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A special act of the legislature which inflicts a punishment, less than death, upon persons supposed to be guilty of high offences such as treason and felony without any conviction in the ordinary course of judicial proceedings. It differs from a bill of attainder in that the punishment inflicted by the latter is death.

The Constitution of the United States Provides that 'no bill of attainder shall be passed.' It has been judicially said by the Supreme Court of the United States, that 'a bill of attainder may affect the life of an individual, or it may confiscate his property, or both.' In the sense of the constitution, then it seems that bills of attainder include bills of pains and penalties.