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ADOPTED BY THE
CONVENTION OF 1885.
We, the people of the State of Florida, grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty, in order to secure its blessings and to form a more perfect government, insuring domestic tranquility, maintaining public order, and guaranteeing equal civil and political rights to all, do ordain and establish this Constitution.
DECLARATION OF RIGHTS.
SECTION 1. All men are equal before the law, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing happiness and obtaining safety.
SEC. 2. All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security and benefit of the citizens, and they have the right to alter or amend the same whenever the public good may require it; but the paramount allegiance of every citizen is due to the Federal Government, and the people of this State have no power to dissolve its connection therewith.
SEC. 3. The right of trial by jury shall be secured to all, and remain inviolate forever.
SEC. 4. All courts in this State shall be open, so that every for person any injury done him in his lands, goods, person or reputation shall have remedy, by due course of law, and right and justice shall be administered without sale, denial or delay.
SEC. 5. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship shall forever be allowed in this State, and no
person shall be rendered incompetent as a witness on account of his religious opinions; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to justify licentiousness or practices subversive of, or inconsistent with, the peace or moral safety of the State or society.
SEC. 6. No preference shall be given by law to any church, sect or mode of worship, and no money shall ever be taken from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination, or in aid of any sectarian institution.
SEC. 7. The writ of habeas corpus shall be grantable speedily and of right, freely and without cost, and shall never be suspended unless, in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require its suspension.
SEC. 8. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines be imposed, nor cruel or unusual punishment or indefinite imprisonment be allowed, nor shall witnesses be unreasonably detained.
SEC. 9. All persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offences, where the proof is evident or the presumption great.
SEC. 10. No person shall be tried for a capital crime or other felony, unless on presentment or indictment by a grand jury, except as is otherwise provided in this Constitution, and except in cases of impeachment, and in cases in the militia when in active service in time of war, or which the State, with the consent of Congress, may keep, in time of peace.
SEC. II. In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury, in the county where the crime was committed, and shall be heard by himself, or counsel, or both, to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to meet the witnesses against him face to face, and have compulsory process for the attendance of witnesses in his favor, and shall be furnished with a copy of the indictment against him.
SEC. 12. No person shall be subject to be twice put in jeopardy for the same offence, nor 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 without just compensation.
SEC. 13. Every person may fully speak and write his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right, and no laws shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press. In all criminal prosecutions and civil actions for libel the truth may be given in evidence to the
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attu. at Law
jury, and if it shall appear that the matter charged as libellous is true, and was published for good motives, the party shall be acquitted or exonerated.
SEC. 14. No person shall be compelled to pay costs except after conviction, on a final trial.
SEC. 15. The people shall have the right to assemble together to consult for the common good, to instruct their representatives, and to petition the Legislature for redress of grievances.
SEC. 16. No person shall be imprisoned for debt except in cases of fraud.
SEC. 17. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, nor any law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall ever be passed.
SEC. 18. Foreigners shall have the same rights as to the ownership, inheritance and disposition of property in this State as citizens of the State.
SEC. 19. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party has been duly convicted, shall ever be allowed in this State.
SEC. 20. The right of the people to bear arms in defence of themselves and the lawful authority of the State, shall not be infringed, but the Legislature may prescribe the manner in which they may be borne.
SEC. 21. The military shall in all cases and at all times be in strict subordination to the civil power.
SEC. 22. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable seizures and searches, shall not be violated, and no warrants issued but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place or places to be searched, and the person or persons, and thing or things to be seized.
SEC. 23. Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against it, adhering to its enemies, or giving them aid and comfort; and no person shall be convicted of treason except on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or confession in open court, and no conviction for treason shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate.
SEC. 24. This enunciation of rights shall not be construed 'to impair or deny others retained by the people.
The boundaries of the State of Florida shall be as follows: Commencing at the mouth of the river Perdido; from thence up