In what chapter of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird does Mr. Link Deas get sent out of the courthouse for speaking out of turn?

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merricat eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Link Deas stands up to defend Tom Robinson in Chapter 19 of To Kill a Mockingbird. This is significant because earlier in the book he warned Atticus that Atticus had "everything to lose" by actually mounting a real defense for Tom instead of making the town happy and simply going through the motions.

Mr. Link Deas rose from the audience and announced: "I just want the whole lot of you to know one thing right now. That boy's worked for me eight years an' I ain't had a speck o'trouble outa him. Not a speck."

"Shut your mouth, sir!" Judge Taylor was wide awake and roaring. "...Link Deas," he yelled, "if you have anything you want to say you can say it under oath and at the proper time, but until then you get out of this room, you hear me?... I'll be damned if I'll listen to this case again!" [Chapter 19, pages 89-90]

Although it was courageous of Mr. Deas to stand up and speak out, he could have caused a bigger problem. An outburst like that could have caused a mistrial, in which case the entire proceeding would have needed to start from the beginning.

So why does he take this chance? Because he senses that a serious injustice is about to occur, namely that the jury will find Tom guilty just because they will not take the word of an African American man over a white girl. He hopes his impulsive recommendation will help sway the jury in Tom's favor.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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