Tom can't be faulted for losing his faith in white man's justice. He was charged with rape and then convicted on the testimony of the Ewells, "the disgrace of Maycomb County for three generations." Even though the Ewells were the trashiest family in Maycomb--they ironically and fittingly lived adjacent to the town dump--the jury accepted their word over Tom's. It was a simple case of black and white. Atticus knew beforehand that no jury would take a black man's word over that of a white man, and he proved to be correct. Atticus seemingly proved his case: Mayella, who contradicted her own testimony several times, was beaten by a left-handed man, and Tom's left arm was "shriveled." Tom should have considered his wife and children before deciding to try to escape in broad daylight in the presence of armed prison guards. Although Atticus tried to convince Tom that they had a good chance for his release on appeal,
"Tom was tired of white men's chances and preferred to take his own."