Research guides

Pennsylvania Criminal Law

Capital Punishment

The Pennsylvania sentencing procedure for murder of the first degree is found at 42 Pa.C.S. § 9711. The following resources provide information regarding capital cases in Pennsylvania.

Member Databases

The following member database includes information regarding capital punishment in Pennsylvania. Members must be logged in to jenkinslaw.org to access this database. This database is also available in the library.

Pennsylvania Law Encyclopedia
Available on the LexisNexis Digital Library. "Criminal Law" encompasses vols. 17-20.
See Capital Cases and Offenses in the index to find relevant sections. Also on the library's Lexis computers and in print.

Onsite Print & Electronic

The following print resources include information regarding capital punishment in Pennsylvania. Some resources published by LexisNexis and West/Thomson Reuters may be available on the library's Lexis and Westlaw computers. See below for more information.

Pennsylvania Law Encyclopedia LexisNexis
Also on the library's Lexis computers and the LexisNexis Digital Library.
See Capital Cases and Offenses in the index to find relevant sections. Library also has previous edition: see all.

Standard Pennsylvania Practice 2d West/Thomson Reuters
Also on the library's Westlaw computers.
See Death Penalty in the index to find relevant sections. Library also has previous edition: see all.

PBI Publications

In conjunction with its continuing legal education courses, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI) produces many books each year covering various criminal law topics, including capital punishment. Some of these concentrate on more specific or unusual areas of the law. When a researcher has difficulty finding an answer in the manuals or form books, it is a good idea to turn to a PBI publication for guidance.

33rd Annual Criminal Law Symposium
See Chapter FF: The Most Common Recurring Legal Errors in Capital Cases.

Criminal Law Symposium 2018
See Chapter KK: Causes of Wrongful Capital Convictions and How to Avoid Them.

Criminal Law Symposium
See Capital Case Update.
Library has annual volumes from 1984-present.

Forensics in Capital Cases

Habeas Corpus
See Chapter 4: The Path of a Capital Case and Dealing with the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act.

Handling Capital Cases
Includes forms.
Library also has previous edition: see all.

Hot Topics in Capital Cases
Includes forms.
Library also has previous editions: see all.

Mental Health Issues in Capital Cases
Includes forms.

Pennsylvania Criminal Procedure: Elements, Analysis, and Application
See Part 3, Section B: Capital Punishment.
Library also has previous editions: see all.