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This felony carries a mandatory prison sentence of 10 years; up to life.It may have been chosen by John Adams for the second draft of the Massachusetts Constitution because unlike the word "state", "commonwealth" at the time had the connotation of a republic, in contrast to the monarchy the former American colonies were fighting against.(The "State of Massachusetts Bay" was in the first draft that had been rejected by the legislature.) In the early 1600s, after contact had been made with Europeans, large numbers of the indigenous peoples in the northeast of what is now the United States were killed by virgin soil epidemics such as smallpox, measles, influenza, and perhaps leptospirosis.Before the American Civil War, Massachusetts was a center for the abolitionist, temperance, In 2004, Massachusetts became the first U. state to legally recognize same-sex marriage as a result of the decision in Goodridge v.Department of Public Health by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.