To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

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In To Kill a Mockingbird, how is Tom Robinson's appeal discussed? 

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Felicita Burton eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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After the jury found Tom Robinson guilty of rape, at the Finch home the next day, Jem had a questioning look on his face. Atticus told them all not to worry because they were not finished yet and there was certainly going to be an appeal (Chapter 22).

Around Maycomb, everyone is talking about the trial. The gossipy neighbor ladies tell Aunt Alexandra, who fails to keep the children from hearing, that on the street Bob Ewell spat in Atticus' face and threatened him. Atticus tries to reassure them that it was an idle threat (Chapter 23). Things will be calm around town, he says, until after the higher court reviews Tom's case. He believes Tom has a chance to go free or be granted a new trial.

Scout wants to know what will happen if there is no appeal. Atticus admits he'll get the chair but still tells her not to worry.

Tom was not so optimistic. He tries to escape the prison farm, and is killed.

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huntress eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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After the trial, Tom Robinson was sent to Enfield Prison Farm, where he was to be held until a higher court reviewed his case. Atticus believed that Robinson had a good chance of going free, or at least of having a new trial (250). 

Of course, even if he got a new trial, winning would still be a challenge. As it turns out, though, he never made it that far. In Chapter 24, during Aunt Alexandra's Missionary Tea meeting, Atticus comes home, apparently disturbed, long before his workday is over (and knowing that it's a Missionary Tea day, he'd normally stay until much later), and asks for Alexandra and for Calpurnia. He explains that Tom is dead. He'd broken and run for the fence and had been shot dead before he'd managed to get over it. 

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