Renee M. Zak

Date of Defense



Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Ralph Chandler

Second Advisor

Paul Denenfeld

Third Advisor

Dr. Peter Renstrom


In our free society, a concern for due process in criminal procedure is crucial. More important than guilt or innocence is the imperative process of protecting ourselves from an overbearing government. Where concern lacks, individual liberty is at the mercy of arbitrary governmental power. Zechariah Chafee, Jr., legal historian said, "Freedom from official capriciousness is essential to all other human rights" (Bodenhamer 4). This ideal and its significance in western thought can hardly be overstated. This study will examine the origin, the historical development, the excesses, and the meaning of the procedural guarantees found in the Sixth Amendment. Also, it will discuss the colonial experience and the decisions involved in the evolution of such guarantees. Lastly, a glimpse of recent history and the trend of today's decisions by the United States Supreme Court to undercut the Sixth Amendment will be given.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only