« PreviousContinue »
ecutive department, shall continue in the exercise of the duties of their respective offices, until the Legislature shall pass such laws as may be required by the eighth section of the sixth article of the amended Constitution, and until appointments shall be made under such laws, unless their commissions shall be superseded by new appointments, or shall sooner expire by their own limitations, or the said offices shall be become vacant by death or resignation; and such laws shall be enacted by the first Legislature under the amended Constitution.
First Election of Aldermen and Justices of the Peace. XII. The first election of aldermen and justices of the peace shall be held in the year eighteen hundred and forty, at the time fixed for the election of constables. The Legislature at its first session under the amended Constitution shall provide for the said election, and for subsequent similar elections. The aldermen and justices of the peace now in commission, or who may in the interim be appointed, shall continue to discharge the duties of their respective offices until fifteen days after the day which shall be fixed by law for the issuing of new commissions, at the expiration of which time their commissions shall expire.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA,
SUBMITTED BY TIIE CONVENTION OF 1872-73, AND
RATIFIED BY THE PEOPLE, DEC. 16, 1873.
PREAMBLE. WE, the people of the Commonwealth, of Pennsylvania, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance, do ordain and establish this Constitution.
DECLARATION OF RIGHTS. That the general, great and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and unalterably established, we declare that
SECT. 1. All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent and indefeasible rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of accquiring, possessing and protecting property and reputation, and of pursuing their own happiness.
SECT. 2. All power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their peace, safety and happiness. For the advancement of these ends they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter,
reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think proper.
SECT. 3. All men have a natural and indofeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; no man can of right be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent; no human authority can, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience, and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious establishments or modes of worship.
SECT. 4. No person who acknowledges the being of a God, and a future state of rewards and punishments shall, on account of his religious sentiments, be disqualified to hold any office or place of trust or profit under this Commonwealth.
SECT. 5. Elections shall be free and equal; and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.
SECT. 6. Trial by jury shall be as heretofore, and the right thereof remain inviolate.
SECT. 7. The printing press shall be free to every person who may undertake to examine the proceedings of the Legislature or any branch of government, and no law shall ever be made to restrain the right thereof. The free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of the invaluable rights of man, and every citizen may freely speak, write and print on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty. No conviction shall be had in any prosecution for the publication of papers relating to the official conduct of officers or men in public capacity, or to any other matter proper for public investigation or information, where the fact that such publication was not maliciously or negligently made shall be established to the satisfaction of the jury; and in all indictments for libels, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts under the direction of the court, as in other cases.
SECT. 8. The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions from unreasonable searches and seizures, and no warrant to search any place or to seize any person or things shall issue without describing them as nearly as may be, nor without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation subscribed to by the affiant.
SECT. 9. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused hath a right to be heard by himself and his counsel, to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to neet the witnesses face to face, to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and, in prosecutions by indictment or information, a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the vicinage; he cannot be compelled to give evidence against himself, nor can he be deprived of his life, liberty or property, unless by the judgment of his peers or the law of the land.
SECT. 10. 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 or misdemeanor in office. No person shall, for the same offence, be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall private property be taken or applied to public use, without authority of law and without just compensation being first made or secured.
SECT. 11. All courts shall be open, and every man for an injury done him in his lands, goods, person, or reputation, shall have remedy by 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.
SECT. 12. No power of suspending laws shall be exercised unless by the Legislature or by its authority.
SECT. 13. Excessive bail shall not be reguired, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishments inflicted.
SECT. 14. 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 case of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.
SECT. 15. No commission of oyer and terminer or jail delivery shall be issued.
SECT. 16. 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.
SECT. 17. No ex post facto law, nor any law impairing the obligation of contracts, or making irrevocable any grant of special privileges or immunities, shall be passed.