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Georgetown Law Library

Criminal Law and Justice Research Guide

This guide is an overview of the federal criminal law and procedure resources, with an emphasis on criminal procedure. It also discusses sources of law enforcement statistics.

Contents

Federal Court Rules

Please refer to our Federal Court Rules guide for more information about the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. As explained in that guide, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure are "rules of general applicability that apply in criminal matters heard in all United States District Courts; however, each U.S. District Court also has its own local rules, which supplement the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure." If you are interesting in researching the federal rulemaking process, see the page on Legislative History of Court Rules.

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Federal Laws

Title 18 is the United States Code's Criminal Law title. To retrieve United States Code provisions, you can use any of the following:

Proposed Federal Legislation

If you are looking for legislation which has recently been introduced in Congress but has not yet passed, there are several sources to consult:

Legislative Histories

  • Compiled Legislative Histories: For some federal criminal laws, there are compiled legislative histories available in the Library. These compilations usually include bills, Congressional Record debates, reports and hearings.  You can also find compiled legislative histories in ProQuest Legislative Insight
    • To find a compiled legislative history in print, try a keyword search in the library catalog and consult the research guide, below.
  • For complete legislative history information, read our legislative history research guide