This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Scottsboro Trials, Brown V. Mississippi, And Trial Of Tom Robinson In Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird

1870 words - 7 pages

The Scottsboro Trials, Brown v. Mississippi, and trial of Tom Robinson in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

The purpose of this essay is to compare three very similar cases, the Scottsboro Trials, Brown v. Mississippi, and the fictional trial of Tom Robinson in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird; and to prove why the defendant of the third trial never had a chance. Each took place in the rural South in the 1920’s and 30’s and involved the unfair conviction of young black males by all-white juries pressured by the threat of mob violence. Each lacked the evidence sufficient for conviction, most especially for the death penalty. Last, heroes emerged from each trial and made small but solid steps towards equal justice for all.

“ROOSEVELT IS ASKED TO INTERVENE TO PROTECT SCOTTSBORO NEGROES: Warning of 'Massacre' of Seven Prisoners and Their Lawyers at Decatur (Ala.) Court Today, Defense Counsel Wire President a Plea to Obtain State Troops” (Linder), reads a headline from the New York Times on November 20, 1933. The nine Scottsboro boys accused of rape and their attorneys were scared to death, but the government did not seem to acknowledge their danger. The article also mentions Patterson’s previous trial where “Circuit Judge Horton, presiding, took judicial notice of incipient mob action to lynch defendants and attorneys by ordering soldiers in open court to shoot if necessary to preserve the peace” (Linder).

On March 25, 1931, Victoria Price, a known prostitute, and Ruby Bates accused nine Negroes of raping them on a train in Northern Alabama. The trial took place in Scottsboro, amid much anti-black sentiment. An all white jury sentenced eight of the nine to death, despite the fact that one was blind and one could hardly walk on his own. It is also rather suspicious that there was no solid medical evidence. Ms. Price had conveniently washed her step-ins and though six men allegedly raped her, not a one got any semen on her coat. The Supreme Court granted the “Scottsboro boys” new trials on the grounds that they did not receive adequate legal counsel. In this second round of trials, presided by Judge James E. Horton, Ruby Bates denied that she or Victoria Price had ever been raped (To Kill a Mockingbird: Then and Now).

The hero in this case was Judge Horton. Despite public opinion in the region, Horton overturned the conviction of the jury, an unprecedented act. He wrote a thoughtful essay of the improbability of the crime and examined what evidence should have resulted from it. Very little of this expected evidence actually appeared and thus Judge Horton declared:

It is therefore ordered and adjudged by the Court that the motion
be granted; that the verdict of the jury in this case and the judgment
of the Court sentencing this defendant to death be, and the same
hereby is, set aside and that a new trial be and the same is hereby
ordered. (To Kill a Mockingbird: Then...

Find Another Essay On The Scottsboro Trials, Brown v. Mississippi, and trial of Tom Robinson in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

The Hypocrisy of Humanity Depicted in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

1318 words - 5 pages Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, has many stories from Scouts’ little town in Alabama that teaches the reader the good and bad sides of the human being. When all these come together, the result is this fantastic novel. One of the stories that stand out is the one when Mrs. Gates and Cecil Jacobs have a conversation in the classroom. They talk about Adolph Hitler and the malicious things he did to the Jewish people. Mrs. Gates tries to tell

Courage in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

771 words - 3 pages Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is a timeless novel that has been both accepted and refused by many readers. To Kill a Mockingbird took place is a town called Maycomb. It is narrated by a young girl named Jean Louise Finch, otherwise known as Scout, who learns how to deal with many things in her life. While learning to deal with racism, injustice, and criticism, she also finds courage being showed by many of her role models. The theme

Scout's Childhood Simplicity in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

715 words - 3 pages eyes and shows them, that they truly start to understand the world we live it. Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird shows the many differences between the simplicity of being a kid and the tough decisions and problems that adults must face every day. Jean Louise Finch, or Scout, is a very innocent character. Some of the time she does not understand what is going on in the world around her until her father, Atticus, explains it to her. Scout is

The prejudice that was used against Tom Robinson in the book To Kill A Mockingbird. It uses the OJ Simpson trial to compare and contrast

595 words - 2 pages two trials all the victims, Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman in the OJ trial and Mayella Ewell in Tom Robinson's trial, were white. In To Kill A Mockingbird the victim was Mayella, a poor white girl who was abused by her father. Although it wasn't proved her father abused her, Mayella knew she could blame the crime on a black man and get away with it because of the racial tension in the south. One of the victims in the OJ Simpson case was Nicole

The trial of Tom Robinson in "To Kill a Mocking Bird"

1475 words - 6 pages we don't find Tom Robinson guilty then we are all yellow cowards. She then burst into tears again. Mayella was allowed to leave the stand. The court then took a ten minute break.We then called the final witness, Tom Robinson. I started by asking Tom about weather he had been in court before and he had said yes, I used this to show that Tom has nothing to hide. Tom then began to explain that he had done a lot of jobs for Mayella and that he never

Racism, Injustice, and Discrimination in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

1148 words - 5 pages Racism, Injustice, and Discrimination in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird According to Shackleford, “The novel portrays a young girl's love for her father and brother and the experience of childhood during the Great Depression in a racist, segregated society, which uses superficial and materialistic values to judge outsiders, including the powerful character Boo Radley” (Shackelford). The main character relates closely with her father because

The Verdict of Tom Robinson in Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

2158 words - 9 pages The Verdict of Tom Robinson in Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird A closer look at the ways of the South during the time period 1925 through 1935 reveals the accurate representation of society in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. Many of the fictional events occurring in the novel are closely related to actual historical events that took place in the South during the time period in which the book is set. Most importantly, the trial of Tom

A study of Prejudice in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird with emphasis on Boo Radley, Atticus Finch, and Tom Robinson

745 words - 3 pages To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, is a coming-of-age story of Scout Finch and her brother, Jem, in 1930's Maycomb County, Alabama. Through their neighborhood meanderings and the example of their father, they grow to understand that injustice is a very-real part of their lives. This prejudice affects everyone in Maycomb County including Scout and Jem. It is the injustice of their world as represented in one lawsuit that had the potential to

Racism, Injustice, and Discrimination in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

2025 words - 8 pages a black man, no one would ever believe this, when Tom Robinson tried to escape from prison he was shot dead. Tom Robinson was the mockingbird in this novel (Lee. 94). Lee analyzes discrimination Lee analyzes injustice in her novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. The novel discusses during the trial of Tom Robinson that Mayella Ewell was not convicted of, yet Tom Robinson was previously convicted of a crime that they had no proof of they only had the

Symbolism, Themes, and Motifs in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

1817 words - 7 pages up in a small town that was much like Maycomb County. Like Jem and Scout, Lee’s father was also a Lawyer. In her novel, Harper Lee uses many examples of symbolism, themes, and motifs to tell the story of Scout growing up and learning life lessons in a sleepy town in Alabama. Symbols are used to portray concepts. Lee uses multiple examples of symbolism in the novel. The mockingbird became the main symbol throughout the novel when Atticus tells

A Character analysis of Scout in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

686 words - 3 pages Scout is one of the central character’s in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Scout is a girl who slowly changes through the course of the book. Throughout the book, Lee describes the character of Scout as being tomboyish, innocent, and aggressive. Throughout the book, readers are able to see Scout as being a tomboyish, little girl. For example, Aunt Alexandra does not approve of the way that Scout has been dressing. “Aunt Alexandra

Similar Essays

To Kill A Mockingbird. The Trial Of Tom Robinson

683 words - 3 pages 'Guilty' verdict has been reached in the trial of Tom Robinson. A jury of twelvewhites has reached a verdict that Tom Robinson, a black male, raped Mayella Ewell,a white woman. The rendition of this verdict has brought to a close a trial that hascaptured the news and stirred the emotions of this town for several months. Itsomehow seems fitting that this trial, for a most horrible crime, began during thewinter months when all of nature is dead

Similarities Between To Kill A Mocking Birds And The Scottsboro And Tom Robinson Trial

1334 words - 6 pages , creating the first similarity. the Tom Robinson Trial took place in Maycomb, Alabama and the Scottsboro trials took place in Scottsboro, Alabama. Both towns could be described and no differences would be found in the descriptions. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Maycomb was described as, “an old town” (Lee 4) which had plenty of “rainy weather” (Lee 4), and this rainy weather would make the streets be covered with mud and “red slop” (Lee 4). This

Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird And The Scottsboro Case

1379 words - 6 pages Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird and the Scottsboro Case On March 25 1931 a group of nine boys were charged with raping two girls aboard a train traveling from Paint Rock Alabama across the state’s border. The trial of these boys had become collectively known as the Scottsboro case. Several years later Harper Lee wrote her famous novel To Kill a Mockingbird. In this story a young male Tom Robinson is charged with raping a white female

The Theme Of Injustice Depicted In Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird

1309 words - 5 pages In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, injustice is a main theme that is reflected towards many characters. To Kill a Mockingbird, is a novel written by Harper Lee and published in the nineteen-sixties. Many characters in the story are treated unfairly in society due to racial or prejudicial attitudes. Overall these characters are innocent victims of injustice. Atticus, Boo Radley, and Tom Robinson are considered to be mockingbirds in the novel