University of Virginia Library

Search this document 
The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

collapse sectionA. 
609. ATTAINDER, Bills of.—
expand sectionB. 
expand sectionC. 
expand sectionD. 
expand sectionE. 
expand sectionF. 
expand sectionG. 
expand sectionH. 
expand sectionI. 
expand sectionJ. 
expand sectionK. 
expand sectionL. 
expand sectionM. 
expand sectionN. 
expand sectionO. 
expand sectionP. 
expand sectionQ. 
expand sectionR. 
expand sectionS. 
expand sectionT. 
expand sectionU. 
expand sectionV. 
expand sectionW. 
expand sectionX. 
expand sectionY. 
expand sectionZ. 

expand section 
expand section 

609. ATTAINDER, Bills of.—

The occasion
and proper office of a bill of attainder
is this: When a person charged with a
crime withdraws from justice, or resists it by
force, either in his own or a foreign country,
no other recourse of bringing him to trial or
punishment being practicable, a special act
is passed by the legislature adapted to the
particular case. This prescribes to him a
sufficient time to appear and submit to a
trial by his peers; declares that his refusal to
appear shall be taken as a confession of guilt,
as in the ordinary case of an offender at the
bar refusing to plead, and pronounces the
sentence which would have been rendered on
his confession or conviction in a court of
law. No doubt that these acts of attainder
have been abused in England as instruments
of vengeance by a successful over a defeated
party. But what institution is insusceptible
of abuse in wicked hands?—
To L. H. Girardin. Washington ed. vi, 440. Ford ed., ii, 151.
(M. 1815)