To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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What happens to Tom Robinson following the trial in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One of the main conflicts in the novel concerns Atticus's defense of an innocent black man named Tom Robinson, who was falsely accused of assaulting and raping a white woman. Atticus recognizes that he has virtually no chance of winning the case but valiantly defends his client in front of a racist jury and audience. Although Atticus proves Tom's innocence and there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Tom raped Mayella, he becomes the unfortunate victim of racial injustice when is he wrongly convicted in chapter 21. Following Tom's wrongful conviction, he is sent to Enfield Prison Farm, which is seventy miles away in Chester County.

While Tom is incarcerated at Enfield Prison Farm, Atticus immediately begins working on his appeal. Despite the outcome of the trial, Atticus believes he has a good chance of winning the appeal. In chapter 24, Atticus interrupts Aunt Alexandra's missionary circle and Scout listens as he tells his sister, Maudie, and Calpurnia that Tom Robinson was shot dead...

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