Scottsboro Trials And To Kill A Mockingbird

Essay, Research Paper

The Scottsboro Trial and the trial of Tom Robinson are almost identical in the forms of bias shown and the accusers that were persecuted. The bias is obvious and is shown throughout both cases, which took place in the same time period. Common parallels are seen through the time period that both trials have taken place in and those who were persecuted and why they were persecuted in the first place. The thought of “All blacks were liars, and all blacks are wrongdoers,” was a major part of all of these trails. A white person’s word was automatically the truth when it was held up to the credibility of someone whom was black. Both trials were perfect examples of how the people of Alabama were above the law and could do whatever they wanted to the black people and get away with it. In both trials lynch mobs were formed to threaten the black people who were accused. Judge Hornton tried many times to move the case to a different place so that a fair trial could take place and not be interrupted by the racist people. Finally was granted to move the case even though the lynch mobs threatened to kill everyone who was involved in the case if it were to be moved. In this essay the bias and racism in both trials are going to be clarified and compared to each other.

Several groups of white and black men rode the trains in the thirties for transportation. One night a group of white men started a fight with the black men in the train, which led to them getting kicked off. Later on in the case it is proved that the white men start the fight because both of the men have different stories and one of them admits to starting it all. After the white men were kicked off of the train it was ridden to the next stop somewhere in Alabama. Upon arriving at the station the black men and the white women were arrested for vagrancy. While talking to the police the women accused all of the black men of raping them. These women were known prostitutes of the area but their word was still taken over the black men who were accused. Twelve days later the trial took place. There were many witnesses that held bias towards the black men. One acquaintance of the women was a white lady who refused to support the lies that were coming out of the white women’s mouths. One physician stated that two of the men were so badly crippled that they were incapable of committing such a crime. This was almost exactly like the trial of Tom Robinson who had a crippled arm and seemed incapable of doing the crime that he was convicted of. One of the men that were accused was blind and the other couldn?t walk without assistance. Regardless 3 days later the 8 of the 9 men were sentenced to death even though the witnesses all felt that the white women were lying. This trial was appealed and put into the Supreme Court because the defendants were not supplied with sufficient lawyers.

America was going through a time of racist turmoil because of the economic conditions. The economic plunder led to a battle between the blacks and whites for jobs. Hate for each other grew and grew and both of the trials were examples of the frustration of the white people and their hate for the blacks. The characters in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird can relate directly to the people that were involved with the Scottsboro case. Atticus Finch, Tom Robinson’s lawyer, and Judge Horton, were alike each other in many senses. Both of them fought for the equality between the blacks and whites even though it went against the wishes of the townspeople. Judge Horton lost an election the fall because of his support of the blacks. Judge Horton addressed the jury much alike Atticus addressed his children in the book, they each knew that the people of the town were racist and were fighting to change the judicial system. Lynch mobs held a major role in both trials, before they were the judge, jury, and executioner and both men did what they could to change this. Another parallel of both trials was the accuser, in both cases they were white women who were in the working class who had things to cover up in their past. In once case Mayella Ewell was constantly beaten by her dad and she was raped, Tom Robinson even said that she kissed him. To kiss a black person in those times was preposterous and to accuse him or rape was a perfect cover to all of the things that had happened to her in the past. In the other trial the women were prostitutes and it seemed brilliant to place the blame on the black men.

The cases seem very identical to every last subject. In the novel Tom Robinson placed an appeal but was killed in jail while trying to escape before he could go through with the appeal. In the Scottsboro case the men were finally let free after one of the women who before was accusing the men admitted that the story of being raped was all a lie. In both cases the antagonist and protagonists were identical and the bias was shown in the same ways. The antagonists in both cases were especially racism and the accusers were exactly the same as well. They both had pasts that they needed to cover up and they accused the black men for crimes that they didn?t commit. The protagonists were alike as well, both Atticus Finch and Judge Horton fought to make the trials fair and make the courtroom a place were racism was unheard of. It was shown that if the trial was left to stay after the final verdict was called then 8 innocent men would die and one would be imprisoned all because the thought of “All blacks were liars, and all blacks are wrongdoers,” was fresh in the peoples minds.

Parallels and bias were shown in both cases, every racist witness showed bias to the black men who were accused. The major characters that were involved with the trial were similar too. Both Atticus and Judge Horton fought for the equal treatment of blacks in the judicial system as the whites. The accusers of the black men were similar too; it seems like the book was made after the actual Scottsboro Case. The time that both of the trials took place in were exactly the same as well. Every single aspect of both of the trials is the same except for the outcomes. One outcome was that they men got away which was amazing because it was real life and the other was more realistic that the black man was killed and the racists had their justice served.


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