As of January 1, 2006, the Judicial Council’s new California criminal jury instructions will become the "official instructions for use in the state of California" whose use is "strongly encouraged." (Cal. Rules of Court 855.)
In preparation, both the Courts and LexisNexis (the official publisher) are making the instructions available to lawyers, scholars, and the public.
Researchers can download the new instructions (and related information) for free at the Criminal Jury Instructions Resource Center. The Resource Center offers —
- A Table of Contents (PDF, 151 KB)
- The complete text of the California Criminal Jury Instructions (PDF, 4466 KB)
- A User's Guide (PDF, 149 KB)
- Links to Rules of Court applicable to the new criminal jury instructions (Rules 855, 229, and 6.59
More information is available at the California Courts' New Criminal Jury Instructions Online Press Center.
LexisNexis has just announced the availability of the new source "Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions" (short source name: CAL;JUCACI). LexisNexis subscribers can use this source to find jury instructions by browsing a table of contents or by running a search using the "Terms & Connectors," "Natural Language," or "Easy Search" methods.
(Westlaw does not yet have a database of these instructions, but the smart money is that it's just a matter of days until we see one.)
[Update, 12/12/05] As predicted, it did not take long for Westlaw to catch up. Today Westlaw announced the availability of a new database, "Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions" (CALCRIM), which contains the full text of the new instructions.
[Update, 1/23/06] Print copies of the new California Criminal Jury Instructions have begun to arrive in the Zief Library. Our first set comes from Thomson/West: Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions: CALCRIM, KFC 1171.A65 S8 2006 Law Reserve.