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Preamble. We, the people, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, do ordain and establish the following declaration of rights and frame of government, as the constitution of the State of Nebraska.


Section 1. [Equal rights.] All persons are by nature free and independent, and have certain inherent and inalienable. rights; among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To secure these rights, and the protection of property, governments are instituted among people, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sec. 2. [Slavery prohibited.] There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in this state, otherwise than for punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.

Sec. 3. [Due process of law.] No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

Sec. 4. [Religious freedom.] All persons have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dietates of their own consciences. No person shall be compelled to attend, erect or support any place, of worship against his consent, and no preference shall be given by law to any religious society, nor shall any interference with the rights of conscience be permitted. No religious test shall be required as a qualifica

tion for office, nor shall any person be incompetent to be a witness on account of his.religious belief; but nothing herein shall be construed to dispense with oaths and affirmations. Religion, morality, and knowledge, however, being essential to good government, it shall be the duty of the legislature to pass suitable laws to protect every religious denomination in the peaceable enjoyment.of its own mode of public worship, and to encourage schools and the means of instruction.

Sec. 5. [Freedom of speech and press.] Every person may freely speak, write and publish on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty; and in all trials for libel, both civil and criminal, the truth when published with good motives, and for justifiable ends, shall be a sufficient defense.

Sec. 6. [Trial by jury.] The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate, but the legislature may authorize trial by a jury of a less number than twelve men in courts inferior to the district court.

Sec. 7. [Search and seizure.] The right 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 person or thing to be seized.

Sec. 8. [Habeas corpus.] The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless, in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety requires it, and then only in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 9. [Bail; fines, imprisonment.] All persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for treason and murder, where the proof is evident or the presumption great. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted.

Sec. 10. [Indictment; information.] No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense, except in cases in which the punishment is by fine, or imprisonment otherwise than in the penitentiary, in case of impeachment, and in cases arising in the army and navy, or in the militia when in actual service in time of war or public danger, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury; Provided, that the legislature may by law provide for

Art. I)

Bill of Right


holding persons to answer for criminal offenses on information of a public prosecutor; and may by law, abolish, limit, change, amend or otherwise regulate the grand jury system.

Sec. 11. [Rights of accused.] In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the right to appear and defend in person or by counsel, to demand the nature and cause of accusation, and to have a copy thereof; to meet the witnesses against him face to face; to have process to compel the attendance of witnesses in his behalf; and a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county or district in which the offense is alleged to have been committed.

Sec. 12. [Evidence against self; twice in jeopardy.] No person shall be compelled, in any criminal case, to give evidence against himself, or be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense.

Sec. 13. [Justice administered without delay.] All courts shall be open, and every person, for any injury done him in his lands, goods, person, or reputation, shall have a remedy by due course of law, and justice administered without denial or delay.

Sec. 14. [Treason.] Treason against the state shall consist only in levying war against the state, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

Sec. 15. [Penalties.] All penalties shall be proportioned to the nature of the offense, and no conviction shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate; nor shall any person be transported out of the state for any offense committed within the state.

Sec. 16. [Bill of attainer; retroactive laws; special privileges.] No bill of attainer, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or making any irrevocable grant of special privileges or immunities shall be passed.

Sec. 17. [Military power.] The military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.

Sec. 18. [Soldiers' quarters.] No soldier shall in time of peace be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner; nor in time of war except in the manner prescribed by law.

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