To Kill a Mockingbird Atticus Closing Argument
Atticus: To being with, this case should never have come to trial. We are looking at an innocent man here, one whom the prosecution has not conjured up enough evidence to make this man guilty. We must, as moral people, take ourselves out of our bodies, and place our minds into another man’s mind, a human being’s mind, one of Tom Robinson and imagine the trials and tribulations he must face as an innocent man. Would you be able to do it? Put away an innocent man.
Is it the color of his skin that makes him guilty to you, or his actions that make him innocent to me? We are all one, and we cannot look at a black man as immoral when he is one of us. Imagine yourself as the minority and what emotions you would be facing on a daily basis if you were in the shoes of Tom Robinson. Would you be able to live with yourself knowing that you are putting away an innocent man? Can you even play with the idea that possibly he did not do this crime you are charging him with?
Try to take yourself out of what you have been spoon fed to know, and use your own minds and hearts to look within yourselves to put away your stereotypes and try to see that the man you are facing is innocent. The more we hate, the less love we know. The more we violate, the less peace we will see, and the more we turn our backs on what is right, the more wrong we will do. If a woman came on to you, and tempted you, would you feel that your reaction to her seductive nature should be one that this man deserves?
What makes this action so unspeakable? That a white woman wanted the attention of a black man? We would not be faced with this trial if Tom Robinson was a white man. And because she chose a black man for affection, we are standing here eliminating her offense, which is a human being. This to you, my fellow jurors, should stand out as morally incorrect. Look beyond our rigid and time-honored code of our society, and look beyond to the truth. Tom Robinson stands in a difficult place, facing all you white men in an upward battle.
It is his word against the worlds. Now gentlemen, do what this country stands for, do what the manifest destiny of our founders were and let us lead by example rather than by hate. If you have any doubt within you, regarding Tom Robinson’s innocence, then look deeper within your hearts to follow your duty. This is not a piece of evidence that we can abolish and get rid of, this is our society, and a human being. We are all connected therefore we shouldn’t deteriorate one another by making a wrong decision.