The Justice System In Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

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The justice system has always been the heart of America. But like this country, it has many faults. Prejudice has played a major role in the shaping of this system. In the 1930’s the way a courtroom was set up was completely different from how it looks to day. In the book To Kill A MockingBird, Harper Lee shows just how different it is. In the book Atticus and the members of the court system express the reach of prejudice, justice, and fairness in the justice system. The justice system was filled with prejudice. In the book it states, “ Now don 't you be so confident, Mr. Jem I ain 't ever seen a jury decide in favor of a colored man over a white man…”(279). Reverend Sykes is witnessing the trial of Tom Robinson. Jem believes that Tom will win, but the Reverend is convinced that he will lose. The difference in opinion has to do with societal beliefs. In Maycomb county, people of color are perceived as wayward,or insubordinate, in the eyes of the white half of the town. This accounts for the fact that a black man has never won against a white man. Also in the book it says, “‘ They shot him.’ said Atticus. ‘He was running. It was during their exercise period. They said he just broke in to a blind raving charge at the fence and started climbing over it.’”(315). Tom Robinson was killed at the jail where he was being held after being convicted of rape to await a state trial. The prejudice was strong enough to make him believe that he had no chance in receiving acquittal.

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