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Sec. 3. Person offering or receiving bribe may be witness.
Sec. 4. District attorney may be removed for failure to prosecute violations- Expenses of prosecution, how chargeable.
WE, THE PEOPLE of the State of New York, grateful to
Almighty God for our Freedom, in order to secure its blessings, DO ESTABLISH THIS CONSTITUTION.
ARTICLE I. SECTION 1. No member of this State shall be disfran. chised, or deprived of any of the rights or privileges secured to any citizen thereof, unless by the law of the land, or the judgment of his peers.
SEC. 2. The trial by jury in all cases in which it has been heretofore used, shall remain in violate forever; but a jury trial may be waived by the parties in all civil cases in the manner to be prescribed by law.
SEC. 3. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed in this State to all mankind; and no person shall be rendered incompetent to be a witness on account of his opinions on matters of religious belief; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of this State.
Sec. 4. 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 its suspension.
Sec. 5. Excessive bail shall not be required nor excessive fines imposed, nor shall cruel and unusual punishments be inflicted, nor shall witnesses be unreasonably detained.
Sec. 6. No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime (except in cases of impeachment, and in cases of militia when in actual service; and the land and naval forces in time of war, or which this State may keep with the consent of Congress in time of peace; and in cases of petit larceny, under the regulation of the Legislature), unless on presentment or indictment of a grand jury, and in any trial in any court whatever the party accused shall be allowed to appear and defend in person and with counsel as in civil actions. No person shall be subject to be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense; nor shall he be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
SEC. 7. When private property shall be taken for any public use, the compensation to be made therefor, when such compensation is not made by the State, shall be ascertained by a jury or by not less than three commissioners appointed by a court of record, as shall be prescribed by law. Private roads may be opened in the manner to be prescribed by law; but in every case the necessity of the road and the amount of all damage to be sustained by the opening thereof shall be first determined by a jury of freeholders, and such amount, together with the expenses of the proceeding, shall be paid by the person to be benefited.
SEC. 8. Every citizen may freely speak, write and pub. lish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right; and no law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press. In all criminal prosecutions or indictments for libels, the truth may be given in evidence to the jury; and if it shall appear to the jury, that the matter charged as libelous is
true, and was published with good motives, and for justifiable ends, the party shall be acquitted; and the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the fact.
Sec. 9. The assent of two-thirds of the members elected to each branch of the Legislature shall be requisite to every bill appropriating the public moneys or property for local or private purposes.
SEC. 10. No law shall be passed abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government, or any department thereof, nor shall any divorce be granted, otherwise than by due judicial proceedings; nor shall any lottery hereafter be authorized or any sale of lottery tickets allowed within this State.
SEC, 11. The people of tbis State, in their right of soy. ereignty, are deemed to possess the original and ultimate property in and to all lands within the jurisdiction of the State; and all lands the title to which shall fail, from a defect of heirs, shall revert, or escheat to the people.
SEC. 12. All feudal tenures of every description, with all their incidents, are declared to be abolished, saving, however, all rents and services certain which at any time heretofore have been lawfully created or reserved.
SEC. 13. All lands within this State are declared to be allodial, so that, subject only to the liability to escheat, the entire and absolute property is vested in the owners, according to the nature of their respective estates.
SEC. 14. No lease or grant of agricultural land, for a longer period than twelve years, hereafter made, in which shall be reserved any rent or service of any kind, shall be valid.
SEC. 15. All fines, quarter sales, or other like restraints upon alienation reserved in any grant of land, hereafter to be made, shall be void.
SEC. 16. No purchase or contract for the sale of lands in this State made since the fourteenth day of October, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five ; or which may hereafter be made, of, or with the Indians, shall be valid, unless made under the authority, and with the consent of the Legislature.
SEC. 17. Such parts of the common law, and of the acts of the Legislature of the Colony of New York, as together did form the law of the said Colony, on the nineteenth day of April, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, and the resolutions of the Congress of the said Colony, and of the convention of the State of New York, in force on the twentieth day of April, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven, which have not since expired, or been repealed or altered ; and such acts of the Legislature of this State as are now in force, shall be and continue the law of this State, subject to such alterations as the Legislature shall make concerning the same. But all such parts of the common law, and such of the said acts, or parts thereof, as are repugnant to this Constitution, are hereby abrogated; and the Legislature, at its first session after the adoption of this Constitution, shall appoint three commissioners, whose duty it shall be to reduce into a written and systematic code the whole body of the law of this State, or so much and such parts thereof as to the said commissioners shall seem practicable and expedient. And the said commissioners shall specify such alterations and amendments therein as they shall deem proper, and they shall at all times make reports of their proceedings to the Legislature, when called upon to do so; and the Legislature shall pass laws regulating the tenure of office, the filling of vacancies therein, and the compensation of the said commissioners, and shall also provide for the publication of the said code, prior to its being presented to the Legislature for adoption.
SEC. 18. All grants of land within the State, made by the King of Great Britain, or persons acting under his
authority, after the fourteenth day of October, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, shall be null and void; but nothing contained in this Constitution shall affect any grants of land within this State, made by the authority of the said King or his predecessors, or shall an. nul any charters to bodies politic and corporate, by him or them made, before that day; or shall affect any such grants or charters since made by this State, or by persons acting under its authority; or shall impair the obligation of any debts contracted by the State, or individuals, or bodies corporate, or any other rights of property, or any suits, actions, rights of action, or other proceedings in courts of justice.
ARTICLE II. * SECTION 1. Every male citizen of the age of twentyone years who shall have been a citizen for ten days and an inhabitant of this State one year next preceding an election, and the last four months a resident of the county and for the last thirty days a resident of the election district in which he may offer his vote, shall be entitled to vote at such election in the election district of which he shall at the time be a resident, and not elsewhere, for all officers that now are or hereafter may be elective by the people, and upon all questions which may be submitted to the vote of the people, provided that in time of war no elector in the actual military service of the State, or of the United States, in the army or navy thereof, shall be deprived of his vote by reason of his absence from such elec. tion district; and the Legislature shall have power to provide the manner in which and the time and place at which such absent electors may vote, and for the return and can. vass of their votes in the election districts in which they respectively reside.
*As amended by vote of the people, November 3, 1874.