What is the definition of attainder?

Updated: 4/28/2022
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15y ago

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Attainder means the extinguishment of a person's civil rights upon conviction of a crime, usually treason. The Constitution forbids Congress from passing a "bill of attainder". A bill of attainder is an act by the legislature that some particular person is guilty of a crime then taking away his rights all without the benefit of a trial in the courts. Such a practice would take away the rights to trial by jury, to face one's accusers and to be convicted only upon proof beyond a reasonable doubt among other rights citizens of this country have. The legislature has the right to pass laws to declare types of actions criminal and set the penalties for violating them, but it does not have the power to convict persons of those crimes.

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15y ago
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Q: What is the definition of attainder?
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