WE DECLARE, That all people are created equal; that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that all power is inherent in the People; and that all free governments are, and of right ought to be, founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and well-being. For the advancement of these ends, the People have, at all times, an indefeasible right to alter and reform their government.
All people shall be secured in the natural right to worship ALMIGHTY GOD, according to the dictates of their own consciences.
No law shall, in any case whatever, control the free exercise and enjoyment of religious opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience.
No preference shall be given, by law, to any creed, religious society, or mode of worship; and no person shall be compelled to attend, erect, or support, any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry, against his consent.
No religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office of trust or profit.
No money shall be drawn from the public treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution.
No person shall be rendered incompetent as a witness, in consequence of his opinions on matters of religion.
The mode of administering an oath or affirmation, shall be such as may be most consistent with, and binding upon, the conscience of the person, to whom such oath or affirmation may be administered.
No law shall be passed, restraining the free interchange of thought and opinion, or restricting the right to speak, write, or print, freely, on any subject whatever: but for the abuse of that right, every person shall be responsible.
In all prosecutions for libel, the truth of the matters alleged to be libelous may be given in justification.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable search, or seizure, shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized.
All courts shall be open; and every person, for injury done to him in his person, property, or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law. Justice shall be administered freely, and without purchase; completely, and without denial; speedily, and without delay.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the right to a public trial, by an impartial jury, in the county in which the offense shall have been committed; to be heard by himself and counsel; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him, and to have a copy thereof; to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor.
No person shall be put in jeopardy twice for the same offense. No person, in any criminal prosecution, shall be compelled to testify against himself.
No person arrested, or confined in jail, shall be treated with unnecessary rigor.
Excessive bail shall not be required. Excessive fines shall not be imposed. Cruel and unusual punishments shall not be inflicted. All penalties shall be proportioned to the nature offence.
Offenses, other than murder or treason, shall be bailable by sufficient sureties. Murder or treason shall not be bailable, when the proof is evident, or the presumption strong.
The penal code shall be founded on the principles of reformation, and not of vindictive justice.
In all criminal cases whatever, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts.
In all civil cases, the right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.
No person's particular services shall be demanded, without just compensation. No person's property shall be taken by law, without just compensation; nor, except in case of the State, without such compensation first assessed and tendered.
The privilege of the debtor to enjoy the necessary comforts of life, shall be recognized by wholesome laws, exempting a reasonable amount of property from seizure or sale for the payment of any debt or liability hereafter contracted; and there shall be no imprisonment for debt, except in case of fraud.
The General Assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.
No ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall ever be passed.
No law shall be passed, the taking effect of which shall be made to depend upon any authority, except as provided in this Constitution.
The operation of the laws shall never be suspended, except by the authority of the General Assembly.
The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, except in case of rebellion or invasion; and then, only if the public safety demand it.
Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against it, and in giving aid and comfort to its enemies.
No person shall be convicted of treason, except on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or upon his confession in open court.
No conviction shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture of estate.
No law shall restrain any of the inhabitants of the State from assembling together in a peaceable manner, to consult for their common good; nor from instructing their representatives; nor from applying to the General Assembly for redress of grievances.
The people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the State.
The military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil power.
No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner; nor, in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The General Assembly shall not grant any title of nobility, nor confer hereditary distinctions.
Emigration from the State shall not be prohibited.
There shall be neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude, within the State, otherwise than for the punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.