Kentucky Constitution of 1799Article VII

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The Constitution or form of Government for the State of Kentucky. 1799. Article VII.

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ARTICLE VII CONCERNING SLAVES
SECTION 1. The general assembly shall have no power to pass laws for the emancipation of slaves without the consent of their owners, or without paying their owners, previous to such emancipation, a full equivalent in money for the slaves so emancipated. They shall have no power to prevent emigrants to this State from bringing with them such persons as are deemed slaves by the laws of any of the United States, so long as any person of the same age or description shall be continued in slavery by the laws of this State. They shall pass laws to permit the owners of slaves to emancipate them, saving the rights of creditors, and preventing them from becoming a charge to any county in this commonwealth. They shall have full power to prevent slaves being brought into this State as merchandise. They shall have full power to prevent any slaves being brought into this State who have been, since the first day of January, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine, or may hereafter be, imported into any of the United States from a foreign country. And they shall have full power to pass such laws as may be necessary to oblige the owners of slaves to treat them with humanity, to provide for them necessary clothing and provision, to abstain from all injuries to them extending to life or limb, and in case of their neglect or refusal to comply with the directions of such laws, to have such slave or slaves sold for the benefit of their owner or owners.
SEC. 2. In the prosecution of slaves for felony, no inquest by a grand jury shall be necessary, but the proceedings in such prosecutions shall be regulated by law, except that the general assembly shall have no power to deprive them of the privilege of in impartial trial by a petit jury.
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