Bill Of Attainder Legal Meaning and Definition

Here is a simplified definition of the legal term Bill Of Attainder.

Bill Of Attainder (noun)

A Bill Of Attainder is a law passed by the legislature that finds a person or group guilty of a crime and punishes them without a trial. This type of law bypasses the judicial system altogether. It does not give the individual or group the opportunity to present their case or defend themselves in front of a neutral party, a cornerstone of many legal systems. The framers of many constitutions, including the United States', have outrightly prohibited these types of laws because of their oppressive uses in history. Particularly, English governments during the 18th century were known to use Bills of Attainder to suppress political enemies.