Bill of Rights
Inherent and inalienable rights
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. (As Amended November 6, 1984).
Natural right to worship
All people shall be secured in the natural right to worship ALMIGHTY
GOD, according to the dictates of their own consciences. (As Amended
November 6, 1984).
Freedom of religious opinions and rights of conscience
No law shall, in any case whatever, control the free exercise and
enjoyment of religious opinions, or interfere with the rights of
Freedom of religion
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. (As Amended November 6, 1984).
Religious test for office
No religious test shall be required, as a qualification for any office
of trust or profit.
Public money for benefit of religious or theological institutions
No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any
religious or theological institution.
Witness competent regardless of religious opinions
No person shall be rendered incompetent as a witness, in consequence
of his opinions on matters of religion.
Oath or affirmation, administration
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.
Right to free thought, speech, writing and printing; abuse of right
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.
Truth in prosecutions for libel
In all prosecutions for libel, the truth of the matters alleged to be
libellous, may be given in justification.
Unreasonable search or seizure; warrant
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.
Courts open; remedy by due course of law; administration of justice
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. (As
Amended November 6, 1984).
Rights of accused in criminal prosecutions
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.
Double jeopardy and self-incrimination
No person shall be put in jeopardy twice for the same offense. No
person, in any criminal prosecution, shall be compelled to testify
Persons arrested or confined, treatment
No person arrested, or confined in jail, shall be treated with
Excessive bail or fines and cruel or unusual punishment
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 of the offense.
Right to bail and unbailable offenses
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.
Penal code founded on reformation
The penal code shall be founded on the principles of reformation, and
not of vindictive justice.
Right of jury to determine law and facts in criminal cases
In all criminal cases whatever, the jury shall have the right to
determine the law and the facts.
Trial by jury in civil cases
In all civil cases, the right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.
Right to compensation for services and property
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. (As Amended November
Privileges of debtor; imprisonment for.
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.
Ex post facto laws and impairing contracts
No ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts,
shall ever be passed.
Effect of laws
No law shall be passed, the taking effect of which shall be made to
depend upon any authority, except as provided in this Constitution.
Suspension of operation of law
The operation of the laws shall never be suspended, except by the
authority of the General Assembly.
Suspension of habeas corpus; exception
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 state; definition
Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against
it, and in giving aid and comfort to its enemies.
Treason against state; proof
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
No conviction shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate.
Right to assemble, to instruct and to petition
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.
Military subordinate to civil power
The military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil power.
Quartering of soldiers
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.
Titles of nobility and hereditary distinctions
The General Assembly shall not grant any title of nobility, nor confer
Freedom of emigration
Emigration from the State shall not be prohibited.
Slavery and involuntary servitude
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.
(As Amended November 6, 1984).