Welcome to MASSACHUSETTS CRIMINAL LAW: A PROSECUTOR'S GUIDE Online.
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.
1/23/22: We have now migrated to new servers. Please let us know if you have any problems accessing the site.
1/15/22: Judge Stearns has revised and updated the chapters on "Battery", "Burglary", and "Consent Searches", noting among other changes the impact of the Police Reform Act on the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act.
1/14/22: Maintenance Alert: In the near future, our servers will undergo maintenance that may cause a brief interruption in service. We will post further details here as they become available.
1/7/22: "Police Misconduct" has been updated to include an assessment of the Police Reform Act and its impact on the rules governing the use of force and the doctrine of qualified immunity, together with a commentary on the legislative commission's Final Report on qualified immunity. "Threshold Inquiries" has also been updated to take note of the controversial SJC decision in Commonwealth v. Sweeting-Bailey.
Please see What's New for further details.