Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Corruption of the Blood

A few sentences from Wikipedia.
Bill of Attainder. A bill of attainder (also known as an act or writ of attainder) was an act of legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime, and punishing them, without benefit of a trial. The United States Constitution forbids both the federal and state governments from enacting bills of attainder, in Article 1, Sections 9 and 10, respectively. They were abolished in the United Kingdom in 1870.
The word "attainder", meaning "taintedness", is part of English common law. Under English law, a criminal condemned for some crime, usually treason, could be declared "attainted", meaning that his civil rights were nullified: he could no longer own property or pass property to his family by will or testament. His property would consequently revert to the Crown. Any peerage titles would also revert to the Crown. The convicted person might also be punished in other ways; for example, in the case of attainder for treason, he could be executed.
Bills of attainder evolved into a convenient way for the King to convict subjects of crimes, and confiscate their property, without the bother of a trial--and without the need for a conviction, or indeed any evidence at all.

"Second hand smoke kills 38,000 people a year"...

Smokers are declared "attainted" in St. Paul, 4-3.

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