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For nearly 30 years, the Maryland Criminal Pattern Jury Instructions (MPJI-CR) has been an essential reference for judges and criminal law practitioners.  Researched and written by prominent judges, lawyers and academics on the MSBA’s Standing Criminal Sub-Committee on Maryland Pattern Jury Instructions, the MPJI-CR contains over 200 jury instructions, from voir dire, introductory and cautionary instructions for use at the beginning of trial, to the jury’s use of verdict sheets at the close of evidence. The instructions list and explain the elements of virtually every statutory and common law crime, and contain detailed explanations of defenses, evidence, parties and witnesses.  Logically arranged, indexed and cross-referenced, they are accompanied by thoughtful commentary, notes on usage, and citations to relevant authority.  Over time, the publication has become an indispensable primer on the fundamentals of criminal law, whether or not trial by jury is contemplated, and it continues to be the most authoritative source for accurate, impartial, clear and concise jury instructions in the State of Maryland.

The MSBA and the Standing Criminal Sub-Committee on Maryland Pattern Jury Instructions are pleased to announce the release of the 2020 revisions to the Second Edition of the Maryland Criminal Pattern Jury Instructions to reflect statutory and common law developments and updated jurisprudence regarding offenses, defenses, evidence and other criminal matters. The 2020 replacement pages contain several new instructions for criminal provisions enacted by the Legislature in recent years (e.g., sextortion and revenge porn) and for matters that have been reinterpreted by the courts or revisited by scholars (e.g., resisting arrest, imperfect self-defense, and the testimony of an accomplice).   

There have also been corresponding revisions to the indices, table of contents, table of authorities and the comprehensive instruction table so that the MPJI-CR will continue to offer ready access to the individual instructions, and to authorities that explain them and govern their use.  The commentary and notes for using the instructions have also been updated where necessary to explain the statutory or interpretative changes behind each revision. 

The 2020 replacement pages include new, stand-alone instructions for the following offenses:

  • CDS Volume Dealer
  • Driving While Impaired by CDS
  • First Degree Assault
  • Harassment
  • Revenge Porn
  • Sextortion
  • Voluntary Manslaughter (Imperfect Self-Defense) 

Instructions for the following offenses have been edited:

  • Abuse of Child/Vulnerable Adult [MPJI-CR 4:07.4]
  • Burglary [MPJI-CR 4:06 et seq]
  • Importation of CDS [MPJI-CR 4:24.9]
  • Parental Discipline [MPJI-CR 4:07; 4:07.1; 4.07.2]
  • Resisting Arrest [MPJI-CR 4:27]
  • Testimony of Accomplice [MPJI-CR 3:11]
  • Voluntary Manslaughter (Perfect/Imperfect Self-Defense) [MPJI-CR 4:17.2.C]

The Maryland Criminal Pattern Jury Instructions (Second Edition, 2020 Replacement Pages) is available in print (with binder cover and tabs) , print replacement pages only, and electronic versions.