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Criminal Law & Procedure: Secondary Sources

Treatises, Hornbooks and Nutshells

Treatises are in-depth treatments of a legal subject written by scholars in the field. Consult them at any stage in your research -- whether you're looking for an overview of the subject or detailed analysis of a particular point of law.  Pay attention to the footnotes for references to other sources, both primary and secondary.  

Hornbooks are shorter treatises written with law students and practitioners in mind.

Nutshells are brief, handy overviews of an area of law.  Pick one up when you want a quick introduction to a subject, or use as a reference or study guide.

Legal Encyclopedias

American Jurisprudence 2dLegal Encyclopedias are a great way to start research on an unfamiliar topic. They offer concise explanations on subjects from the broad to the specific, and help lead you to other relevant secondary sources.

American Jurisprudence (AmJur.) and Corpus Juris Secundum (C.J.S.) are the major national encyclopedias, but many individual states publish them as well (e.g. - Massachusetts Practice or New York Jurisprudence).  

Use your keywords to search the index to find relevant entries.  Here are a few examples: 

  • 21A Am.Jur.2d Criminal Law § 983 - Generally; right to impartial jury
  • 21 Am.Jur.2d Criminal Law § 793 - Concurrent or consecutive sentencesCorpus Juris Secundum
  • 30 Mass. Prac. Criminal Practice and Procedure § 3.1 - Arrest, seizure of the person and the federal and Massachusetts Constitutions

Find other selected state encyclopedias through NUCAT or on Westlaw or Lexis.

Other Books

Both the Law Library and Snell Library (the main NU library) have many other books on criminal law-related subjects. To find them, try the Library of Congress SUBJECT searches in ScholarOneSearch below.

Criminal law -- United States

Criminal law -- Massachusetts 

Criminal procedure -- United States

Criminal procedure -- Massachusetts 

Criminal justice, Administration of -- United States

Criminal justice, Administration of -- Massachusetts

Searches and seizures -- United States

Searches and seizures -- Massachusetts

Punishment -- United States

Punishment -- Massachusetts

United States. Constitution. 4th. Amendment

United States. Constitution. 5th. Amendment

Journal Articles

To find law journal and law review articles on any aspect of criminal law, use one of the following tools available via a link from the Law Library's Research Databases page:

  • Current Index to Legal Periodicals
  • Index to Legal Periodicals
  • LegalTrac
  • HeinOnline's Law Journal Library

HeinOnline, Lexis, Bloomberg Law, and Westlaw have selective full-text coverage of law review and law journal articles.

Model Penal Code

Current Awareness, Blogs