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Criminal Law and Procedure

Focusing on Criminal Law, Procedure and Wrongful Convictions.


The following are the primary sources of criminal law, procedure and sentencing. Criminal law and procedure are state specific and drastically vary state to state. You should therefore consult other libguides if working outside Minnesota. 

On the Federal level, most of the substantive criminal code is located in the United States Code section detailed below. However, some criminal sanctions can also be found in the regulatory code (ie the CFR and FR).

For sentencing, it is important to look both at the code section detailing the crime, and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. While the guidelines are often used, they are considered advisory but not compulsory (United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005).

If working on a research project, it is often easiest to start with a secondary source to focus your issue and then use the annotations to look for the primary sources (cases and statutes). Or, if you already have a statutory provision or case that you will be working with, take a look at the materials that cite the primary source and work backwards from there (feature available both with Westlaw and Lexis). 

Criminal Law

Model Penal Code, available on Lexis

Model criminal laws promulgated by the American Law Institute. Used in many 1L Criminal Law classes as a baseline criminal code. 

Minnesota's Criminal Code: See: §§ 609-624. Available also on Westlaw, Lexis and In Print. 

The Criminal Code for the state of Minnesota. 

United States Federal Criminal Code: See: 18 U.S.C §§ 1–2725.

Available in Print (USC and USCA), Westlaw, Lexis and on Cornell's LII.

Criminal Procedure

Minnesota's Criminal Procedure See:  §§  625-634. Available also on Westlaw and Lexis.

The Criminal Procedure statutory code for the state of Minnesota. 

Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure: Published at the end of Title 18 in the United States Code Annotated.

Available online at Cornell's LII (free) or on Westlaw and Lexis. 

U.S. Code Section on Criminal Procedure: 18 U.S.C. §§ 3001-3771

Available online at Cornell's LII (free), Westlaw and Lexis.


Model Penal Code: Sentencing, available on Westlaw

United States Sentancing Commission Guidelines Manual, available on the USSC website.

The Federal Sentencing Guidelines are rules that set out a uniform sentencing policy for individuals and organizations convicted of felonies and serious (Class A) misdemeanors in the United States federal courts system