bill of attainder
bill of attainder definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
a legislative enactment by which a person is pronounced guilty, without trial, of an alleged crime, orig. a capital crime, esp. treason: prohibited in the U.S. by the Constitution
bill of attainder definition by American Heritage Dictionary
noun pl. bills of attainderThe American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
A legislative act pronouncing a person guilty of a crime, usually treason, without trial and subjecting that person to capital punishment and attainder. Such acts are prohibited by the U.S. Constitution.
bill of attainder - Legal Definition
- Any legislative act that imposed a sentence of death and attainder upon one or more specific individuals or groups without a trial or other judicial proceeding.
- In United States constitutional law, any legislative act that prescribes a punishment on one or more specific individuals or groups or denies them of civil or political rights without a trial or other judicial proceeding. Such enactments are prohibited by the United States Constitution. See also attainder, bill of pains and particulars, and civil death.