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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

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In To Kill a Mockingbird, does all the evidence Atticus presents during the trial prove Tom Robinson did not rape Mayella? Was Tom killed because they didn't find enough evidence to prove him innocent, or was he killed because of his race?

To Kill a Mockingbird: No, all of the evidence Atticus presents during the trial does not prove Tom Robinson did not rape Mayella. The evidence presented is circumstantial and has no direct connection to Tom raping Mayella. The prejudiced jury convicts Tom because he is black and there is no other way of explaining why he was at Mayella's house that night.

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Throughout the trial, Atticus argues Tom Robinson did not assault or rape Mayella Ewell because he was physically handicapped. In addition to Tom's handicap, Atticus points out there was no circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution to convict Tom. Through his cross-examination of Mayella Ewell, Atticus also exposes her contradicting testimony. Atticus then suggests that Bob Ewell assaulted his daughter because he witnessed her kiss Tom, then decided to fabricate the story to cover up the fact that he beat Mayella. The location of Mayella's bruises to the right side of her face and all the way around her neck were obviously inflicted by Bob since Tom was not physically capable of causing the injuries. Unfortunately, Tom becomes the victim of racial injustice after the prejudiced jury wrongly convicts him. There was no evidence presented during the case that suggested that Tom assaulted or raped Mayella. Tom was essentially guilty before he stepped into the courtroom simply because he was a black man. The racist jury members dismiss Atticus's arguments and convict Tom because of his race. Atticus knew going into the case that Tom would not win because of the community's prejudiced beliefs. Tom's wrongful conviction depicts the hate and bitterness toward the black community of Maycomb.

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