Ga. Constitution of 1877: Art. I
Georgia Constitution of
(as ratified by Georgia voters in December
BILL OF RIGHTS.
Paragraph I. All government, of right, originates with the people, is founded
upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.
Public officers are the trustees and servants of the people, and, at all
times, amenable to them.
Par. II. Protection to person and property is the paramount duty
of government, and shall be impartial and complete.
Par. III. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property,
except by due process of law.
Par. IV. No person shall be deprived of the right to prosecute or
defend his own cause in any of the Courts of this State, in person, by attorney,
Par. V. Every person charged with an offense against the laws of
this State shall have the privilege and benefit of counsel; shall be furnished,
on demand, with a copy of the accusation, and a list of the witnesses on
whose testimony the charge against him is founded; shall have compulsory
process to obtain the testimony of his own witnesses; shall be confronted
with the witnesses testifying against him, and shall have a public and speedy
trial by an impartial jury.
Par. VI. No person shall be compelled to give testimony tending in
any manner to criminate himself.
Par. VII. Neither banishment beyond the limits of the State, nor
whipping, as a punishment for crime, shall be allowed.
Par. VIII. No person shall be put in jeopardy of life, or liberty,
more than once for the same offense, save on his, or her, own motion for
a new trial after conviction, or in case of mistrial.
Par. IX. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines
imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted; nor shall any person
be abused in being arrested, while under arrest, or in prison.
Par. X. No person shall be compelled to pay costs, except after conviction
on final trial.
Par. XI. The writ of HABEAS CORPUS shall not be suspended.
Par. XII. All men have the natural and inalienable right to worship
God, each according to the dictates of his own conscience, and no human
authority should, in any case, control or interfere with such right of conscience.
Par. XIII. No inhabitant of the state shall be molested in person
or property, or prohibited from holding any public office, or trust, on
account of his religious opinions; but the right of liberty of conscience
shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify
practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the State.
Par. XIV. No money shall ever be taken from the public treasury,
directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect, or denomination of religionists,
or of any sectarian institution.
Par. XV. No law shall ever be passed to curtail, or restrain, the
liberty of speech, or of the press; any person may speak, write, and publish
his sentiments, on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that
Par. XVI. 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 except upon probable cause,
supported by oath, or affirmation, particularly describing the place, or
places, to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Par. XVII. There shall be within the State of Georgia neither slavery
nor involuntary servitude, save as a punishment for crime after legal conviction
Par. XVIII. The social status of the citizen shall never be the subject
Par. XIX. The civil authority shall be superior to the military,
and no soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house, without
the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, except by the civil magistrate,
in such manner as may be provided by law.
Par. XX. The power of the courts to punish for contempt, shall be
limited by legislative acts.
Par. XXI. There shall be no imprisonment for debt.
Par. XXII. The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not
be infringed, but the General Assembly shall have power to prescribe the
manner in which arms may be borne.
Par. XXIII. The legislative, judicial and executive powers shall
forever remain separate and distinct, and no person discharging the duties
of one, shall, at the same time, exercise the functions of either of the
others, except as herein provided.
Par. XXIV. The people have the right to assemble peaceably for their
common good, and to apply to those vested with the powers of government,
for redress of grievances, by petition or remonstance [sic].
Par. XXV. All citizens of the United States, resident in this State,
are hereby declared citizens of this State; and it shall be the duty of
the General Assembly to enact such laws as will protect them in the full
enjoyment of the rights, privileges and immunities due to such citizen ship
Par. I. In all prosecutions or indictments for libel the truth may be
given in evidence; and the jury in all criminal cases, shall be the judges
of the law and the facts. The power of the Judges to grant new trials in
cases of conviction, is preserved.
Par. II. Treason against the State of Georgia, shall consist in levying
war against her; adhering to her enemies; giving them aid and comfort. No
person shall be convicted of treason, except on the testimony of two witnesses
to the same overt act, or confession in open court.
Par. III. No conviction shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of
Par. IV. All lotteries, and the sale of lottery tickets, are hereby prohibited;
and this prohibition shall be enforced by penal laws.
Par. V. Lobbying is declared to be a crime, and the General Assembly shall
enforce this provision by suitable penalties.
Par. VI. The General Assembly shall have the power to provide for the punishment
of fraud; and shall provide, by law, for reaching property of the debtor
concealed from the creditor.
Paragraph I. In cases of necessity, private ways may be granted upon just compensation
being first paid by the applicant. Private property shall not be taken,
or damaged, for public purposes, without just and adequate compensation
being first paid.
Par. II. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, retroactive law,
or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or making irrevocable grants
of special privileges or immunities, shall be passed.
Par. III. No grant of special privileges or immunities shall be revoked,
except in such manner as to work no injustice to the corporators or creditors
of the incorporation.
Paragraph I. Laws of a general nature shall have uniform operation throughout
the State, and no special law shall be enacted in any case for which provision
has been made by an existing general law. No general law affecting private
rights, shall be varied in any particular case, by special legislation,
except with the free consent, in writing of all persons to be affected thereby;
and no person under legal disability to contract, is capable of such consent.
Par. II. Legislative acts in violation of this Constitution, or the Constitution
of the United States, are void, and the Judiciary shall so declare them.
Paragraph I. The people of this State have the inherent, sole and exclusive
right of regulating their internal government, and the police thereof, and
of altering and abolishing their Constitution whenever it may be necessary
to their safety and happiness.
Par. II. The enumeration of rights herein contained as a part of
this Constitution, shall not be construed to deny to the people any inherent
rights which they may have hitherto enjoyed.
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