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ARTICLE XIII. § 1. Oath of office.
2. Official bribery and corruption, 3. Offer or promise to bribe. 4. Person bribed or offering a bribe may be a witness. 5. Free passes, franking privileges, etc., not to be received by public
officers; penalty. 6. Removal of district attorney for failure to prosecute; expenses of
prosecutions for bribery.
ARTICLE XIV. § 1. Amendments to constitution, how proposed, voted
ratified. 2. Future constitutional conventions; how called; election of dele
gates; compensation; quorum; submission of amendments;
officers; rules; vacancies; taking effect. 3. Amendments of convention and legislature submitted coincidently.
ARTICLE XV. § 1. Time of taking effect.
The Constitution. Preamble. — 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. The origin of the State government was April 20, 1777.
ARTICLE I. Persons not to be disfranchised.- Section 1. No member of this State shall be disfranchised, 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.
Trial by jury.- $ 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.
Freedom of worship; religious liberty.— § 3. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship,
ARTICLE I - Continued. 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.
Habeas corpus.- $ 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.
Excessive bail and fines.—$ 5. Excessive bail shall not be required por excessive fines imposed, nor shall cruel and unusual punishments be inflicted, nor shall witnesses be unreasonably detained.
Grand jury — bill of rights.- § 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.
ARTICLE I Continued. Compensation for taking private property; private roads; drainage of agricultural lands; excess condemnation.*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 the Supreme Court with or without a jury, but not with a referee, 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. The use of property for the drainage of swamp or agricultural lands is declared to be a public use, and general laws may be passed permitting the owners or occupants of swamp or agricultural lands to construct and maintain for the drainage thereof, necessary drains, ditches and dykes upon the lands of others, under proper restrictions on making just compensation, and such compensation together with the cost of such drainage may be assessed, wholly, or partly, against any property benefited thereby; but no special laws shall be enacted for such purposes.
The Legislature may authorize cities to take more land and property than is needed for actual construction in the laying out, widening, extending or relocating parks, public places, highways or streets; provided, however, that the additional land and property so authorized to be taken shall be no more than sufficient to form suitable building sites abutting on such park, public place, highway or street. After so much
* As amended November 4, 1919
ARTICLE I — Continued. of the land and property has been appropriated for such park, public place, highway or street as is needed therefor, the remainder
be sold or leased. Freedom of speech and press; criminal prosecutions for libel. - § 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.
Right to assemble and petition; divorce; lotteries, poolselling and gambling, laws to prevent.- 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.
Escheats.- $ 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.
ARTICLE I- Continued. Feudal tenures abolished.- $ 11. 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.
Allodial tenures.- § 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 estates.
Leases of agricultural lands.- § 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 service of any kind, shall be valid.
Fines and quarter-sales abolished.- $ 14. All fines, quarter-sales, or other like restraints upon alienation, reserved in any grant of land hereafter to be made shall be void.
Purchase of lands of Indians.-- $ 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.
Common law and acts of the colonial and State Legislatures.- $ 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