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ADOPTED BY THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, WHICH
THE 17TH MARCH, 1868.
CHARLESTON, S. C.
163 Meeting Street.
& l Doc/.868.2
life of Eduard Kulecek Sawtele
CHARLESTON, S. C., 17th March, 1868. This is to certify that this Constitution and the Ordinances thereunto appended, were adopted by a majority of votes by the Constitutional Convention of the State of South Carolina, assembled under the Reconstruction Acts of Congress, and which was held at Charleston, beginning on the 14th day of January, and ending on the 17th day of March, 1868.
A. G. MACKEY,
We, the People of the State of South Carolina, in Convention
AS THE CONSTITUTION OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF
DECLARATION OF RIGHTS.
Section 1. All men are born free and equal-endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are the rights of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties, of acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.
SECTION 2. Slavery shall never exist in this State ; neither shall involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.
Section 3. All political power is vested in and derived from the people only; therefore they have the right, at all times, to modify their form of government in such manner as they may deem expedient, when the public good demands.
SECTION 4. Every citizen of this State owes paramount allegiance to the Constitution and Government of the United States, and no law or ordinance of this State in contravention or subver. sion thereof can have any binding force.
SECTION 5. This State shall ever remain a member of the American Union, and all attempts, from whatever source, or upon whatever pretext, to dissolve the said Union, shall be resisted with the whole power of the State.
SECTION 6. The right of the people peaceably to assemble to consult for the common good, and to petition the Government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.
SECTION 7. All persons may freely speak, write and publish their sentiments on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that right; and no laws shall be enacted to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press.
SECTION 8. In prosecutions for the publication of papers investigating the official conduct of officers or men in public capacity, or when the matter published is proper for public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence; and in all indictments for libel, the jury shall be the judges of the law and the facts.
Section 9. No person shall be deprived of the right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience; Provided, That the liberty of conscience hereby declared shall not justify practices inconsistent with the peace and moral safety of society.
SECTION 10. No form of religion shall be established by law ; but it shall be the duty of the General Assembly to pass suitable laws to protect every religious denomination in the peaceable enjoyment of its own mode of worship.
SECTION 11. The right of trial by jury shall remain in violate.
Section 12. No person shall be disqualified as a witness, or be prevented from acquiring, holding and transmitting property, or be hindered in acquiring education, or be liable to any other pun. ishment for any offence, or be subjected in law to any other restraints or disqualifications in regard to any personal rights than such as are laid upon others under like circumstances.
Section 13. No person shall be held to answer for any crime or offence until the same is fully, fairly, plainly, substantially and formally described to him; or be compelled to accuse or furnish evidence against himself; and every person shall have a right to produce all proofs that may be favorable to him, to meet the witnesses against him face to face, to have v speedy and public trial by an impartial jury, and to be fully heard in his defence by himself or by his counsel, or by both, as he may
elect. SECTION 14. No person shall be arrested, imprisoned, despoiled or dispossessed of his property, immunities or privileges, put out of the protection of the law, exiled or deprived of his life, liberty, or estate, but by the judgment of his peers or the law of the land. And the General Assembly shall not enact any law that shall subject any person to punishment without trial by jury; nor shall he be punished but by virtue of a law already established, or promulgated prior to the offence, and legally applied.
Section 15. All Courts shall be public, and every person, for any injury that he may receive in his lands, goods, person or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law and justice administered without unnecessary delay.
SECTION 16. All persons shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offences, when the proof is evident or the presumption great; and excessive bail shall not, in any case, be required, nor corporal punishment inflicted.
Section 17. The privilege of the writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, except when, in case of insurrection, rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.
Section 18. No person, after having been once acquitted by a jury, shall again, for the same offence, be put in jeopardy of his life or liberty.
SECTION 19. All offences less than felony, and in which the punishment does not exceed a fine of one hundred dollars, or imprisonment for thirty days, shall be tried summarily before a Justice of the Peace, or other officer authorized by law, on information under oath, without indictment or intervention of a Grand Jury, saving to the defendant the right of appeal; and no person shall be held to answer for any higher crime or offence unless on presentment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land and naval service, or in the militia when in actual service in time of war or public danger.
SECTION. 20. No person shall be imprisoned for debt, except in cases of fraud; and a reasonable amount of property, as a homestead, shall be exempted from seizure or sale for the payment of any debts or liabilities, except for the payment of such obligations as are provided for in this Constitution.
SECTION 21. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, nor any law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall ever be enacted; and no conviction shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate.
SECTION 22. All persons have a right to be secure from unreasonable searches or seizures of their persons, houses, papers or possessions. All warrants shall be supported by oath or affirmation, and the order of the warrant to a civil officer to make search or seizure in suspected places, or to arrest one or more suspected persons, or to seize their property, shall be accompanied with a special designation of the persons or objects of search, arrest or seizure; and no warrant shall be issued but in the cases and with the formalities prescribed by the laws.
SECTION 23. Private property shall not be taken or applied for public use, or for the use of corporations, or for private use, without the consent of the owner or a just compensation being made therefor; Provided, however, that laws may be made securing to persons or corporations the right of way over the lands of either persons or corporations, and, for works of internal improvement, the right to establish depots, stations, turnouts, etc.; but a just compensation, shall, in all cases, be first made to the owner.
SECTION 24. The power of suspending the laws, or the execution of the laws, shall never be exercised but by the General Assembly, or by authority derived therefrom; to be exercised in such particuiar cases only as the General Assembly shall expressly provide for.