bill of attainderbill of attainder
a legislative enactment by which a person, without benefit of a trial, is pronounced guilty of a crime, orig. a capital crime, esp. treason: prohibited in the U.S. by the Constitution
bill of attainder
nounpl. bills of attainder
A legislative act that pronounces a person guilty of a crime and imposes an attainder. The US Constitution prohibits bills of attainder.
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.