Captain Preston’s Trial Accounts Essay

890 words - 4 pages

Since the 1960s, considerable disagreements between North American colonists and British soldiers derived in the so called “Boston Massacre” because of imposed laws by the British Empire into the colonies. After this conflict that took place on March 5, 1770, Captain Thomas Preston was charged with murder. The event occurred as a response of a series of violent encounters between the two groups. Curiously, Capt. Preston trial was delayed until October 24 in order to calm down witnesses’ exasperations. However, the witnesses who declared in the trial gave controversial and questionable testimonies; as a result, it creates indeterminate conditions to make a valid verdict. Among the allegations, Capt. Presto stood between the infuriated town and soldiers; for that reason, it was not clear if the order to shoot was given and if it was, the order came from behind the soldiers. After considering all declarations there were not sufficient evidences to condemn Capt. Presto because British soldiers acted in self-defense. Therefore, my decision for the case is that Capt. Preston was not guilty of giving the order to fire.
Several conflicts between the colonist and soldiers ended in the Boston Massacre which resulted as a response to some laws imposed in the colonies from the British Empire. Examples of these laws were: the stamp act in perpetuity, which was repelled after colonists’ protests; the Townshend Revenue Act, which add new taxes to goods like sugar, tea, glass, etc.; and the law of parliament, which brought two regiments of soldiers to Boston to enforce the laws. Before the event on March 5, the colonists were not conformed to the crown appointed government because they believed these laws could prevent them from succeeding in their business. In other words, colonists had enough reasons to start a rebellion against the British Empire; for this reason, they attacked the soldiers.
Correspondingly, the testimonies were given after six months of the event, thus they might be changed after that long time. However, some witnesses were able to give detail information about the event such as after how many minutes the fire started, or at how many yard of distance the Capt. Stood in the conflict. There were fifteen declarations and each one gave a particular account of the event. Consequently, this information was considered unreliable to reach a verdict about Capt. Preston.
Further, based on the diverse testimonies, some witnesses might have specific motives to hide some information or to blame Capt. Preston. To illustrate, Nathaniel Fosdisk, one of the witnesses, declared that the first soldier who fire just slipped down. It seems that...

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