Home >> Bouvier's Law Dictionary >> Allegiance to And The Manner Of >> Attainder

Attainder

guilty, person and bish

ATTAINDER. That extinction of civil rights and capacities which takes Place whenever a person who has committed trea son or felony receives sentence of death for his crime. 1 Steph. Corn. 408 ; 1 Bish. Cr. L. 641.

Attainder by confession is either by plead ing 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.

Attainder by verdict is when the prisoner at the bar pleads not guilty to the indict ment, and is pronounced guilty by the ver dict of the jury.

Attainder by process or outlawry is when the party flies, and is subsequently outlawed. Coke, Litt. 391.

The effect of attainder upon a felon is, in general terms, that all. his estate, real and personal, is forfeited; that his blood is cor rupted, so that nothing passes by inherit ance to, from, or throlgh him ; 1 Wms. Saund. 361, m ; 6 Coke 63 a, 68 b; 2 Rob.

Eccl. 547; 22 Eng. & Eq. 598; that he cannot sue in a court of justice ; Co. Litt. 130 a. See 1 Bish. Cr. Law, 641.

In England, by statute 33 & 34 Viet. c. 23, attainder upon conviction, with consequent corruption of blood, forfeiture, or escheat, is abolished.

In the United States, the doctrine of at tainder is now scarcely known, although during and shortly after the Revolution acts of attainder were passed by 'several of the states. The passage of such bills is ex pressly forbidden by the constitution.

Under the Confiscation Act of July 17, 1862, which imposed the penalty of con fiscation of property as a punishment for treason and rebellion, all that could be sold was a right to the property seized, terminat ing with the life of the person for whose offence it was seized; Bigelow v.. Forrest, 9 Wall. (U. S.) 339, 19 L. Ed. 696.