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3 definitions found
 for attainder
From 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.
        [1913 Webster]
     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.
           [1913 Webster]
     2. A stain or staining; state of being in dishonor or
        condemnation. [Obs.]
        [1913 Webster]
              He lived from all attainder of suspect. --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
     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.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: cancellation of civil rights [syn: attainder, civil

From 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.

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