University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

Toepel, M. G.; Kuehn, Hazel L. (ed.) / The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1958

The Wisconsin Constitution,   pp. [229]-[260] PDF (11.0 MB)

Page 233

                    WISCONSIN CONSTITUTION                          233
  We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to Almighty God for our free-
dom, in order to secure its blessings, form a more perfect government,
insure domestic tranquillity and promote the general welfare, do estab-
lish this constitution.
                              ARTICLE I.
                         DECLARATION OF RIGHTS.
  Equality; inherent rights. Section 1. All men are born equally free and
independent, and have certain inherent rights; among these are life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness; to secure these rights, governments
are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent
of the governed.
  Slavery prohibited. Section 2. There shall be neither slavery, nor in-
voluntary servitude in this state, otherwise than for the punishment of
crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.
  Free speech; libel. Section 3. Every person may freely speak, write and
publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of
that right, and no laws shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty
of speech or of the press, In all criminal prosecutions or indictments for
libel, the truth may be given in evidence, and if it shall appear to the
that the matter charged as libelous be true, and was published with good
motives and for justifiable ends, the party shall be acquitted; and the
jury shall have the right to determine the law and the fact.
  Right to assemble and petition. Section 4. The right of the people
peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition
the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.
  Trial by jury; verdict in civil cases. Section 5. The right of trial by
jury shall remain inviolate, and shall extend to all cases at law without
regard to the amount in controversy; but a jury trial may be waived by
the parties in all cases in the manner prescribed by law. Provided, how-
ever, that the legislature may, from time to time, by statute provide
that a valid verdict, in civil cases, may be based on the votes of a speci-
fied number of the jury, not less than five-sixths thereof.
  Excessive bail; cruel punishments. Section 6. Excessive bail shall not
be required, nor shall excessive fines be imposed, nor cruel and unusual
punishments inflicted.
  Rights of accused. Section 7. In all criminal prosecutions the accused
shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel; to demand the
nature and cause of the accusation against him; to meet the witnesses
face to face; to have compulsory process to compel the attendance of
witnesses in his behalf; and in prosecutions by indictment, or informa-
tion, to a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county or dis-
trict wherein the offense shall have been committed; which county or
district shall have been previously ascertained by law.
  Prosecutions; second jeopardy; self-incrimination; bail; habeas corpus.
Section 8. No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense with-
out due process of law, and no person for the same offense shall be put
twice in jeopardy of punishment, nor shall be compelled in any criminal
case to be a witness against himself. All persons shall, before convic-
tion, be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses when
the proof is evident or the presumption great; and the privilege of the
writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless when, in cases of
rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.
  Remedy for wrongs. Section 9. Every person is entitled to a certain
remedy in the laws for all injuries, or wrongs which he may receive In
his person, property, or character; he ought to obtain justice freely, and

Go up to Top of Page