several Courts of Common Pleas shall be established in the following manner: The Governor shall appoint in each county, not fewer than three, nor more than fourJudges, who, during their continuance in oftice, shall reside in such county. The State shall be divided, by law, into Circuits, none of which shall include more than six, nor fewer than three counties. A President shall be appointed of the Courts in each Circuit, who, during his continuance in office, shall reside therein. The President and Judges, any two of whom shall be a quorum, shall compose the respective Courts of Common Pleas. .

V. The Judges of the Court of Common Pleas in each county, shall, by virtue of their offices, be Justices of Over and Terminer and General Jail Delivery, for the trial of capital and other ollenders therein; any two of the said Judges, the President being one, shall be a quorum ; but they shall not hold a Court of Oyer and Terminer or Jail Delivery in any county, when the Judges of the Supreme Court, or any of them, shall be sitting in the same county. The party accused, as well as the Commonwealth, may, under such regulations as shall be prescribed by law, remove the indictment and proceedings, or a transcript thereof, into the Supreme Court.

VI. The Supreme Court and the several Courts of Common Pleas, shall, beside the powers heretofore usually exercised by them, have the powers of a Court of Chancery, so far as relates to the perpetuating testimony, the obtaining of evidence from places not within the State, and the care of the persons and estates of those, who are non compotes mentis : and the Legislature shall vest, in the said Courts, such other powers, to grant relief in equity, as shall be found necessary ; and may, from time to time, enlarge or diminish those powers, or vest them in such other Courts as they shall judge proper, for the due administration of justice.

VII. The Judges of the Court of Common Pleas of each county, any two of whom shall be a quorum, shall compose the Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace, and Orphan's Court thereof; and the Register of Wills, together with the said Judges, or any two of them, shall compose the Register's Court of each county. . • VIII. The Judges of the Courts of Common Pleas shall, within their respective counties, have the like powers with the Judges of the Supreme Court, to issue writs of certiorari to the Justices of the Peace, and to cause their proceedings to be brought before them, and the like right and justice to be done.

IX. The President of the Court, in each Circuit, within such Circuit, and the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas, within their respective counties, shall be Justices of the Peace so far as relates to criminal matters.

X. The Governor shall appoint a competent number of Justices of the Peace, in such convenient districts, in each county, as are or shall be directed by law: ; they shall be commissioned during good behaviour; but may be removed on conviction of misbehaviour in office, or of any infamous crime, or on the address of both Houses of the Legislature.

XI. A Register's office for the Probate of Wills and granting letters of administration, and an office for the recording of deeds, shall be kept in each county.

XII. The stile of all process shall be, The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania'; all prosecutions shall be carried on in the name and by the authority of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and conclude, against the peace and dignity of the same

ARTICLE. VI. I. SHERIFFS and Coroners shall, at the times and places of election of Representatives, be chosen by the citizens of each county. Two persons shall be chosen for each office, one of whom, for each. respectively, shall be appointed by the Governor. They shall hold their offices for three years, if they shall so long behave themselves well, and until a successor be duly qualified; but no person shall be twice chosen or appointed Sheriff in any term of six years. Vacancies in either of said offices, shall be filled by a new appointment, to be made by the Governor, to continue until the next general election, and until a successor shall be chosen and qualified as aforesaid.


II. The freemen of this Commonwealth shall be armed and disciplined for its defence. Those who conscientiously scruple to bear arms, shall not be compelled to do so ; but shall pay an equivalent for personal service. : The militia officers shall be appointed, in such manner, and for such time, as shall be directed by law.

III. Prothonotaries, Clerks of the Peace and Orphan's Courts, Recorders of Deeds, Registers of Wills, and Sheriffs, shall keep their offices in the county town of the county in which they respectively shall be officers ; unless when the Governor shall, for special reasons, dispense therewith, for any term, not exceeding five years, after the county shall have been erected.

IV. All commissions shall be in the name and by the authority of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and be sealed with the State seal, and signed by the Governor,

V. The State Treasurer shall be appointed annually, by the joint vote of the members of both Houses. All other officers, in the Treasury Department, attornies at law, election officers, officers relating to taxes, to the poor and highways, constables, and other township officers, shall be appointed in such manner as is or shall be directed by law..

ARTICLE VII. I. THË Legislature shall, as soon as conveniently may be, provide, by law, for the establishment of schools throughout the State, in such manner that the poor may be taught gratis.

II. The arts and sciences shall be promoted in one or more seminaries of learning.

HII. The rights, privileges, immunities, and estates of religious societies and corporate bodies, shall remain, as if the Constitution of this State had not been altered or amended.

op ! ARTICLE VIII. MEMBERS of the General Assembly, and all officers, executive and judicial, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support the Constitution of this Commonwealth, and to perform the duties of their respective offices with fidelity.


ARTICLE IX. That the general, great, und essential Principles of Liberty

and free Government may be recognized and analterably established WE DECLARE,

I. THAT all men are born equally free and indepen. dent, and have certain inherent and indefeasible rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property and reputation, and of pursuing their own happiness.

II. That all power is inherent in the People ; and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness. For the advancement of those ends, they have at all times, an unalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform, or abolish their government in such manner as they may think proper.

III. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; that no man can, of right, be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry, against his consent ; that no human authority, can, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience ; and that no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishment or mode of worship.

IV. That no person, who acknowledges the being of a God, and a future state of rewards and punishments, shall, on account of his religious sentiments, be disquali. fied to hold any office or place of trust or prout under this Commonwealth.

V. That elections shall be free and equal.

VI. That trial by jury shall be as heretofore, and the · right thereof remain inviolate.

VII. That the printing presses shall be free to every person who undertakes to examine the proceedings of the Legislature, or any branch of government ; and no law shall ever be made to restrain the right thereof.

The free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of the invaluable rights of Man ; and every citizen may freely speak, write; and print on any subject, being


responsible for the abuse of that liberty. In prosecutions for the publication of papers, investigating the official conduct of officers, or men in a public capacity, or where the matter published is proper for public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence.-And, in all indictments for libels, the jury shall have a right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the Court, as in other cases.

VIII. That the People shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and possessions, from unreasonable searches and siezures; and that no warrant, to search any place or to seize any person or things, shall issue without describing them as nearly as may be, nor without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation.

IX. That in all criminal prosecutions, the accused hath a right to be heard by himself and his counsel, to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him ; to meet the witnesses face to face ; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favour; and, in prosecutions by indictment or information, a speedy public trial, by an impartial jury of the vicinage ; that he cannot be compelled to give evidence against himself; nor can he be deprived of his life, liberty, or property, unless by the judgement of his peers or the law of the land.

X. That no person shall, for any indictable offence, be proceeded against criminally by information, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia when in actual service, in time of war or public danger, or by leave of the Court, for oppression and misdemeanor in office. No person shall, for the same offence, be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall any man's property be taken or applied to public use, without the consent of his Representatives, and without just compensation being made.

XI. That all Courts shall be open ; and every man" for an injury done him in his lands, goods, person, or reputation, shall have remedy by the due course of law, and right and justice administered without sale, deniai. or delay. Suits may be brought against the Common

: wealth

« ForrigeFortsett »