Search the web for the Boston Massacre Trial and read about the Famous American Trials page of the Boston Massacre compiled by Douglas Linder, professor of law at University of Missouri Kansas City.
You are to write a 3- 5-page essay, taking into consideration the following questions:
Based on the evidence presented, would you as a juror convict the British soldiers? Why or why not?
What does the Massacre and its aftermath tell scholars today about colonial propaganda during the crisis period? Where does the fault lie? And what reasons do the various accounts give for the incident? How does Revere'e engraving fit the role of propaganda? Do you think his depiction is based on facts?
Also, assess the character of John Adams, as the man who would become the colonies’ most ardent supporter of independence is in 1770 a defense lawyer for the English troops.
Use MLA format for citations.
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Although many colonists were outraged at the acquittal rendered by the jury in the Boston Massacre Trial, based on the evidence presented, the jurors had no choice but to acquit or declare a mistrial. Captain Thomas Preston, the commander of British soldiers garrisoned in Boston, presented an extremely viable self-defense testimony which argued that they would have been killed if they did not fire on the troops. Most of the secondary witnesses supported Preston’s account, which made the jury believe that his story was close enough to the truth to allow them to acquit based on reasonable self-defense.
The violent nature of the crowd as described in the courtroom played a huge role in the acquittal. Preston immediately mentioned in his testimony that “the inhabitants carried weapons concealed under their clothes, and would destroy them in a moment, if they pleased” (Wheeler). Once the jury heard this piece of testimony, the murder in self-defense case was set in motion. Preston’s testimony was backed by a poor set of prosecution witnesses...
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