91 Texas L. Rev. 1203
In this Note, Mr. Bah argues that one way to approach questions about the level of specificity required for jury agreement is by examining current state laws and their various jury agreement doctrines. Continuous course of conduct offenses in particular can be helpful in examining these types of questions. This Note focuses on one particular type of continuous course of conduct offenses—“continuous sexual abuse of a child” (CSA) statutes—that has become popular in the last two decades.
Part I provides a general overview of CSA statutes and their history. Part II briefly discusses the current constitutional doctrinal framework. Part III focuses on California and Texas to show what their respective case law says about jury unanimity, specificity requirements for unanimity, and the continuous course of conduct exception. Part IV provides an analysis of CSA statutes and will attempt to answer the questions of (1) whether these statutes are staying true to the purpose behind specificity in jury agreement and (2) whether these statutes may bump up against constitutional problems in the future. Part V discusses some of the possible ways to address current CSA statutes and then provides possible solutions for how to better address the problem of prosecuting child molesters.