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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.
§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. General laws may be passed permitting the owners or occupants of agricultural lands to construct and maintain for the drainage thereof, necessary drains, ditches and dykes upon the lands of others, under proper restrictions and with just compensation, but no special laws shall be enacted for such purposes.
§8. Every citizen may freely speak, write and publish 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.
§ 9. 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 or the sale of lottery tickets, pool-selling, book-making, or any other kind of gambling hereafter be authorized or allowed within this State; and the Legislature shall pass appropriate laws to prevent offenses against any of the provisions of this section.
§ 10. The people of this State, in their right of sovereignty, 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.
§ 11. All feudal tenures of every description, with all their incidents, are declared to be abolished, saving however, all rents and services cer
tain which at any time heretofore have been lawfully created or reserved.
§ 12. 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
§ 13. No lease or grant of agricultural land, for a longer period than twelve years, hereafter made, in which shall be reserved any rent or ser vice of any kind, shall be valid.
§14. All fines, quarter-sales, or other like restraints upon alienation, reserved in any grant of land hereafter to be made, shall be void.
§ 15. 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.
§16. 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.
§ 17. All grants of land within this 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 annul 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.
§ 18. The right of action now existing to recover damages for injuries
resulting in death, shall never be abrogated; and the amount recoverable shall not be subject to any statutory limitation.
Section 1. Every male citizen of the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been a citizen for ninety days, and an inhabitant of this State one year next preceding an election, and for 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 election 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 canvass of their votes in the election district in which they respectively reside.
§2. No person who shall receive, accept, or offer to receive, or pay, offer or promise to pay, contribute, offer or promise to contribute to another, to be paid or used, any money or other valuable thing as a compensation or reward for the giving or withholding a vote at an election, or who shall make any promise to influence the giving or withholding any such vote, or who shall make or become directly or indirectly interested in any bet or wager depending upon the result of any election, shall vote at such election; and upon challenge for such cause, the person so challenged, before the officers authorized for that purpose shall receive his vote, shall swear or affirm before such officers that he has not received or offered, does not expect to receive, has not paid, offered or promised to pay, contributed, offered or promised to contribute to another, to be paid or used, any money or other valuable thing as a compensation or reward for the giving or withholding a vote at such election, and has not made any promise to influence the giving or withholding of any such vote, nor made or become directly or indirectly interested in any bet or wager depending upon the result of such election. The Legislature shall enact laws excluding from the right of suffrage all persons convicted of bribery or of any infamous crime.
§3. For the purpose of voting, no person shall be deemed to have
gained or lost a residence, by reason of his presence or absence, while employed in the service of the United States; nor while engaged in the navigation of the waters of this State, or of the United States, or of the high seas; nor while a student of any seminary of learning; nor while kept at any almshouse, or other asylum, or institution wholly or partly supported at public expense or by charity; nor while confined in any public prison.
§ 4. Laws shall be made for ascertaining, by proper proofs, the citizens who shall be entitled to the right of suffrage hereby established, and for the registration of voters; which registration shall be completed at least ten days before each election. Such registration shall not be required for town and village elections except by express provision of law. In cities and villages having five thousand inhabitants or more, according to the last preceding state enumeration of inhabitants, voters shall be registered upon personal application only; but voters not residing in such cities or villages shall not be required to apply in person for registration at the first meeting of the officers having charge of the registry of voters.
§ 5. All elections by the citizens, except for such town officers as may by law be directed to be otherwise chosen, shall be by ballot, or by such other method as may be prescribed by law, provided that secrecy in voting be preserved.
§6. All laws creating, regulating or affecting boards of officers charged with the duty of registering voters, or of distributing ballots at the polls to voters, or of receiving, recording or counting votes at elections, shall secure equal representation of the two political parties which, at the general election next preceding that for which such boards or officers are to serve, cast the highest and the next highest number of votes. All such boards and officers shall be appointed or elected in such manner, and upon the nomination of such representatives of said parties respectively, as the Legislature may direct. Existing laws on this subject shall continue until the Legislature shall otherwise provide. This sec tion shall not apply to town meetings, or to village elections.
Section 1. The legislative power of this State shall be vested in the Senate and Assembly.
§2. The Senate shall consist of fifty members, except as hereinafter provided. The senators elected in the year one thousand eight hundred
and ninety-five shall hold their offices for three years, and their successors shall be chosen for two years. The Assembly shall consist of one hundred and fifty members, who shall be chosen for one year.
§3. The State shall be divided into fifty districts to be called senate districts, each of which shall choose one senator. The districts shall be
numbered from one to fifty, inclusive.
District number one (1) shall consist of the counties of Suffolk and Richmond.
District number two (2) shall consist of the county of Queens.
District number three (3) shall consist of that part of the county of Kings comprising the first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth wards of the city of Brooklyn.
District number four (4) shall consist of that part of the county of Kings comprising the seventh, thirteenth, nineteenth and twenty-first wards of the city of Brooklyn.
District number five (5) shall consist of that part of the county of Kings comprising the eighth, tenth, twelfth and thirtieth wards of the city of Brooklyn, and the ward of the city of Brooklyn which was formerly the town of Gravesend.
District number six (6) shall consist of that part of the county of Kings comprising the ninth, eleventh, twentieth and twenty-second wards of the city of Brooklyn.
District number seven (7) shall consist of that part of the county of Kings comprising the fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth wards of the city of Brooklyn.
District number eight (8) shall consist of that part of the county of Kings comprising the twenty-third, twenty-fourth, twenty-fifth and twenty-ninth wards of the city of Brooklyn, and the town of Flatlands.
District number nine (9) shall consist of that part of the county of Kings comprising the eighteenth, twenty-sixth, twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth wards of the city of Brooklyn.
District number ten (10) shall consist of that part of the county of New York within and bounded by a line beginning at Canal street and the Hudson river, and running thence along Canal street, Hudson street, Dominick street, Varick street, Broome street, Sullivan street, Spring street, Broadway, Canal street, the Bowery, Division street, Grand street, and Jackson street, to the East river and thence around the southern end of Manhattan island, to the place of beginning, and also Governor's, Bedloe's and Ellis islands.
District number eleven (11) shall consist of that part of the county of New York lying north of district number ten, and within and bounded