Graduation Year


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Sociology and Criminology

Program or Major


Faculty Advisor

Angela Kaufman-Parks


The following thesis will look at the original intent of the Founders when the Sixth Amendment was written. It will then examine the challenges presented to justice both substantively and procedurally in cases of criminal child sexual abuse specifically, including the challenges faced by victims forced to testify during trial long after the trial is over. After establishing these challenges, this thesis will then examine legal precedent set by the courts that illustrates how exceptions have been made to traditional courtroom procedures over time, such as exceptions to the hearsay rule and in-person testimony on the witness stand, to allow for the particularities of a given case while also still upholding defendants’ Sixth Amendment rights more broadly. Finally, bringing this research together, a Congressional bill will be drafted, providing a national standard for exceptions to the Confrontation Clause specifically, thereby providing a more streamlined and consistent way for courts to accommodate the special needs of child sexual abuse victims.