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visions of sections 240 to 253,
254 to 256, inclusive, shall re-
three commissioners to pre-
action, etc., shall continue.
and criminal, begun before the
suits the power and jurisdia tion heretofore exercised by
them. 281. All fines. penalties, etc., shall
remain the same. 282. Bonds, obligations, etc., exe
cuted before the Constitution was adopted shall remain
valid. 283. Crimes and misdemeanors shall
be punished as though no
change had taken place. 284. All officers of the State and sub
divisions thereof shall be entitled to hold their office as
now held by them. 285. The adoption of this constitu
tion shall not have the effect to revive or put in force any law heretofore repealed.
PREAMBLE. We, the people of Mississippi, in convention assembled, grateful to Almighty God, and invoking his blessing on our work, do ordain and establish this Constitution.
Distribution of Powers. Section 1. The powers of the government of the State of Mississippi shall be divided into three distinct departments, and each of them confided to a separate magistracy, to wit: Those which are legislative to one; those which are judicial to another; and those which are executive to another.
Sec. 2. No person or collection of persons, being one, or belonging to one, of these departments, shall exercise any power properly belonging to either of the others. The acceptance of an office in either of said departments shall, of itself, and at once, vacate any and all offices held by the person so accepting in either of the other departments.
Boundaries of the State. Ser. 3. The limits and boundaries of the State of Mississippi are as follows, to wit: Beginning on the Mississippi river (meaning thereby the center of said river or thread of the stream)
where the southern boundary line of the State of Tennessee strikes the same, as run by B. A. Ludlow, D. W. Connelly and W. Petrie, commissioners appointed for that purpose on the part of the State of Mississippi in A. D. 1837, and J. D. Graham and Austin Miller, comunissioners appointed for that purpose on the part of the State of Tennessee; thence east along the said boundary line of the State of Tennessee to point on the west bank of the Tennessee river, six four-pole chains south of and above the mouth of Yellow Creek; thence up the said river to the mouth of Bear Creek; thence by a direct line to what was formerly the northwest corner of the county of Washington, Alabama; thence on a direct line to a point ten miles east of the Pascagoula river on the Gulf of Mexico; thence westwardly, including all the islands within six leagues of the shore, to the most eastern junction of the Pearl river with Lake Borgne; thence up said Pearl river to the thirty-first degree of north latitude; thence west along the said degree of latitude to the middle or thread of the stream of the Mississippi river; thence up the middle of the Mississippi river, or thread of the stream, to the place of beginning, including all islands lying cast of the thread of the stream of said river, and also including any lands which were at any time heretofore a part of this State.
Sec. 4. The Legislature shall have power to consent to the acquisition of additional territory by this State and to make the same a part thereof; and the Legislature may settle disputed boundaries between this State and its coterminous States whenever such disputes arise.
Bill of Rights. Sec. 5. All political power is vested in, and derived from, the people; all government of right originates with the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.
Sec. 6. The people of this State have the inherent, sole and exclusive right to regulate the internal government and police thereof, and to alter and abolish their Constitution and form of government whenever they may deem it necessary to their safety and happiness; provided, such change be not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States.
Sec. 7. The right to withdraw from the Federal Union on account of any real or supposed grievance, shall never be assumed by this State, nor shall any law be passed in derogation of the paramount allegiance of the citizens of this State to the government of the United States.
Sec. 8. All persons resident in this State, citizens of the United States, are hereby declared citizens of the State of Mississippi.
Sec. 9. The military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.
Sec. 10. Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against the same or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court. Sec. 11. The right of the people peaceably to assemble and
. petition the government on any subject shall never be impaired.
Sec. 12. The right of every citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person or property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question, but the Legislature may regulate or forbid carrying concealed weapons.
Sec. 13. The freedom of speech and of the press shall be held sacred, and in all prosecutions for libel the truth may be given in evidence, and the jury shall determine the law and the facts under the direction of the court; and if it shall appear to the jury that the matter charged as libelous is true, and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the party shall be acquited.
Sec. 14. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, except by due process of law.
Sec. 15. There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in this State, otherwise than in the punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.
Sec. 16. Ex post facto laws, or laws impairing the obligation of contracts, shall not be passed.
Sec. 17. Private property shall not be taken or damaged for public use except on due compensation being first made to the owner or owners thereof, in a manner to be prescribed by law; and whenever an attempt is made to take private property for a use alleged to be public, the question whether the
contemplated use be public shall be a judicial question, and as such determined without regard to legislative assertion that the use is public.
Sec. 18. No religious test as a qualification for office shall be required; and no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect, or mode of worship; but the free enjoyment of all religious sentiments and the different modes of worship shall be held sacred. The rights hereby secured shall not be construed to justify acts of licentiousness injurious to morals or dangerous to the peace and safety of the State, or to exclude the Holy Bible from use in any public school of this State.
Sec. 19. Human life shall not be imperiled by the practice of dueling; and any citizen of this State who shall hereafter fight a duel, or assist in the same as second, or send, accept, or knowingly carry a challenge therefor, whether such act be done in the State, or out of it, or who shall go out of the State to fight a duel, or to assist in the same as second, or to send, accept or carry a challenge, shall be disqualified from holding any office under this Constitution and shall be disfranchised.
Sec. 20. No person shall be elected or appointed to office in this State for life or during good behavior, but the term of all offices shall be for some specified period.
Sec. 21. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it, nor ever without the authority of the Legislature.
Sec. 22. No person's life or liberty shall be twice placed in jeopardy for the same offense; but there must be an actual acquittal or conviction on the merits to bar another prosecution.
Sec. 23. The people shall be secure in their persons, houses and possessions, from unreasonable seizure on search; and no warrant shall be issued without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, especially designating the place to be searched and the person or thing to be seized.
Sec. 24. All courts shall be open; and every person for an injury done him in his lands, goods, person or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law, and right and justice shall be administered without sale, denial or delay.
Sec. 25. No person shall be debarred from prosecuting or defending any civil cause, for or against him or herself before any tribunal in this State, by him or herself, or counsel, or both. Sec. 26. In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall have a right to be heard by himself or counsel, or both, to demand the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted by the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and in all prosecutions by indictment or information, a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the county where the offense was committed; and he shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself; but in prosecutions for rape, adultery, fornication, sodomy, or the crime against nature, the court may in its direction exclude from the court room all persons except such as are necessary in the conduct of the trial.
Sec. 27. No person shall for any indictable offense, be proceeded against criminally by information, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or the militia when in actual service, or by leave of the court for misdemeanor in office; but the Leg. islature in cases not punishable by death or by imprisonment in the penitentiary, may dispense with the inquest of the grand jury, and may authorize prosecutions before justices of the peace, or such other inferior court or courts as may be established, and the proceedings in such cases shall be regulated by law.
Sec. 28. Cruel or unusual punishment shall not be inflicted, nor excessive fines be imposed.
Sec. 29. Excessive bail shall not be required; and all persons, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses when the proof is evident or presumption great.
Sec. 30. There shall be no imprisonment for debt.
Sec. 32. The enumeration of rights in this Constitution shall not be construed to deny or impair others retained by, and inherent in, the people.
Legislative Department. Sec. 33. The legislative power of this State shall be vested in the Legislature, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives.
Sec. 34. The House of Representatives shall consist of members chosen every four years by the qualified electors of the several counties and representative districts.