[Below is the Preamble and Declaration of Rights for the proposed rewrite of the Connecticut Constitution and General Laws as found in The Six Pillars of Honest Politics (see johnrankinbooks.com item 2).]

Article I

Declaration of Rights

Section 1:1: When people form a social covenant, all are equal in rights, and none are entitled to special or hereditary privileges from the community. All people are made in God’s image and are to be protected by due process of law for the entire natural duration of their lives.

Section 1:2: The social covenant is dependent on the prior integrity of man and woman in marriage insofar as attainable, and on the fullest presence possible of both father and mother in the raising of children.

Section 1:3: All political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their benefit. The people have at all times an undeniable right to alter their form of government as they see fit.

Section 1:4: Religious liberty is the first freedom, where the state cannot impose any religion on the people, nor can any religious group impose itself on the state. Then there follow the freedoms of speech, the press, peaceable assembly, and the power of the people to petition the government for a redress of grievances. In practical sum, this also means that all people are free to change their religious, political and/or economic affiliations as they see fit, free from any forms of coercion.

Section 1:5: Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself, his family, his community and the state. The people are secure in their persons, houses, papers, communications and possessions from unreasonable searches and seizures, by any means. No warrant to search any person, place or thing, or to seize any property, is issued apart from a reasonably specific description, or without probable cause supported by oath or affirmation.

Section 1:6: No one may be deprived of life, liberty or property apart from due process of law. Innocence is presumed until guilt is proven. If property is deemed necessary for the public trust, a just and fair market compensation, including relocation costs, must be provided first.

Section 1:7: All courts are open to every person for speedy redress of any injury done him in his person, property or reputation, rooted in a justice not for sale.

Section 1:8: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused has the right 1) to be heard by himself and counsel, 2) to be informed of the nature and probable cause of the accusation, 3) to be confronted by the witnesses against him, 4) to have the power to subpoena witnesses on his behalf, 5) to be released on bail upon sufficient security, except in capital offenses where the proof is evident or the presumption great, 6) to a speedy and public trial by jury, 7) not to be forced to give evidence against himself, 8) not to be subject to excessive bail or fines, and 9) no civilian criminal prosecutions will be levied against soldiers in the army or militia when in actual service in time of war or public danger.

Section 1:9: In all criminal prosecutions, a victim has the right 1) to be treated with fairness and respect, 2) to timely disposition of the case, 3) to be reasonably protected from the accused, 4) to notification of court proceedings, 5) to attend all court proceedings where the accused is expected to attend, apart from when the victim’s testimony will be materially affected by other testimony, 6) to communicate with the prosecution, 7) to make a statement in court in objection to or support of any plea agreement reached by the accused and prosecution, 8) to make a statement in court at sentencing, 9) to a minimum of full restitution of loss caused by the accused, and 10) to information about the arrest, conviction, sentence, imprisonment and release of the accused.

Section 1:10: The privileges of the writ of habeas corpus are not suspended, unless, when in the case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it, and then, only by a vote of two-thirds of the Legislature. The Legislature has no power to impose a bill of attainder for treason or felony. The military is in all cases and at all times subject to the civil power. No soldier, in time of peace, is to be quartered in any house or dwelling without the consent of the owner or legal resident, nor quartered in time of war apart from a manner prescribed by law.

Section 1:11: The right to trial by jury is inviolate, and apart from the consent of the accused, involving no less than six jurors, and in cases of capital offense, no less than twelve jurors. In all cases, the parties have the right to peremptorily challenge jurors to a number established by law or consent, and the right to question each juror individually by counsel is inviolate.

Section 1:12: Any rights not here specified, and not in conflict with those otherwise delineated at the state or federal level, are reserved to the people.