Biased Juries In To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

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Biased juries ruin lives. The reasons behind biased juries vary, but majority of the time it is because of the jury’s own personal morals. Juries’ morals range from racism to simply having a bad experience with the defendant. With biased and unfair juries an appeal can be extremely important to the defendant. In the 1950’s segregation and discrimination were at the highest, this did not help Black men and women. When they were tried, the biased juries would prosecute them as guilty; innocent or not. Appeals were needed to give them a second chance. Harper Lee comments on this social issue in “To Kill a Mockingbird” when Tom Robinson faces a biased jury. Biased juries and appeals are shown in the Mack Ingram trial as well as the Tom Robinson …show more content…

Biased juries are shown with “Ingram’s experience with . . . the legal system [because of] the [struggles] of [being a] Black [man] in the United States” (Lynn). The trial was decided based on the race of Mack Ingram because of the jury that made the final decision. The first jury Ingram faced was an all White man jury with no diversity; they all thought the same and had the same values. Among those values included racism and the belief that Ingram was guilty because he was Black. Similarly, in the Tom Robinson trial racism is relevant, and Reverend Sykes, a prominent man in the Black community comments on the issue. He tells the children he “[has never] seen any jury decide in favor of a [Black] man over a white man …”, proving the fact that juries are racially biased (Lee 238). He explains to Jem how a jury can decide a man’s fate based on the color of his skin. Not whether he is truly innocent or not, but just because he isn’t like them. Juries being racially biased is an unfair way to decide a trial and has landed many Black men in …show more content…

In Mack Ingram’s trial when he first was tried he went before a jury who were racially biased. They convicted him because he looked like another Black man who actually assaulted the girl. He was then given the chance to appeal and try to be proven innocent. During his appeal, “Ingram's appeal went before a mixed jury . . . in a state superior court. . . [and] the court ordered a mistrial” (TIME Magazine). Without appeal, Ingram would have been sitting in prison for a crime he didn't commit. With appeal, defendants have time to overview the trial and gather more evidence to support themselves. Appeal is a very very key part in trials because it can completely turn a case around. Appeal is very powerful, and after his trial, “nothing would happen to Tom Robinson until the higher court reviewed his case, and that Tom had a good chance of going free, or at least of having a new trial” (Lee 250). Tom Robison has a second chance because of appeal. It is a very strong gift that can provide new opportunities for

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