Constitution of 1865

In October 1865, delegates convened to reestablish Florida as part of the United States by revoking the state’s Ordinance of Secession and passing a new state constitution. The state remained under martial law, however, and Congress refused to seat legislators from the former Confederate states until more stringent requirements were met. Florida ultimately scrapped the Constitution of 1865 in favor of a new version created in 1868.

Constitution of 1865


is strong; and the habeas corpus act shall not be suspended unless, when in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.

Section 12. That excessive bail shall in no case be required; nor shall excessive fines be imposed; nor shall cruel or unusual punishments be inflicted.

Section 13. That no person shall, for the same offense, be twice put in jeopardy of life and limb.

Section 14. That private property shall not be taken or applied to public use, unless just compensation be first made therefor.

Section 15. That in all prosecutions and indictments for libel, the truth may be given in evidence; and if it shall appear to the jury that the libel is true, and published with good motives, and for justifiable ends, the truth shall be a justification; and the jury shall be the judges of the law and facts.

Section 16. That no person shall be put to answer any criminal charge, but by presentment, indictment or impeachment, except in such cases as the Legislature shall otherwise provide: but the Legislature shall pass no law whereby any person shall be required to answer any criminal charge involving the life of the accused, except upon indictment or presentment by a Grand Jury.

Section 17. That no conviction shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of