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NCJ Number: 149871 Find in a Library
Title: Justice for Our Children: New Jersey Addresses Evidentiary Problems Inherent in Child Sexual Abuse Cases
Journal: Seton Hall Law Review  Volume:24  Issue:4  Dated:(1994)  Pages:2030-2056
Author(s): D M Enea
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 27
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper focuses on the steps that the New Jersey judiciary and legislature have taken to address the special issues and problems posed by child sexual abuse cases.
Abstract: Part I examines the use of closed circuit television to take the testimony of the child witness outside the courtroom. In Part II, the adoption of a new hearsay exception that specifically addresses the out-of-court statements of child victims of sexual abuse is discussed. Part III analyzes the admissibility of expert testimony concerning the credibility of a child's allegations of abuse by comparing the child's behavior to those symptoms commonly found in child victims of sexual abuse. The author concludes that an analysis of the major statutes and cases pertaining to evidentiary issues in child sexual abuse cases shows a successful balancing of the interests of victims and their families, the State's interest in prosecuting child sexual abuse, and the constitutional rights of defendants. The requisite balance has been created to ensure that the State may admit what is usually its strongest evidence of abuse only when the constitutional rights of the accused have been adequately protected. The New Jersey judiciary has protected the truth-seeking role of the trial by carefully inspecting the nature and reliability of expert psychological evidence and determining its proper function at trial. 122 footnotes
Main Term(s): Child victims
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Closed circuit television (CCTV); Court procedures; Expert witnesses; Hearsay evidence; Juvenile witnesses; New Jersey; Rules of evidence; State laws
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