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conviction, or of any bodily restraint greater than is necessary to prevent escape; and the nature and extent of this restraint should be determined by law.
Perfect liberty should be secured of hearing and publishing the proceedings of criminal courts; and no restraint whatsoever should be imposed on the free discussion of the official conduct of the judges, and other ministers of justice, in this branch of government,
Such a system of procedure, in criminal cases, should be established, as to be understood without long study; it should neither suffer the guilty to escape by formal objections, nor involve the innocent in difficulties, by errors in pleading.
For this purpose, amendments should be permitted in all cases, where neither the accused nor the public prosecutor can be surprized.
Those penal laws counteract their own effect, which, through a mistaken lenity, give greater comforts to a convict than those which he would probably have enjoyed, while at liberty.
The power of pardoning should be only exercised in cases of innocence discovered, or of certain and unequivocal reformation.
Provisions should be made for preventing the execution of intended offences, whenever the design to commit them is sufficiently apparent.
The remote means of preventing offences do not form the subject of penal laws. The general assembly will provide them in their proper place. They are the diffusion of knowledge, by the means of
public education, and the promotion of industry, and consequently of ease and happiness among the people,
Religion is a source of happiness here, and the foundation of our hopes of it hereafter; but its observance can never, without the worst of oppression, form the subject of a penal code. All modes of belief, and all forms of worship, are equal in the eye of the law; when they interfere with no private or public rights, all are entitled to equal protection in their exercise.
Whatever may be the majority of the professors of one religion or sect in the state, it is a persecution to force any one to conform to any ceremonies, or to observe any festival or day, appropriated to worship by the members of a particular religious persuasion : this does not exclude a general law, establishing civil festivals or periodical cessations from labour, for civil purposes unconnected with religious worship, or the appointment of particular days on which citizens of all persuasions should join, each according to its own rites in rendering thanks to God for any signal blessing, or imploring his assistance in any public calamity.
The innocent should never be made to participate in the punishment inflicted on the guilty; therefore, no such effects should follow conviction, as to prevent the heir from claiming an inheritance through, or from the person convicted. Still less should the feelings of nature be converted into in. struments of torture, by denouncing punishment
against the children, to secure the good conduct of the parent.
Laws intended to suppress a temporary evil should be limited to the probable time of its duration, or carefully repealed after the reason for enacting them has ceased.
CONTAINING GENERAL PROVISIONS.
Art. 1. No act or omission done or made before the promulgation of the law which forbids it, can be punished as an offence.
Art. 2. If an act or omission be created an offence by one law, and the penalty be encreased by another, no breach of the first law, committed before the promulgation of the second, can be punished by inflicting the penalty of the latter. But if the penalty be lessened by the second law, the offender may, at his request, undergo the penalty of the last law only.
Art. 3.. After a penal law is repealed, no person can be arrested, imprisoned, tried, or condemned, for a breach of it, while it was in force, unless the
repealing law has an express provision to that effect. 1. ART, 4. The distinction between a favourable and an unfavourable construction of laws is abolished. All penal laws whatever, are to be construed according to the plain import of their words, taken in their usual sense. : ART. 5. When a second penal law shall direct a new PENALTY, the penalty of the first law shall be deemed to be abolished, unless the contrary be expressed.
Art. 6. A law which simply commands or forbids an act to be done, but which contains no denunciation of a penalty, can have none but civil effects, the act or omission which is forbidden, cannot be punished as an offence.
Art. 7. The legislature alone has a right to declare what shall constitute an offence; therefore it is forbidden to punish, any acts or omissions, not prohibited by statute, under pretence that they offend against the laws of nature, of religion, morality, or any other rule, except written law.
Art. 8. Courts are expressly prohibited from punishing any acts or omissions which are not forbidden by the letter of the law, under the pretence, that they are within its spirit. It is better that acts of an evil tendency, should, for a time, be done with impunity, than that courts should assume legislative powers; which assumption, is itself an act more injurious than any it may purport to repress. There are, therefore, no constructive offences. The legislature, when the necessity appears, will bring such
acts as ought to be punished, within the letter of the law.
ART. 9. When a competent tribunal, judging in the last resort, hath rendered a final judgment, acquitting or condemning the accused, he can never be again prosecuted for the same offence.
Art. 10. An accusation being an affirmation of guilt, it must be proved to the satisfaction of those whose province it is to decide. When they entertain doubts of the fact alleged, or of the application of the law, the accused cannot be convicted.
General Provisions Relative to Prosecutions and
Art. 11. No person accused of any offence, shall be compelled by violence or menace, to answer any interrogations relative to his innocence or guilt ; nor shall his confession, unless it be given freely, without violence, menace, or promise of indemnity or favour, be produced in evidence against him.
ART. 12. No person shall be arrested to answer for any offence but in the manner and on the evidence specially set forth in the fourth book of this code.
ART. 13. NO SEARCH WARRANT shall issue in