On this site, you will find the full text of the 40th edition of the Prosecutor's Guide. The Guide presents a timely and comprehensive analysis of Massachusetts criminal law and its practice in the courts of the Commonwealth. It is fully updated each fall and during the year as new developments in the law warrant. Please consult our What's New page for the most recent changes. In addition, this online text is linked to a database of Massachusetts court decisions maintained by the Trial Court Law Libraries at masscases.com.

The text also cites and discusses significant criminal law cases decided by the Supreme Court, the federal Courts of Appeals, and state appellate courts from around the country. The principal focus, however, is on Massachusetts criminal law and its practice in the courts of the Commonwealth.

Access to the Guide is by annual subscription. If you are not yet a subscriber, please take the tour of a sample chapter from the Guide.

Please Note: If you are an employee of the Massachusetts Trial Court or an Assistant District Attorney, you have unlimited access to the Prosecutor's Guide web site thanks to licenses purchased on your behalf by the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Library and the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, respectively. Please contact your office IT Department for access instructions.

Also law students at the following institutions have access through your school Law Library: Harvard, Suffolk, Boston College, Northeastern, Western New England School of Law, New England Law | Boston, Boston University, and the University of Massachusetts.

Please note:

1/18/21:   "Firearms Offenses" has been revised to take particular note of Justice Gaziano's decision in Commonwealth v. Ashford excluding crimes of recklessness as predicates for sentencing under the Armed Career Criminal Act, as well as new cases involving proof of knowledge that a firearm is loaded, and other significant developments.

1/4/21:   "Search and Seizure" has been revised to take particular note of the Commonwealth v Gosselin decision, which makes clear that the third-party records doctrine remains (for the most part) alive and well in Massachusetts.

12/21/20:   "Assaults on Police and Police Misconduct" has been revised to include Judge Stearns' commentary on the likely impact of the proposed "Police Reform" Act on the doctrine of qualified immunity and excessive force claims (basically, very little). Also noted is Tinsley v. Town of Framingham, an important new SJC case discussing the Massachusetts application of the Heck rule, along with other cases affecting civil rights actions, the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act, and more.

Please see What's New for further details.


Massachusetts Prosecutor's Guide Online
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