bill of attainder

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A law that indicates the guilt of an individual without trial. In effect, this transfers the functions of ascertaining guilt and sentencing from the judiciary to the legislature. Under Article One, sections nine and ten of the US Constitution, ‘No Bill of Attainder shall be passed by either Congress or State legislature’. Acts of Attainder were employed by the British Parliament between the fifteenth and early eighteenth century, but have not been used since.

Subjects: Politics.

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