Bill of attainder

1  : a legislative act formerly permitted that attainted a person and imposed a sentence of death without benefit of a judicial trial
see also attainder
compare bill of pains and penalties in this entry
2  : a legislative act that imposes any punishment on a named or implied individual or group without a trial
Bills of attainder are prohibited by Article I of the U.S. Constitution.

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Based on Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©2001.
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Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.