Research guides

Pennsylvania Jury Practice

Criminal Jury Instructions

The Pennsylvania Suggested Standard Criminal Jury Instructions are published by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI) and are not freely available online. The library has these instructions in print as well as on the library's Lexis computers. Individual instructions are available for purchase as eDocuments from PBI.

Pennsylvania Suggested Standard Criminal Jury Instructions
Also on the library's Lexis computers.
Library also has previous editions: see all.
Individual instructions are available for purchase as eDocuments from PBI.

The other resources listed on this page do not include sample jury instructions, but may have helpful tips for using jury instructions.

Court Rules

Court rules often outline the procedures surrounding jury instructions. The following rule focuses on jury instruction in Pennsylvania criminal procedure. Please note that additional rules may also apply.

Criminal Rules:

Pa.R.Crim.P. 647: Request for Instructions, Charge to the Jury, and Preliminary Instructions

Research Tip

For additional places to find Pennsylvania Court Rules, including in print and on the library's Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law computers, see the Pennsylvania Court Rules - State guide.

Member Databases

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

This resource does not include sample jury instructions, but has helpful tips for using jury instructions.

Pennsylvania Law Encyclopedia
Available on the LexisNexis Digital Library. See "Criminal Law", Chapter 32: Instructions (vol. 19).
Also on the library's Lexis computers and in print.

Onsite Print & Electronic

The following print resources include information related to jury instrutions 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.

These resources do not include sample jury instructions, but have helpful tips for using jury instructions.

Pennsylvania Criminal Practice West
Also on the library's Westlaw computers.
See Chapter 27: Trial, §§ 27:25 - 27:27. Additional sections may also be relevant; use the index to find additional material.
Library also has previous edition: see all.

Pennsylvania Law Encyclopedia LexisNexis
Also on the library's Lexis computers and the LexisNexis Digital Library.
See "Criminal Law", Chapter 32: Instructions. Library also has previous edition: see all.

Pennsylvania Trial Advocacy Handbook Bisel
See Chapter 19: Jury Instructions.

Pennsylvania Trial Guide: Criminal Bisel
See Chapter 5: Commencement of Trial; Chapter 10: Submitting the Case to the Jury: Jury Instructions
Library also has previous edition: see all.

Standard Pennsylvania Practice 2d West
Also on the library's Westlaw computers.
See Chapter 135, Part VII: Instructions to Jury. Library also has previous edition: see all.

Summary of Pennsylvania Jurisprudence 2d West
Also on the library's Westlaw computers.
Search the index for Instructions to Jury to find relevant sections. Library also has previous edition.

Research Tip

Many PBI, PTLA, and NBI publications include chapters on jury instructions. Search the Jenkins' catalog for jury instruction* for a list of available titles.

Onsite PBI Publications

In conjunction with its continuing legal education courses, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI) produces books related to jury instructions in Pennsylvania. 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.

These resources do not include sample jury instructions, but have helpful tips for using jury instructions.

34th Annual Criminal Law Symposium
See Chapter S: Criminal Jury Instructions: Using the Criminal Jury Instructions to Your Best Advantage.

Criminal Law Symposium 2019
See Chapter V: Pennsylvania Criminal Jury Instructions: A Critical Tool for Your Practice.