Boston: In the trial of the soldiers of the Boston Massacre, which began November 27, 1770, John Adams argued that if the soldiers acted in self-defense of their lives they were innocent. If the soldiers were provoked but their lives were not in danger, they were at most guilty of manslaughter. The jury agreed with Adams and acquitted six of the soldiers. There was overwhelming evidence that two of the soldiers, Kilroy and Montgomery, fired directly into the crowd; they were found guilty of manslaughter and branded with an M on their right thumbs.
John Adams: “These Regulars are citizens of Great Britain and as Englishmen deserve a fair trial.”