To Kill a Mockingbird

What is Atticus Finch’s profession? Why does Atticus have a “profound distaste for the practice of criminal law…”? What does this attitude reveal about Atticus’ character?

Chapter 1

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Atticus's first case entailed defending two men who refused to plead guilty for second-degree murder. They instead pled not guilty for first-degree murder, and were hanged, marking "probably the beginning of my father's profound distaste for criminal law." Atticus abhors violence of any kind and this sort of punishment hurt him personally.