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life, liberty, or estate, but by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land.
16. No person shall be liable to be tried, after an acquittal, for the same crime or offence. Nor shall the Legislature make any law that shall subject any person to a capital punishment (excepting for the government of the army and navy, and the militia in actual service), without trial by jury.
17. In criminal prosecutions, the trial of facts, in the vicinity where they happen, is so essential to the security of the life, liberty, and estate, of the citizens, that no crime or offence ought to be tried in any other county than that in which it is committed, except in cases of general insurrection in any particular county, when it shall appear to the judges of the superior courts that an impartial trial cannot be had in the county where the offence may be committed, and upon their report the Legislature shall think proper to direct the trial in the nearest county in which an impartial trial can be obtained.
18. All penalties ought to be proportioned to the nature of the offence. No wise legislature will affix the same punishment to the crimes of theft, forgery, and the like, which they do to those of murder and treason. Where the same undistinguished severity is exerted against all offences, the people are led to forget the real distinction in the crimes themselves, and to commit the most flagrant with as little compunction as they do the lightest offences. For the same reason, a multitude of sanguinary laws is both impolitic and unjust : the true design of all punishments being to reform, not to exterminate mankind.
19. Every person hath a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches and seizures of his person, his houses, his papers, and all his possessions. Therefore, all warrants to search suspected places, or arrest a person for examination or trial, in prosecution for crimi. nal matters, are contrary to this right, if the cause or foundation of them be not previously supported by oath or affirmation, and if the order in a warrant of a civil officer, to make search in suspected places, or to arrest one or more suspected persons, or to seize their property, be not accompanied with a special designation of the persons or objects of search, arrest, or seizure; and no warrant ought to be issued, but in cases, and with the formalities, prescribed by law.
20. In all controversies concerning property, and in all suits between two or more persons, excepting in cases wherein it hath been heretofore otherwise used and practised, the parties have a right to a trial by jury; and this right shall be deemed sacred and inviolable; but the Legislature may, by the Constitution, be empowered to make such regulations as will prevent parties from having as many trials by jury, in the same suit or action, as hath been heretofore allowed and practised, and to extend the civil jurisdiction of justices of the peace to the trials of suits where the sum demanded in damages doth not exceed four pounds, saving the right of appeal to either party. But no such regulations shall take away the right of trial by jury, in any case not in this article before excepted, unless in cases respecting mariners' wages.
21. In order to reap the fullest advantage of the inestimable privilege of the trial by jury, great care ought to be taken that none but qualified persons should he appointed to serve; and such ought to be fully compensated for their travel, time, and attendance.
22. The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom in a State; it ought, therefore, to be inviolably preserved.
23. Retrospective laws are highly injurious, oppressive, and unjust. No such laws, therefore, should be made, either for the decision of civil causes, or the punishment of offences.
24. A well regulated militia is the proper, natural, and sure defense of a State.
25. Standing armies are dangerous to liberty, and ought not to be raised, or kept up, without the consent of the Legislature.
26. In all cases, and at all times, the military ought to be under strict subordination to, and governed by the civil power.
27. No soldier, in time of peace, shall be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner; and in time of war, such quarters ought not to be made but by the civil magistrate, in a manner ordained by the Legislature.
28. No subsidy, charge, tax, impost, or duty shall be established, fixed, laid, or levied, under any pretext whatsoever, without the consent of the people, or their representatives in the Legislature, or authority derived from that body.
29. The power of suspending the laws, or the execution of them, ought never to be exercised but by the Legislature, or by authority derived therefrom, to be exercised in such particular cases only as the Legislature shall expressly provide for.
30. The freedom of deliberation, speech, and debate, in either house of the Legislature, is so essential to the rights of the people, that it cannot be the foundation of any action, complaint, or prosecution, in any other court or place whatsoever.
31. The Legislature shall assemble for the redress of public grievances, and for making such laws as the public good may require.
32. The people have a right, in an orderly and peaceable manner, to assemble and consult upon the public good, give instructions to their representatives, and to request of the legislative body, by way of petition or remonstrance, redress of the wrongs done them, and of the grievances they suffer.
33. No magistrate or court of law shall demand excessive bail or sureties, impose excessive fines, or inflict cruel or unusual punishments.
34. No person can, in any case, be subjected to law martial. or to any pains or penalties by virtue of that law, except those employed in the army or navy. and except the militia in actual service, but by authority of the Legislature.
35. It is essential to the preservation of the rights of every individual, his life, liberty, property, and character, that there be an impartial interpretation of the laws and administration of justice. It is the right of every citizen to be tried by judges as impartial as the lot of humanity will admit. It is therefore not only the best policy, but for the security of the rights of the people, that the judges of the Supreme Judicial Court should hold their offices so long as they behave well; subject, however, to such limitations, on account of age, as may be provided by the Constitution of the State: and that they should have honorable salaries, ascertained and established by standing laws. 36. Economy being a most essential virtue in all states, especially
one, no pension shall be granted but in consideration of actual services; and such pensions ought to be granted with great caution by the Legislature, and never for more than one year at a time.
37. In the government of this State, the three essential powers thereof, to wit, the legislative, executive, and judicial, ought to be kept as separate from, and independent of each other, as the nature of a free government will admit, or as is consistent with that chain of connection that binds the whole fabric of the Constitution in one indissoluble bond of unity and amity.
38. A frequent recurrence to the fundamental principles of the Constitution, and a constant adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, industry, frugality, and all the social virtues, are indispensably necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty and good government; the people ought, therefore, to have a particular regard to all those principles in the choice of their officers and representatives : And they have a right to require of their lawgivers and magistrates an exact and constant observance of them in the formation and execution of the laws necessary for the good administration of the government.
Form of Government. The people inhabiting the territory formerly called the province of New Hampshire, do hereby solemnly and mutually agree with each other to form themselves into a free, sovereign, and independent body politic, or State, by the name of the State of New Hampshire.
General Court. The supreme legislative power, within this State, shall be vested in the Senate and House of Representatives, each of which shall have a negative on the other.
The Senate and House shall assemble every year on the first Wednesday in June and at such other times as they may judge necessary; and shall dissolve, and be dissolved, seven days next preceding the said first Wednesday in June; and shall be styled The General Court of New Hampshire.
The General Court shall forever have full power and authority to erect and constitute judicatories and courts of record, or other courts, to be holden in the name of the State, for the hearing, trying, and determining all manner of crimes, offences, pleas, processes, plaints actions, causes, matters, and things whatsoever, arising or happening within this State, or between or concerning persons inhabiting or residing, or brought within the same, whether the same be criminal or civil, or whether the crimes be capital or not capital, and whether the said pleas be real, personal, or mixed; and for awarding and issuing execution thereon. To which courts and judicatories, are hereby given and granted, full power and authority, from time to time, to administer oaths or affirmations, for the better discovery of truth in any matter in controversy, or depending before them.
And farther, full power and authority are hereby given and granted to the said General Court, from time to time, to make, ordain, and establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable orders, laws, statutes, ordinances, directions, and instructions, either with penalties, or without, so as the same be not repugnant or contrary to this Constitution, as they may judge for the benefit and welfare of this State, and for the governing and ordering thereof; and of the citizens of the same, for the necessary support and defense of the government thereof; and to name and settle annually, or provide by fixed laws for the naming and settling all civil officers within this State; such officers excepted, the election and appointment of whom are hereafter in this form of government otherwise provided for; and to set forth the several duties, powers, and limits of the several civil and military officers of this State, and the forms of such oaths or affirmations as shall be respectively administered unto them, for the execution of their several offices and places, so as the same be not repugnant or contrary to this Constitution, and also to impose fines, mulcts, imprisonments, and other punishments; and to impose and levy proportional and reasonable assessments, rates, and taxes upon all the inhabitants of, and residents within, the said State; and upon all estates within the same; to be issued and disposed of by warrant, under the hand of the Governor of this State for the time being, with the advice and consent of the Council, for the public service, in the necessary defense and support of the Government of this State, and the protection and preservation of the citizens thereof, according to such acts as are, or shall be, in force within the same.
And while the public charges of government, or any part thereof, shall be assessed on polls and estates in the manner that has been heretofore practised, in order that such assessments may be made with equality, there shall be a valuation of the estates, within the State, taken anew once in every five years at least, and as much oftener as the General Court shall order.
No member of the General Court shall take fees, be of counsel or act as advocate, in any cause before either branch of the Legislature; and upon due proof thereof, such member shall forfeit his seat in the Legislature.
The doors of the galleries of each house of the Legislature shall be kept open to all persons who behave decently, except when the welfare of the State, in the opinion of either branch, shall require secrecy
Senate. The Senate shall consist of twelve members, who shall hold their offices for one year, from the first Wednesday in June next ensuing their election.
And that the State may be equally represented in the Senate, the Legislature shall, from time to time, divide the State into twelve districts, as nearly equal as may be without dividing towns and unincorporated places ; and in making this division, they shall govern themselves by the proportion of public taxes paid by the said districts, and timely make known to the inhabitants of the State the limits of each district.
The freeholders and other inhabitants of each district, qualified as in this Constitution is provided, shall annually give in their votes for a senator, at some meeting holden in the month of March.
The Senate shall be the first branch of the Legislature: and the senators shall be chosen in the following manner, viz. : Every male inhabitant of each town, and parish with town privileges, and places unincorporated, in this State, of twenty-one years of age and upwards, excepting paupers, and persons excused from paying taxes at their own request, shall have a right at the annual or other meetings of the inhabitants of said towns and parishes, to be duly warned and holden annually forever in the month of March, to vote in the town or parish wherein he dwells, for the senators of the county or district whereof he is a member.
Provided, nevertheless, That no person shall be capable of being elected a senator, who is not seized of a freehold estate, in his own right, of the value of two hundred pounds, lying within this State, who is not of the age of thirty years, and who shall not have been an inhabitant of this State for seven years immediately preceding his election, and at the time thereof he shall be an inhabitant of the district for which he shall be chosen.
And every person, qualified as the Constitution provides, shall be considered an inhabitant for the purpose of electing and being elected into any office or place within this State, in the town, parish, and plantation where he dwelleth and hath his home.
And the inhabitants of plantations and places unincorporated, qualified as this Constitution provides, who are or shall be required