« ZurückWeiter »
10. That no person shall, for any indictable offence, be proceeded against criminally by information ; except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia when in actual service in time of war or public danger; or by leave of the court for oppression and misdemeanor in office. No person
hall for the same offence be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall any man's property be taken, or applied to public use, without the consent of his representatives, and without just compensation being made.
11. That all courts shall be open, and every man for an injury done him in his lands, goods, person or repu. tation, shall have remedy by the due course of law, and right and justice administered without sale, denial or delay. Suits may be brought against the commonwealth in such manner, in such courts, and in such cases, as the legislature may, by law, direct.
12. That no power of suspending laws shall be exercised, unless by the legislature, or its authority.
13. That excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishments inflicted.
14. That all prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for capital offences, when the proof is evident or presumption great: and the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.
15. That no commission of oyer and terminer or jail delivery shall be issued.
16. That the person of a debtor, where there is not strong presumption of fraud, shall not be continued in prison after delivering up his estate for the benefit of his creditors in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.
17. That no ex post facto law, nor any law impairing contracts, shall be made.
18. That no person shall be attainted of treason or felony by the legislature.
19. That no attainder shall work corruption of blood ; nor, except during the life of the offender, forfeiture of estate to the commonwealth : that the estates of such per. sons as shall destroy their own lives, shall descend or
vest as in case of natural death ; and if any person shall be killed by casualty, there shall be no forfeiture by reason thereof.
20. That the citizens have a right, in a peaceful manner, to assemble together for their common good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by petition, redress, or remonstrance.
21. That the right of the citizens to bear arms, in defence of themselves and the State, shall not be questioned.
22. That no standing army shall, in time of peace, be kept up, without the consent of the legislature; and the military shall, in all cases, and at all times, be in strict subordination to the civil power.
23. That 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.
24. That the legislature shall not grant any title of nobility or hereditary distinction, nor create any office the appointment to which shall be for a longer term than during good behaviour.
25. That emigration from the State shall not be prohibited.
26. To guard against transgressions of the high powers which we have delegated, we declare, that every thing in this article is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate.
ARTICLE 10. Any amendment or amendments to this Constitution may be proposed in the Senate or House of Representatives, and if the same shall be agreed to by a majority of the members elected to each house, such proposed amendment or anendments shall be entered on their journals, with the yeas and nays taken thereon, and the secretary of the commonwealth shall cause the same to be published three months before the next election, in at least one newspaper in every county in which a newspaper shall be published ; and if in the legislature next afterwards chosen, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be agreed to by a majority of the members elected to
each House, the secretary of the commonwealth shall cause the same again to be published in manner aforesaid, and such proposed amendment or amendments shall be submitted to the people in such manner and at such time, at least three months after being so agreed to by the two Houses, as the legislature shall prescribe ; and if the people shall approve and ratify such amendment or amendments by a majority of the qualified voters of this State voting thereon, such amendment or amendments shall become a part of the Constitution, but no amendment or amendments shall be submitted to the people oftener than once in five years : Provided, that if more than one amendment be submitted, they shall be submitted in such manner and form, that the people may vote for or against each amendment separately and distinctly.
CONSTITUTION OF VIRGINIA.
Bill of Rights.
A Declaration of Rights made by the Representatives of the good
People of VIRGINIA, assembled in full and free Convention; which rights do pertain to them, and their Posterity, as the basis and foundation of Government. Unanimously adopted, June 12th, 1776.
1. That all men are by nature equally free and inde- · pendent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity ; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
2. That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them.
3. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation, or community: of all the various modes and
forms of government, that is best, which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety, and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladminis. tration ; and that, when any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, unalienable, and inde. feasible right to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.
4. That no man, or set of men, are entitled to exclu sive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services; which not being descendible, neither ought the offices of magistrate, legislator, or judge to be hereditary.
5. That the legislative and executive powers of the State should be separate and distinct from the judiciary ; and that the members of the two first may be restrained from oppression, by feeling and participating the burthens of the people, they should, at fixed periods, be reduced to a private station, return into that body from which they were originally taken, and the vacancies be supplied by frequent, certain, and regular elections, in which all, or any part of the former members, to be again eligible, or ineligible, as the laws shall direct.
6. That elections of members to serve as representatives of the people, in Assembly, ought to be free; and that all men having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community, have the right of suffrage, and cannot be taxed or deprived of their property for public uses, without their own con. sent, or that of their representatives so elected, nor bound by any law to which they have not, in like manner assented, for the public good.
7. That all power of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, by any authority, without consent of the representatives of the people, is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be exercised.
8. That, in all capital or criminal prosecutions, a man hath a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evidence in his favor, and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty; nor can he be com. pelled to give evidence against himself; that no man be deprived of his liberty except by the law of the land, or the judgment of his peers.
9. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
10. That general warrants, whereby an officer or mes. senger may be commanded to search, suspected places without evidence of a fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, or whose offence is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are grievous and oppressive, and ought not to be granted.
11. That, in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the ancient trial by jury is preferable to any other, and ought to be held sacred.
12. That the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments.
13. That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free State ; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided, as dangerous to liberty ; and that, in all cases, the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.
14. That the people have a right to uniform govern ment; and, therefore, that no government separate from, or independent of, the government of Virginia, ought to be erected or established within the limits thereof.
15. That no free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people, but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.
16. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only hy reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience, and that it is the mutual duty of all to practise Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.