was Jem's turn to cry. His face was streaked with angry tears as we made our way throught the cheerful crowd...
"It ain't right, Atticus," Jem said.
"No son, it's not right."
Miss Maudie tried to soothe Jem's hurt with a large slice of cake, and then she explained that not everyone was happy with the verdict.
In Chapter 25, Scout directs Scout not to "mash" the roly poly that she was preparing to annihilate. It is a direct response to the death of Tom Robinson and, like Tom, the roly poly is undeserving of death.
In his editorial, Mr. Underwood "was at his most bitter," and he reiterated the same thought as Jem had silently conveyed to Scout. It was a sin to kill cripples, he said, even if they were escaping.
He likened Tom's death to the senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children.