What are three examples of why Tom Robinson is innocent in To Kill a Mockingbird?

Three examples of why Tom Robinson is innocent in To Kill a Mockingbird are that Tom has a crippled left arm that couldn't have inflicted Mayella's specific injuries, Mayella's story changes throughout the trial, and Tom had no apparent motive for the accused crime while Bob Ewell had an identifiable motive for the assault.

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The most compelling evidence that supports Tom's innocence relies on Mayella Ewell's testimony. She claims that Tom assaulted her and "had [her] round the neck" so that she couldn't escape. Heck Tate verifies that there were finger marks all around her neck. Yet when Mayella is asked to point out her assailant in the courtroom and Tom stands, his left arm is at least a foot shorter than his right. His hand is small and shriveled, and he isn't able to use this arm; therefore, Tom could not have inflicted the bruises around Mayella's neck—or the bruising on her face.

Tom's character is also of great importance when considering the claims. Although he must have known that visiting a white woman's residence alone during this time and in this setting was dangerous, Tom's sense of moral decency caused him to reach out and try to help her, anyway. Tom testifies that Mayella frequently asked him in to help her do odd chores, and he refused payment for his services because he "knowed she didn't have no nickels to spare." Tom did anything Mayella asked him for help with, from carrying water to chopping firewood for her. He testifies that he never stepped onto the Ewell property without being asked by Mayella, and that on the day in question, it was Mayella who kissed Tom—by surprise. Tom realized the inherent danger in this situation and tried to make an escape as quickly as possible. But it was too late; Mayella's father had seen what had happened through the window and had screamed that he would kill her.

Therefore, it is also crucial to examine the motive and character of Bob Ewell in examining Tom's innocence. Tom testifies that when he left, Bob was threatening Mayella, and that only one chair in the entire room was disturbed at that point. However, Mayella certainly did receive various injuries by a man who led with his left fist, and Bob proves that he is left-handed. Bob himself corroborates the testimony of Heck Tate, verifying that "her [right] eye was blacked and she was mighty beat up." Bob presents conflicting testimony and acknowledges that despite Mayella's injuries, he never considered calling for a doctor. His testimony presents his clearly racist views; at one point, he asserts that Black people are "dangerous to live around" and devalue his property.

The testimonies of Mayella Ewell, Tom Robinson, and Bob Ewell present clear evidence that it was Bob Ewell who attacked Mayella in an angry rage—not Tom Robinson.

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There are several significant reasons as to why Tom Robinson is innocent. Throughout the trial, Sheriff Tate mentions that Mayella's bruises were predominantly located on the right side of her face. He also mentions that there were bruises encircling her throat, which indicated that she was choked by someone with two strong hands. The fact that Tom Robinson's left arm is entirely useless and hangs limp by his side, indicates that he would not be able to inflict those specific injuries to Mayella.

The second reason why Tom Robinson is innocent concerns the Ewell's conflicting testimonies. When Mayella takes the witness stand, she changes her story several times, which suggests that her testimony is fabricated.

The third reason why Tom is innocent concerns motive. According to Atticus's closing arguments, Bob Ewell had a motivation for assaulting his daughter after he witnessed Mayella break a "time-honored code" by kissing Tom Robinson. The fact that Bob Ewell is left-handed also correlates with the location of Mayella's injuries. 

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Tom the Cripple.  Tom's crippled left arm made it physically impossible for him to have committed the crime of assault or rape upon Mayella. The bruises found around her neck and the bruised right side of her face could only have been made by a man with two strong hands--a man " 'who led almost exclusively with his left.' " Additionally, no medical evidence existed to prove that Tom raped Mayella, or that Mayella was actually sexually assaulted at all.

Tom the Friend.  Tom had helped out Mayella before, and he " 'felt right sorry for her' " due to the hard life she spent in the Ewell household. Mayella also trusted Tom enough to invite him into her house, knowing that he would do as she asked. He knew that he put himself at risk entering a white man's house, but he was willing to do so in order to help out Mayella.

Honest Tom vs. Bob the Liar.  Tom's skin color prevented the jury from accepting Tom's word over that of Bob Ewell, but the innocent children had no problem accepting Tom's story over Bob's. Bob told the jury that he witnessed Tom " 'ruttin' on my Mayella,' " though Mayella's own testimony offered no specifics concerning the supposed rape. Tom's honest response about running away when Bob appeared--" 'if you was a nigger like me, you'd be scared, too' "--seemed a more likely scenario than the tale told by Bob. Tom's statements also placed the possibility of guilt upon Bob: Mayella had already admitted that she feared her father when he was drunk, and she told Tom that her father's kisses " 'don't count.' " But as Tom was leaving, he heard Bob cry out to Mayella,

"... you goddam whore, I'll kill ya."  (Chapter 19)

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