1. [syn: attainder, civil death]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Attainder \At*tain"der\, n. [OF. ataindre, ateindre, to accuse,
convict. Attainder is often erroneously referred to F.
teindre tie stain. See Attaint, Attain.]
1. The act of attainting, or the state of being attainted;
the extinction of the civil rights and capacities of a
person, consequent upon sentence of death or outlawry; as,
an act of attainder. --Abbott.
Note: Formerly attainder was the inseparable consequence of a
judicial or legislative sentence for treason or felony,
and involved the forfeiture of all the real and
personal property of the condemned person, and such
"corruption of blood" that he could neither receive nor
transmit by inheritance, nor could he sue or testify in
any court, or claim any legal protection or rights. In
England attainders are now abolished, and in the United
States the Constitution provides that no bill of
attainder shall be passed; and no attainder of treason
(in consequence of a judicial sentence) shall work
corruption of blood or forfeiture, except during the
life of the person attainted.
2. A stain or staining; state of being in dishonor or
He lived from all attainder of suspect. --Shak.
Bill of attainder, a bill brought into, or passed by, a
legislative body, condemning a person to death or
outlawry, and attainder, without judicial sentence.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: cancellation of civil rights [syn: attainder, civil
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
ATTAINDER, English criminal law. Attinctura, the stain or corruption of
blood which arises from being condemned for any crime.
2. Attainder by confession, is either by pleading guilty at the bar
before the judges, and not putting one's self on one's trial by a jury; or
before the coroner in sanctuary, when in ancient times, the offender was
obliged to abjure the realm.
3. Attainder by verdict, is when the prisoner at the bar pleads not
guilty to the indictment, and is pronounced guilty by the verdict of the
4. Attainder by process or outlawry, is when the party flies, and is
subsequently outlawed. Co. Lit. 391.
5. Bill of attainder, is a bill brought into parliament for attainting
persons condemned for high treason. By the constitution of the United
States, art. 1, sect. 9, Sec. 3, it is provided that no bill of attainder or
ex post facto law shall be passed.