Constitution of 1945: Art. I
GEORGIA CONSTITUTION OF
(text as ratified by Georgia voters on
Aug. 7, 1945)
BILL OF RIGHTS.
Paragraph I. Origin and Foundation of Government. 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.
Paragraph II. Protection the Duty of Government. Protection to person
and property is the paramount duty of government, and shall be impartial
Paragraph III. Life, Liberty, and Property. No person shall be deprived
of life, liberty, or property, except by due process of law.
Paragraph IV. Right to the Courts. 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, or both.
Paragraph V. Benefit of Counsel; Accusation; List of Witnesses; Compulsory
Process; Trial By Jury. 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.
Paragraph VI. Crimination [sic.] of Self Not Compelled. No person
shall be compelled to give testimony tending in any manner to criminate
Paragraph VII. Banishment and Whipping as Punishment for Crime. Neither
banishment beyond the limits of the State, nor whipping, as a punishment
for crime, shall be allowed.
Paragraph VIII. Jeopardy of Life or Liberty More Than Once Forbidden.
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.
Paragraph IX. Bail; Fines; Punishment; Arrest, Abuse of Prisoners. 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.
Paragraph X. Costs. No person shall be compelled to pay costs except
after conviction on final trial.
Paragraph XI. Habeas Corpus. The writ of Habeas Corpus shall not
Paragraph XII. Freedom of Conscience. 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.
Paragraph XIII. Religious Opinions; Liberty of Conscience. No inhabitant
of this 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.
Paragraph XIV. Appropriations to Churches, Sects, Etc., Forbidden. 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
Paragraph XV. Liberty of Speech or of the Press Guaranteed. 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 liberty.
Paragraph XVI. Searches, Seizures, and Warrants. 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.
Paragraph XVII. Slavery and Involuntary Servitude. There shall be
within the State of Georgia neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, save
as a punishment for crime after legal conviction thereof.
Paragraph XVIII. Status of the Citizen. The social status
of the citizen shall never be the subject of legislation.
Paragraph XIX. Civil Authority Superior to Military. 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.
Paragraph XX. Contempts. The power of the Courts to punish for contempt
shall be limited by legislative acts.
Paragraph XXI. Imprisonment for Debt. There shall be no imprisonment
Paragraph XXII. Arms, Right to Keep and Bear. 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.
Paragraph XXIII. Legislative, Judicial, and Executive Powers, Separate.
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.
Paragraph XXIV. Right to Assemble and Petition. 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
Paragraph XXV. Citizens, Protection of. 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 citizenship.
Paragraph I. Libel; Jury in Criminal Cases; New Trials. 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 case of conviction, is preserved.
Paragraph II. Treason. 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
Paragraph III. Conviction, Effect of. No conviction shall work corruption
of blood, or forfeiture of estate.
Paragraph IV. Lotteries. All lotteries, and the sale of lottery tickets,
are hereby prohibited; and this prohibition shall be enforced by penal laws.
Paragraph V. Lobbying; Penalties. Lobbying is declared to be a crime,
and the General Assembly shall enforce this provision by suitable penalties.
Paragraph VI. Fraud; Concealment of Property. 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. Private Ways; Just Compensation. In case 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.
Paragraph II. Attainder; Ex Post Facto and Retroactive Laws, Etc. No
Bill of Attainder, expost [sic.] facto law, retroactive law, or law
impairing the obligation of contracts, or making irrevocable grant of special
privileges or immunities, shall be passed.
Paragraph III. Revocation of Tax Exemptions. All exemptions from
taxation heretofore granted in corporate charters are declared to be henceforth
null and void.
Paragraph I. General Laws; Uniform Operation; How Varied. 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.
Paragraph II. What Acts Void. 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. State Rights. 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.
Paragraph II. Enumeration of Rights Not Denial of Others. 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.
Paragraph I. Tide Water Titles: Confirmed. The Act of the General
Assembly approved December 16, 1902, which extends the title of ownership
of lands abutting on tidal water to low water mark is hereby ratified and
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