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The most obvious answer to this question is that Tom Robinson was a black man accused of raping a white woman. This type of case was a highly unusual one for the times; in many such instances, the black man could well have been lynched before going to trial (as Tom nearly was himself). The other unusual facts are that we are led to believe that Tom is innocent of the charges; that Atticus has sufficiently proved his case; that Bob and Mayella Ewell present contradictory evidence; and that no doctor's report was made. The end result--a guilty verdict against the accused black man--is probably the least surprising fact of the trial.
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