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Criminal Law: Jury Instructions

Overview of Jury Instructions

Jury instructions are used at the conclusion of every criminal trial to explain the applicable law to the jury. Jury instructions are incredibly important, because without them, jurors would be left to form their own interpretations of complex statutes riddled with legal jargon. The jury instruction, therefore, acts as a simplifying mechanism, taking a criminal statute and distilling it down to its most basic parts. The jury is instructed on the exact requirements necessary for a conviction and conversely, for an acquittal. This page provides access to both state and Federal jury instructions, along with commentaries written about jury instructions.  

Federal Jury Instructions

Virginia Jury instructions

Commentaries and Other Jury Instructions


HeinOnline is a useful tool for finding archived material, especially material dating back to the 19th century. HeinOnline is also good for users who are seeking out international resources or law review journals. The law review journals are, however, only available in PDF format, as are all other sources procured through HeinOnline. 


    HeinOnline is accessible via IP recognition while on-campus; When off-campus, users MUST login via Regent's Law Library site.