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Bill of Rights. Article 1. All men are born equally free and independent; therefore all government of right originates from the people, is found in consent, and instituted for the general good.
Art. 2. All men have certain natural, essential, and inherent rights; among which are the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; and, in a word, of seeking and obtaining happiness.
Art. 3. When men enter into a state of society they surren: der up some of their natural rights to that society, in order to insure the protection of others; and without such an equivalent, the surrender is void.
Art. 4. Among the natural rights, some are in their very nature unalienable, because no equivalent can be given or conceived for them. Of this kind are the rights of conscience.
Art. 5. Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience and reason; and no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshiping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience, or for his religious profession, sentiments, or persuasion, provided he doth not disturb the public peace, or disturb others in their religious worship.
Art. 6. As morality and piety, rightly grounded, will give the best and greatest security to government, and will lay in the hearts of men the strongest obligations to due subjection, and as the knowledge of these is most likely to be propagated through a society by the institution of the public worship of the Deity and of public instruction in morality and religion, therefore, to promote these important purposes, the people of this State have a right to empower, and do hereby fully empower, the Legislature to authorize, from time to time, the religious societies within this State to make adequate provision, at their own expense, for the support and maintenance of public teachers of piety, religion, and morality. The several religious societies shall at all times have the exclusive right of electing their own public teachers, and of contracting with them for their support and maintenance. And no person of any one particular religious sect or denomination shall ever be compelled to pay toward the support of the teacher or teachers of another persuasion, sect, or
denomination. And every (religious
And every (religious sector) denomination, demeaning themselves quietly and as good subjects of the State, shall be equally under the protection of the law; and no subordination of any one sect or denomination to another shall ever be established by law.
Art. 7. The people of this State have the sole and exclusive right of governing themselves as a free, sovereign, and indepen. dent State, and do, and forever hereafter shall, exercise and enjoy every power, jurisdiction, and right pertaining thereto which is not or may not hereafter be by them expressly delegated to the United States of America in Congress assembled.
Art. 8. All power residing originally in, and being derived from, the people, all the magistrates and officers of government are their substitutes and agents and at all times accountable to them.
Art. 9. No office or place whatsoever in government shall be hereditary, the abilities and integrity requisite in all not being transmissible to posterity or relations.
Art. 10. Government being instituted for the common bene fit, protection, and security of the whole community, and not for the private interest or envolument of any one man, family, or class of men, therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to, reform the old or establish a new government. The doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
Art. 11. All elections ought to be free; and every inhabitant of the State, having the proper qualifications, has equal right to elect and be elected into office.
Art. 12. Every member of the community has a right to be protected by it in the enjoyment of his life, liberty, and property. He is, therefore, bound to contribute his share in the expense of such protection, and to yield his personal service, when necessary, or an equivalent. But no part of a man's property shall be taken from him or applied to public uses without his own consent or that of the representative body of the people. Nor are the inhabitants of this State controllable by any other laws than those to which they or their representative body have given their consent.
Art. 13. No person who is conscientiously scrupulous about the lawfulness of bearing arms shall be compelled thereto, provided he will pay an equivalent.
Art. 14. Every subject of this State is entitled to a certain remedy, by having recourse to the laws, for all injuries he may receive in his person, property, or character; to obtain right and justice freely, without being obliged to purchase it; completely, and without any denial; promptly, and without any delay; conformably to the laws.
Art. 15. No subject shall be held to answer for any crime or offense until the same is fully and plainly, substantially and formally, described to him, or be compelled to accuse or furnish evidence against himself. And every subject shall have a right to produce all proofs that may be favorable to himself, to meet the witnesses against him face to face, and to be fully heard in his defense by himself and counsel. And no subject shall be arrested, imprisoned, despoiled or deprived of his property, immunities, or privileges, put out of the protection of the law, exiled, or deprived of his life, liberty, or estate, but by the judgment of his peers or the law of the land.
Art. 16. No subject shall be liable to be tried, after an acquittal, for the same crime or offense; nor shall the Legislature make any law that shall subject any person to a capital punishment (excepting for the government of the army and navy, and the militia in actual service) without trial by jury.
Art. 17. In criminal prosecutions, the trial of facts in the vicinity where they happen is so essential to the security of the life, liberty, and estate of the citizen, that no crime or offense ought to be tried in any other county than that in which it is committed, except in cases of general insurrection in any particular county, when it shall appear to the judges of the Superior Court that an impartial trial cannot be had in the county where the offense may be committed, and, upon their report, the Legislature shall think proper to direct the trial in the nearest county in which an impartial trial can be obtained.
Art. 18. All penalties ought to be proportioned to the nature of the offense. No wise Legislature will affix the same punishment to the crimes of theft, forgery, and the like, which they do to those of murder and treason. Where the same undistinguishing severity is exerted against all offenses, the people are led to forget the real distinction in the crimes themselves and to commit the most flagrant with as little compunction as they do the lightest offenses. For the same reason, a multitude of sanguinary laws is both impolitic and unjust, the true design of all punishments being to reform, not to exterminate, mankind.
Art. 19. Every subject hath a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches and seizures of his person, his houses, his papers, and all his possessions. Therefore, all warrants to search suspected places or arrest a person for examination or trial, in prosecutions for criminal matters, are contrary to this right, if the cause or foundation of them be not previously supported by oath or affirmation, and if the order, in a warrant to a civil officer, to make search in suspected places, or to arrest one or more suspected persons, or to seize their property, be not accompanied with a special designation of the persons or objects of search, arrest, or seizure; and no warrant ought to be issued but in cases and with the formalities prescribed by law.
Art. 20. In all controversies concerning property and in all suits between two or more persons, except in cases in which it has been heretofore otherwise used and practiced, and except in cases in which the value in controversy does not exceed one hundred dollars and title of real estate is not concerned, the parties have a right to trial by jury; and this method of procedure shall be held sacred, unless, in cases arising on the high seas and such as relate to mariners' wages, the Legislature shall think it necessary hereafter to alter it.
Art. 21. In order to reap the fullest advantage of the inesti mable privilege of trial by jury, great care ought to be taken that none but qualified persons should be appointed to serve; and such ought to be fully compensated for their travel, time, and attendance.
Art. 22. The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom in a State; it ought, therefore, to be inviolably preserved.
Art. 23. Retrospective laws are highly injurious, oppressive, and unjust. No such laws, therefore, should be made, either for the decision of civil causes or the punishment of offenses.
Art. 24. A well-regulated militia is the proper, natural, and sure defense of a State.
Art. 25. Standing armies are dangerous to liberty, and ought not to be raised or kept up without the consent of the Legislature.
Art. 26. In all cases and at all times the military ought to be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.
Art. 27. No soldier in time of peace shall be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner; and in time of war such quarters ought not to be made but by the civil magistrate, in a manner ordained by the Legislature.
Art. 28. No subsidy, charge, tax, impost, or duty shall be established, fixed, laid, or levied, under any pretext whatsoever, without the consent of the people or their representatives in the Legislature, or authority derived from that body.
Art. 29. The power of suspending the laws or the execution of them ought never to be exercised but by the Legislature, or by authority derived therefrom, to be exercised in such particular cases only as the Legislature shall expressly provide for.
Art. 30. The freedom of deliberation, speech, and debate in either house of the Legislature is so essential to the rights of the people, that it cannot be the foundation of any action, complaint, or prosecution in any other court or place whatsoever.
Art. 31. The Legislature shall assemble for the redress of public grievances and for making such laws as the public good may require.
Art. 32. The people have a right, in an orderly and peaceable manner, to assemble and consult upon the common good, give instructions to their representatives, and to request of the legislative body, by way of petition or remonstrance, redress of the wrongs done them, and of the grievances they suffer.
Art. 33. No magistrate or court of law shall demand excessive bail or sureties, impose excessive fines, or inflict cruel or unusual punishments.
Art. 34. No person can in any case be subjected to law martial or to any pains or penalties by virtue of that law, except those employed in the army or navy, and except the militia in actual service, but by authority of the Legislature.
Art. 35. It is essential to the preservation of the rights of every individual, his life, liberty, property, and character, that there be an impartial interpretation of the laws and administration of justice. It is the right of every citizen to be tried by judges as impartial as the lot of humanity will admit. It is, therefore, not only the best policy, but for the security of the rights of the people, that the judges of the Supreme Judicial