On this site, you will find the full text of the 41st 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:

5/10/22:   Judge Stearns has revised the chapter on "Identification Evidence" to note a number of new cases on topics ranging from photo arrays, showups, video reenactments, photograph enhancements, and in-court identification, to the admission of expert testimony on visual identification and fingerprint matches. The chapter on "Battery" has been revised to include new cases addressing involuntary manslaughter, provocation, the use of excessive force in self-defense, defense of another, and third-party culprit evidence.

4/15/22:   "Domestic Abuse" has been revised to take note of Commonwealth v. Dufresne, reaffirming the absence of an art. 12 or Sixth Amendment right to counsel in the civil phases of a Chapter 209A proceeding and rejecting a separation of powers challenge to enforcement of the criminal provisions of Chapter 209A by the executive branch.

Please see What's New for further details.


Massachusetts Prosecutor's Guide Online
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