Article I, Section 11 of the Texas Constitution ("Bail")
Adopted February 15, 1876:
All prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for capital offences [sic], when the proof is evident; but this provision shall not be so construed as to prevent bail after indictment found upon examination of the evidence, in such manner as may be prescribed by law.
All five sections reflect the tension between public safety and the constitutional presumption of innocence.
- Ex parte Varnado, 215 S.W.2d 165, 166 (Tex.Crim.App. 1948) ("[T]he omission of the words 'or the presumption great' materially changed the rights of a prisoner in the question of bail. . . . Since the opinion in Ex parte Smith, supra, the rule seems never to have been departed from, that if the evidence is clear and strong, leading a well-guarded and dispassionate judgment to the conclusion that the offense has been committed; that the accused is the guilty agent, and that he would probably be punished capitally if the law is properly administered, bail should be refused, otherwise bail should be granted.")
- Ex parte Ezell, 40 Tex. 451, 459 (1874) ("In all of the first constitutions of the several American states many provisions for the protection of personal rights and liberties were inserted, most of which related to freedom from illegal restraint and the insurance of a speedy and impartial trial for alleged offenses. They were for the most part extracted from the . . . . If we look back through the long struggle against the tyranny and oppressions by which these great rights were secured, it will be found that the grievances complained of related to the treatment of prisoners before trial and conviction, and not after.")
- Vernon's Annotated Constitution of the State of Texas (this multi-volume and up-to-date resource is available at all law libraries and many municipal libraries)
- The Texas State Constitution: A Reference Guide (this one-volume resource is available at most law libraries and some municipal libraries)
- The Constitution of the State of Texas: An Annotated and Comparative Analysis (this two-volume resource is available at most law libraries and some municipal libraries)
- Constitution of the State of Texas (1876) (this resource is published and maintained by the University of Texas School of Law)
- Amendments to the Texas Constitution Since 1876 (this resource is published and regularly updated by the Legislative Council)
- Reports Analyzing Proposed Amendments (this resource is published and regularly updated by the Legislative Reference Library)