Sect. 1st. That the general, great and essential principles of liberty and free Government may be recognized and unalterably established; WE declare, That all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent, and unalienable rights; among which are the enjoying and defending life and liberty, and of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
Sect. 2. That 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 and unalienable and indefeasible right to alter or reform their Government in such manner as they may think proper.
Sect. 3. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God, according to the dictates of their own consciences: That no man shall be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of Worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent: That no human authority can, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience: And that no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious societies, or modes of worship; and no religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office of trust or profit.
Sect. 4. That elections shall be free and equal.
Sect. 5. That in all civil cases, when the value in controversy shall exceed the sum of twenty dollars, and in all criminal cases, except in petit misdemeanors which shall be punished by fine only, not exceeding three dollars, in such manner as the Legislature may prescribe by law; the right of trial by Jury shall remain inviolate.
Sect. 6th. That no power of suspending the operation of the laws, shall be exercised, except by the Legislature, or its authority.
Sect. 7th. That no man's particular services shall be demanded, or property taken, or applied to public use, without the consent of his representatives or without a just compensation being made therefor.
Sect. 8. The rights of the people, to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches, and seizures, 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 persons or things to be seized.
Sect. 9th. That the printing presses shall be free to every person, who undertakes 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.
Sect. 10. In prosecutions for the publication of papers investigating the official conduct of officers, or men in a public capacity, or when the matter published is proper for the public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence; and in all indictments for libels, the Jury shall have a right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court, as in other cases.
Sect. 11. That all Courts shall be open, and every person, for an injury done him, in his lands, goods, person, or reputation shall have remedy by the due course of law; and right and justice administered without denial or delay.
Sect. 12. That no person arrested, or confined in Jail, shall be treated with unnecessary rigour, or be put to answer any criminal charge, but by presentment Indictment, or impeachment.
Sect. 13. That in all criminal prosecutions, the accused hath a right 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, to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favour, and in prosecutions by indictment, or presentment, a speedy public trial by an impartial Jury of the County or district in which the offence shall have been committed; and shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself, nor shall be twice put in jeopardy for the same offence.
Sect. 14. That all persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for capital offenses, when the proof is evident, or the presumption great; and the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless, in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.
Sect. 15. Excessive bail shall not be required, excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Sect. 16. All penalties shall be proportioned to the nature of the offence.
Sect. 17. 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 creditor, or creditors, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.
Sect. 18. No ex post facto law, nor any law impairing the validity of contracts, shall ever be made, and no conviction shall work corruption of blood, nor forfeiture of estate.
Sect. 19. That the people have a right to assemble together in a peaceable manner, to consult for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply to the Legislature for redress of grievances.
Sect. 20. That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves, and the state; and that the military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil power.
Sect. 21. 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.
Sect. 22. That the Legislature shall not grant any title of nobility, or hereditary distinctions, nor create any office, the appointment to which, shall be for a longer term than good behavior.
Sect. 23. That emigration from the state shall not be prohibited.
Sect. 24. To guard against any encroachments on the rights herein retained, we declare, that every thing in this article, is excepted our of the general powers of Government, and shall forever remain inviolable.