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Bill of Rights
Section II-1: Political power - Purpose of government - Alteration or reformation.
All political power is inherent in the people; and government
is instituted for their protection, security, and benefit, and to
promote their general welfare; and they have the right to alter
or reform the same whenever the public good may require it:
Provided, such change be not repugnant to the Constitution of the
Section II-2: Inherent rights.
All persons have the inherent right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the enjoyment of the gains of their own industry.
Section II-3: Right of assembly and petition.
The people have the right peaceably to assemble for their own
good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of
government for redress of grievances by petition, address, or
Section II-4: Interference with right of suffrage.
No power, civil or military, shall ever interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage by those entitled to such right.
Section II-5: Public money or property - Use for sectarian purposes.
No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such.
Section II-6: Courts of justice open - Remedies for wrongs - Sale, denial or delay.
The courts of justice of the State shall be open to every person, and speedy and certain remedy afforded for every wrong and for every injury to person, property, or reputation; and right and justice shall be administered without sale, denial, delay, or prejudice.
Section II-7: Due process of law.
No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.
Section II-8: Right to bail - Exceptions.
A. All persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, except that bail may be denied for:
1. capital offenses when the proof of guilt is evident, or the
presumption thereof is great;
2. violent offenses;
3. offenses where the maximum sentence may be life
imprisonment or life imprisonment without parole;
4. felony offenses where the person charged with the offense
has been convicted of two or more felony offenses arising out of
different transactions; and
5. controlled dangerous substances offenses where the maximum
sentence may be at least ten (10) years imprisonment.
On all offenses specified in paragraphs 2 through 5 of this
section, the proof of guilt must be evident, or the presumption
must be great, and it must be on the grounds that no condition of
release would assure the safety of the community or any person.
B. The provisions of this resolution shall become effective on
July 1, 1989.
Section II-9: Excessive bail or fines - Cruel or unusual punishment.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel or unusual punishments inflicted.
Section II-10: Habeas corpus - Suspension.
The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall never be
suspended by the authorities of this State.
Section II-11: Officers - Personal attention to duties - Intoxication.
Every person elected or appointed to any office or employment
of trust or profit under the laws of the State, or under any
ordinance of any municipality thereof, shall give personal
attention to the duties of the office to which he is elected or
appointed. Drunkenness and the excessive use of intoxicating
liquors while in office shall constitute sufficient cause for
impeachment or removal therefrom.
Section II-12: Officers of United States or other states - Ineligibility to office.
No member of Congress from this State, or person holding any
office of trust or profit under the laws of any other State, or of the United States, shall hold any office of trust or profit under the laws of this State.
Section II-12A: Term limits for Congressman.
Beginning January 1, 1995 persons wanting to become a candidate for election to the United States Congress from this State for a term beginning on or after January 1, 1995, shall be subject to the following provisions:
A. Any person seeking to have his or her name placed on the
ballot for election to the United States House of Representatives
shall be ineligible if, by the end of the then current term of
office, that person has served in that office for three (3) two-year
B. Any person seeking to have his or her name placed on the
ballot for election to the United States Senate shall be ineligible
if, by the end of the then current term of office, that person has
served in that office for two (2) six-year terms.
C. A person elected to serve as a member of the United States
Congress shall be eligible to serve as a Representative for a total
of six (6) years and as a Senator for a total of twelve (12) years
for a maximum total of eighteen (18) years as a member of Congress from this State.
D. The provisions of this section shall not be applicable to or
1. The years served by any person as a member of the United
States House of Representatives or as a member of the United States Senate which began prior to the election at which this measure was enacted.
2. The years served by a person who has been appointed to
complete the remainder of a vacated term.
E. The provisions of this Section shall not be construed so as
to prevent casting a ballot for any person regardless of the number
of years previously served in the United States Congress by writing
the name of that person on the ballot, or from having such ballot
counted or to prevent a person from campaigning by means of a "write- in" campaign if that procedure is otherwise authorized in this
Constitution or by law.
Section II-13: Imprisonment for debt.
Imprisonment for debt is prohibited, except for the non-payment
of fines and penalties imposed for the violation of law.
Section II-14: Military subordinate to civil authorities - Quartering without owner's consent.
The military shall be held in strict subordination to the civil
authorities. No soldier shall be quartered in any house, in time
of peace, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war,
except in a manner to be prescribed by law.
Section II-15: Bills of attainder - Ex post facto laws - Obligation of contracts - No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, nor any law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall ever be passed. No conviction shall work a corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate: Provided, that this provision shall not prohibit the imposition of pecuniary penalties.
Section II-16: Treason.
Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war
against it or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and
comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason, unless on the
testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on
confession in open court.
Section II-17: Indictment or information - Preliminary examination - Prosecutions in courts not of record.
No person shall be prosecuted criminally in courts of record
for felony or misdemeanor otherwise than by presentment or
indictment or by information. No person shall be prosecuted for
a felony by information without having had a preliminary
examination before an examining magistrate, or having waived such preliminary examination. Prosecutions may be instituted in
courts not of record upon a duly verified complaint.
Section II-18: Grand jury.
A grand jury shall be composed of twelve (12) persons, any nine
(9) of whom concurring may find an indictment or true bill. A grand
jury shall be convened upon the order of a district judge upon his
own motion; or such grand jury shall be ordered by a district judge
upon the filing of a petition therefor signed by qualified electors
of the county equal to the number of signatures required to propose legislation by a county by initiative petition as provided in Section 5 of Article V of the Oklahoma Constitution, with the minimum number of required signatures being five hundred (500) and the maximum being five thousand (5,000); and further providing that in any calendar year in which a grand jury has been convened pursuant to a petition therefor, then any subsequent petition filed during the same calendar year shall require double the minimum number of signatures as were required hereunder for the first petition; or such grand jury shall be ordered convened upon the filing of a verified application by the Attorney General of the State of Oklahoma who shall have authority to conduct the grand jury in investigating crimes which are alleged to
have been committed in said county or involving multi county criminal activities; when so assembled such grand jury shall have power to inquire into and return indictments for all character and grades of crime. All other provisions of the Constitution or the laws of this state in conflict with the provisions of this constitutional
amendment are hereby expressly repealed.
The Legislature shall enact laws to prevent corruption in making,
filing, circulating and submitting petitions calling for convening a
Section II-19: Trial by jury.
The right of trial by jury shall be and remain inviolate, except
in civil cases wherein the amount in controversy does not exceed One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,500.00), or in criminal cases wherein punishment for the offense charged is by fine only, not exceeding One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,500.00). Provided, however, that the Legislature may provide for jury trial in cases involving lesser amounts. Juries for the trial of civil cases,
involving more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), and felony criminal cases shall consist of twelve (12) persons. All other juries shall consist of six (6) persons. However, in all cases the parties may agree on a lesser number of jurors than provided herein.
In all criminal cases where imprisonment for more than six (6)
months is authorized the entire number of jurors must concur to render a verdict. In all other cases three-fourths (3/4) of the whole number of jurors concurring shall have power to render a verdict. When a verdict is rendered by less than the whole number of jurors, the verdict shall be signed by each juror concurring therein.
Section II-20: Rights of accused in criminal cases.
In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the right
to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the county
in which the crime shall have been committed or, where
uncertainty exists as to the county in which the crime was
committed, the accused may be tried in any county in which the
evidence indicates the crime might have been committed.
Provided, that the venue may be changed to some other county of
the state, on the application of the accused, in such manner as
may be prescribed by law. He shall be informed of the nature and
cause of the accusation against him and have a copy thereof, and
be confronted with the witnesses against him, and have compulsory
process for obtaining witnesses in his behalf. He shall have the
right to be heard by himself and counsel; and in capital cases,
at least two days before the case is called for trial, he shall be furnished with a list of the witnesses that will be called in chief, to prove the allegations of the indictment or information, together with their post office addresses.
Section II-21: Self-incrimination - Double jeopardy.
No person shall be compelled to give evidence which will tend
to incriminate him, except as in this Constitution specifically
provided; nor shall any person, after having been once acquitted
by a jury, be again put in jeopardy of life or liberty for that
of which he has been acquitted. Nor shall any person be twice
put in jeopardy of life or liberty for the same offense.
Section II-22: Liberty of speech and press - Truth as evidence in prosecution for libel.
Every person may freely speak, write, or publish his sentiments
on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right;
and no law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of
speech or of the press. In all criminal prosecutions for libel,
the truth of the matter alleged to be libelous may be given in
evidence to the jury, and if it shall appear to the jury that the
matter charged as libelous be true, and was written or published
with good motives and for justifiable ends, the party shall be
Section II-23: Private property - Taking or damaging for private use.
No private property shall be taken or damaged for private use,
with or without compensation, unless by consent of the owner,
except for private ways of necessity, or for drains and ditches
across lands of others for agricultural, mining, or sanitary
purposes, in such manner as may be prescribed by law.
Section II-24: Private property - Public use - Character of use a judicial question.
Private property shall not be taken or damaged for public use
without just compensation. Just compensation shall mean the value of the property taken, and in addition, any injury to any part of the property not taken. Any special and direct benefits to the part of the property not taken may be offset only against any injury to the property not taken. Such compensation shall be ascertained by a board of commissioners of not less than three freeholders, in such manner as may be prescribed by law. Provided however, in no case shall the owner be required to make any payments should the benefits be judged to exceed damages. The commissioners shall not be appointed by any judge or court without reasonable notice having been served upon all parties in interest. The commissioners shall be selected from the regular jury list of names prepared and made as the Legislature shall provide. Any party aggrieved shall have the right of appeal, without bond, and trial by jury in a court of record. Until the compensation shall be paid to the owner, or into court for the owner, the property shall not be disturbed, or the proprietary rights of the owner divested. When possession is taken of property condemned for any public use, the owner shall be entitled to the immediate receipt of the compensation awarded, without prejudice to the right of either party to prosecute further proceedings for the judicial determination of the sufficiency or insufficiency of such compensation. The fee of land taken by common carriers for right of way, without the consent of the owner, shall remain in such owner subject only to the use for which it is taken. In all cases of condemnation of private property for public or private use, the determination of the character of the use shall be a judicial question.
Section II-25: Contempt - Definition - Jury trial - Hearing.
The legislature shall pass laws defining contempt's and
regulating the proceedings and punishment in matters of contempt:
Provided, that any person accused of violating or disobeying,
when not in the presence or hearing of the court, or judge
sitting as such, any order of injunction, or restraint, made or
entered by any court or judge of the State shall, before penalty
or punishment is imposed, be entitled to a trial by jury as to
the guilt or innocence of the accused. In no case shall a penalty or punishment be imposed for contempt, until an opportunity to be heard is given.
Section II-26: Bearing arms - Carrying weapons.
The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his
home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power, when
thereunto legally summoned, shall never be prohibited; but
nothing herein contained shall prevent the Legislature from
regulating the carrying of weapons.
Section II-27: Witnesses not excused from testifying - Immunity from prosecution.
Any person having knowledge or possession of facts that tend to
establish the guilt of any other person or corporation under the
laws of the state shall not be excused from giving testimony or
producing evidence, when legally called upon so to do, on the
ground that it may tend to incriminate him under the laws of the
state; but no person shall be prosecuted or subjected to any
penalty or forfeiture for or on account of any transaction, matter, or thing concerning which he may so testify or produce evidence. All other provisions of the Constitution or the laws of this state in conflict with the provisions of this constitutional amendment are hereby expressly repealed.
Section II-28: Corporate records, books and files.
The records, books, and files of all corporations shall be, at
all times, liable and subject to the full visitor and inquisitorial powers of the State, notwithstanding the immunities
and privileges in this Bill of Rights secured to the persons,
inhabitants, and citizens thereof.
Section II-29: Transportation out of State.
No person shall be transported out of the State for any offense
committed within the State, nor shall any person be transported
out of the State for any purpose, without his consent, except by
due process of law; but nothing in this provision shall prevent
the operation of extradition laws, or the transporting of persons
sentenced for crime, to other states for the purpose of
Section II-30: Unreasonable searches or seizures - Warrants, issuance of.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses,
papers, and effects against unreasonable searches or seizures
shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue but upon
probable cause supported by oath or affirmation, describing as
particularly as may be the place to be searched and the person or
thing to be seized.
Section II-31: State - Engagement in occupation or business.
The right of the State to engage in any occupation or business
for public purposes shall not be denied nor prohibited, except
that the State shall not engage in agriculture for any other than
educational and scientific purposes and for the support of its
penal, charitable, and educational institutions.
Section II-32: Perpetuities - Monopolies - Primogeniture - Entailments.
Perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the genius of a
free government, and shall never be allowed, nor shall the law of
primogeniture or entailment's ever be in force in this State.
Section II-33: Effect of enumeration of rights.
The enumeration in this Constitution of certain rights shall
not be construed to deny, impair, or disparage others retained by
Section II-34: Rights of victims.
A. To preserve and protect the rights of victims to justice and
due process, and ensure that victims are treated with fairness,
respect and dignity, and are free from intimidation, harassment, or
abuse, throughout the criminal justice process, any victim or family
member of a victim of a crime has the right to know the status of the investigation and prosecution of the criminal case, including all
proceedings wherein a disposition of a case is likely to occur, and
where plea negotiations may occur. The victim or family member of a victim of a crime has the right to know the location of the defendant following an arrest, during a prosecution of the criminal case, during a sentence to probation or confinement, and when there is any release or escape of the defendant from confinement. The victim or family member of a victim of a crime has a right to be present at any proceeding where the defendant has a right to be present, to be heard at any sentencing or parole hearing, to be awarded restitution by the convicted person for damages or losses as determined and ordered by the court, and to be informed by the state of the constitutional rights of the victim.
B. An exercise of any right by a victim or family member of a
victim or the failure to provide a victim or family member of a
victim any right granted by this section shall not be grounds for
dismissing any criminal proceeding or setting aside any conviction or sentence.
C. The Legislature, or the people by initiative or referendum,
has the authority to enact substantive and procedural laws to define, implement, preserve and protect the rights guaranteed to victims by this section, including the authority to extend any of these rights to juvenile proceedings and if enacted by the Legislature, youthful offender proceedings.
D. The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights for
victims shall not be construed to deny or disparage other rights
granted by the Legislature or retained by victims.