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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 53 Pa.B. 7346 (November 25, 2023).

234 Pa. Code Rule 604. Opening Statements and Closing Arguments.

Rule 604. Opening Statements and Closing Arguments.

 (A)  After the jury has been sworn, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall make an opening statement to the jury. The defendant or the defendant’s attorney may then make an opening statement or reserve it until after the Commonwealth has presented its case.

 (B)  When the evidence is concluded, each party shall be entitled to present one closing argument to the jury. Regardless of the number of defendants, and whether or not a defendant has presented a defense, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall be entitled to make one argument which shall be made last.


   This rule establishes a uniform procedure throughout the Commonwealth for the guilt determining phase of the trial. For the procedures after the presentation of evidence at the sentencing phase of a death penalty case, see Rule 806.

   Official Note

   Rule 1116 adopted January 24, 1968, effective August 1, 1968; Comment revised February 1, 1989, effective July 1, 1989; renumbered Rule 604 and amended March 1, 2000, effective April 1, 2001; Comment revised June 4, 2004, effective November 1, 2004.

   Committee Explanatory Reports:

   Final Report explaining the March 1, 2000 reorganization and renumbering of the rules published with the Court’s Order at 30 Pa.B. 1477 (March 18, 2000).


   The provisions of this Rule 604 amended June 4, 2004, effective November 1, 2004, 34 Pa.B. 3105. Immediately preceeding text appears at serial page (264309).

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