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Attainder

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Attainder

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.

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 condemnation. 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.

Origin: OF. Ataindre, ateindre, to accuse, convict. Attainder is often erroneously referred to f. Teindre tie stain. See attaint, attain.