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il, give sufficient security to the secretary of the state, in behalf of the general assembly; and each high sheriff, before the first judge of the county court to the treasurer of their respective counties, previous to their respectively entering upon the execution of their offices, in such manner, and in sums, as shall be directed by the legislature.
$28. The treasurer's accounts shall be annually audited, and a fair state thereof laid before the general assembly at their session in October.
$ 29. Every officer, whether judicial, executive, or military, in au thority under this state, before he enters upon the execution of hi office, shall take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation of allegiance to this state, unless he shall produce evidence that he has before taken the same ; and also the following oath or affirmation of office, except military officers, and such as shall be exempted by the legislature.
The oath or afirmation of office. “ You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you will be true and faith. ful to the state of Vermont, and that you will not, directly or indirectly, do any act or thing injurious to the constitution or government thereof, as established by convention : (If an oath) so help you God. (If an affirmation) under the pains and penalties of perjury.
The oath or affirmation of office. • You, - , do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you will faithfully execute the office of for the of ; and will therein do equal right and justice to all men, to the best of your judgment and abilities, according to law : (If an oath) so help you God. (If an affirmation) under the pains and penalties of perjury.”
§ 30. No person shall be eligible to the office of governor or lieutenantgovernor, until he shall have resided in this state four years next preceding the day of his election.
$ 31. Trials of issues, proper for the cognizance of a jury, in the supreme and county courts, shall be by jury, except where parties otherwise agree; and great care ought to be taken to prevent corruption or partiality in the choice and return or appointment of juries.
$32. All prosecutions shall commence, by the authority of the state of Vermont ; all indictments shall conclude with these words: against the peace and dignity of the state. And all fines shall be proportioned to the offences.
$33. The person of a debtor, where there is not strong presumption of fraud, shall not be continued in prison after delivering up and assigning over, bona fide, all his estate, real and personal, in possession, reversion, or remainder, for the use of his creditors, in such manner as shall be hereafter regulated by law. And all prisoners, unless in execu'on or committed for capital offences, when the proof is evident or presumption great, shall be bailable by sufficient sureties ; nor shall excessive bail be exacted for bailable offences.
$ 34. All elections, whether by the people or the legislature, shall be free and voluntary; and any elector, who shall receive any gift or reward for his vote, in meat, drink, moneys, or otherwise, shall forfeit his right to elect at that time, and suffer such other penalty as the law shall direct; and any person who shall, directly or indirectly, give, promise, or bestow, any such rewards, to be elected, shall thereby be rendered incapable to serve for the ensuing year, and be subject to such further punishment as a future legislature shall direct.
§ 35. All deeds and conveyances of land shall be recorded in the town clerk's office, in their respective towns; and for want thereof, in the county clerk's office of the same county.
$36. The legislature shall regulate entails in such manner as to prevent perpetuities.
$ 37. To deter more effectually from the commission of crimes, by continued visible punishments of long duration, and to make sanguinary punishments less necessary, means ought to be provided for punishing by hard labour those who shall be convicted of crimes not capital, whereby the criminal shall be employed for the benefit of the public, or for the reparation of injuries done to private persons: and all persons, at proper times, ought to be permitted to see them at their labour.
$ 38. The estates of such persons as may destroy their own lives shall not for that offence be forfeited, but descend or ascend in the same manner as if such persons had died in a natural way. Nor shall any article, which shall accidentally occasion the death of any person, be henceforth deemed a deodand, or in any wise forfeited, on account of such misfortune.
$39. Every person of good character, who comes to settle in this state, having first taken an oath or affirmation of allegiance to the same, may purchase, or by other just means acquire, hold, and transfer land or other real estate ; and, after one year's residence, shall be deemed a free denizen thereof, and entitled to all rights of a natural born subject of this state, except that he shall not be capable of being elected governor, lieutenant-governor, treasurer, counsellor, or representative in as. sembly until after two years' residence.
$ 40. The inhabitants of this state shall have liberty, in seasonable times, to hunt and fowl on the lands they hold, and on other lands not enclosed; and in like manner to fish in all boatable and other waters, not private property, under proper regulations, to be hereafter made and provided by the general assembly.
$ 41. Laws for the encouragement of virtue and prevention of vice and immorality, ought to be constantly kept in force, and duly executed : and a competent number of schools ought to be maintained in each town, for the convenient instruction of youth; and one or more grammar schools be incorporated, and properly supported, in each county in this state. And all religious societies or bodies of men, that may be hereafter united or incorporated for the advancement of religion and learning, or for other pious and charitable purposes, shall be encouraged and protected in the enjoyment of the privileges, immunities, and estates, which they in justice ought to enjoy, under such regulations as the general assembly of this state shall direct.
$ 42. The declaration of the political rights and privileges of the in habitants of this state, is hereby declared to be a part of the constitu
tion of this commonwealth, and ought not to be violated on any pre. tence whatsoever.
§ 43. In order that the freedom of this commonwealth may be preserved inviolate for ever, there shall be chosen, by ballot, by the freemen of this state, on the last Wednesday in March, in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine, and on the last Wednesday in March, in every seven years thereafter, thirteen persons, who shall be chosen in the same manner the council is chosen, except they shall not be out of the council or general assembly, to be called the council of censors : who shall meet together on the first Wednesday in June next ensuing their election, the majority of whom shall be a quorum in every case, except as to calling a convention, in which, two-thirds of the whole number elected shall agree, and whose duty it shall be to inquire, whether the constitution has been preserved inviolate in every part during the last septenary, including the year of their service, and whether the legislative and executive branches of government have performed their duty, as guardians of the people, or assumed to themselves, or exercised other or greater powers than they are entitled to by the constitution: They are also to inquire, whether the public taxes have been justly laid and collected in all parts of this commonwealth ; in what manner the public moneys have been disposed of; and whether the laws have been duly executed. For these purposes they shall have power to send for persons, papers, and records : they shall have authority to pass public censures, to order impeachments, and to recommend to the legislature the repealing such laws as shall appear to them to have been passed contrary to the principles of the constitution : These powers they shall continue to have for and during the space of one year from the day of their election, and no longer. The said council of censors shall also have power to call a convention, to meet within two years after their sitting, if there appears to them an absolute necessity of amending any article of this constitution, which may be defective : explaining such as may be thought not clearly expressed: and of adding such as are necessary for the preservation of the rights and happiness of the people : but the articles to be amended, and the amendments proposed, and such articles as are proposed to be added or abolished, shall be promulgated at least six months before the day appointed for the election of such convention, for the previous consideration of the people, that they may have an opportunity of instructing their delegates on the subject. By order of Convention, July 9th, 1793.
THOMAS CHITTENDEN, President. Attest, LEWIS R. MORRIS, Secretary.
CONSTITUTION OF RHODE ISLAND. RATIFIED BY THE VOTE OF THE PEOPLE, Nov. 21, 22 AND 23, 1842.
We, the people of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Planta. tions, grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavours to secure and to transmit the same, unimpaired, to succeeding generations, do ordain and establish this Constitution of Go. vernment. ARTICLE 1. - DECLARATION OF CERTAIN CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS AND
PRINCIPLES. In order effectually to secure the religious and political freedom estab. lished by our venerated ancestors, and to preserve the same for our posterity, we do declare that the essential and unquestionable rights and principles hereinafter mentioned, shall be established, maintained, and preserved, and shall be of paramount obligation in all legislative, judicial and executive proceedings.
$ 1. In the words of the Father of his Country, we declare, that "the basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and alter their constitutions of government; but that the constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all.”
92. All free governments are instituted for the protection, safety, and happiness of the people. All laws, therefore, should be made for the good of the whole; and the burdens of the State ought to be fairly distri. buted among its citizens.
$ 3. Whereas, Almighty God hath created the mind free; and all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness; and whereas a principal object of our venerated ancestors, in their migration to this country and their settlement of this State, was, as they expressed it, to hold forth a lively experiment that a flourishing civil State may stand and be best maintained with full liberty in religious concernments: we, therefore, declare, that no man shall be compelled to frequent or to support any religious worship, place or ministry whatever, except in ful. filment of his own voluntary contract; nor enforced, restrained, molested or burthened in his body or goods; nor disqualified from holding any office; nor otherwise suffer on account of his religious belief; and that every man shall be free to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and to profess and by argument to maintain his opinion in matters of religion ; and that the same shall in no wise diminish, en. large or affect his civil capacity.
§ 4. Slavery shall not be permitted in this State.
$ 5. Every person within this State ought to find a certain remedy, by having recourse to the laws, for all injuries or wrongs which he inay receive in his person, property, or character. He ought to obtain right and justice freely, and without purchase, completely and without denial; promptly and without delay; conformably to the laws.
$ 6. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, papers, and possessions, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue, but on complaint in writing, upon
lable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and describing as nearly
as may be, the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
§ 7. No person shall be held to answer for a capital or other infamous crime, unless on presentment or indictment by a grand jury, except in cases of impeachment, or of such offences as are cognizable by a justice of the peace; or in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger. No person shall, after an acquittal, be tried for the same offence.
$ 8. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishments inflicted; and all punishments ought to be proportioned to the offence.
89. All persons imprisoned ought to be bailed by sufficient surety, unless for offences punishable by death or by imprisonment for life, when the proof of guilt is evident, or the presumption great. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety shall require it; nor ever without the authority of the General Assembly.
$ 10. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury; to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process for obtaining them in his favour, to have the assistance of counsel in his defence, and shall be at liberty to speak for himself; nor shall he be deprived of life, liberty, or property, unless by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land.
$ 11. The person of a debtor, when there is not strong presumption of fraud, ought not to be continued in prison, after he shall have delivered up his property for the benefit of his creditors, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.
$ 12. No ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall be passed.
8 13. No man in a court of common law shall be compelled to give evidence criminating himself.
§ 14. Every man being presumed innocent, until he is pronounced guilty by the law, no act of severity which is not necessary to secure an accused person, shall be permitted.
$ 15. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.
$ 16. Private property shall not be taken for public uses, without just compensation.
$ 17. The people shall continue to enjoy and freely exercise all the rights of fishery, and the privileges of the shore, to which they have been heretofore entitled under the charter and usages of this State. But no new right is intended to be granted, nor any existing right impaired by this declaration.
$ 18. The military shall be held in strict subordination to the civil authority. And the law martial shall be used and exercised in such cases only as occasion shall necessarily require.
$ 19. No soldier shall be quartered in any house, in time of peace, without the consent of the owner ; nor, in time of war, but in manner to be prescribed by law.
$ 20. The liberty of the press being essential to the security of freedom in a state, any person may publish his sentiments on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty; and in all trials for libel, both civil and criminal, the truth, unless published from malicious mo. tives, shall be sufficient defence to the person charged.