Corruption of Blood


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Corruption of Blood

In English Law, the result of attainder, in that the attainted person lost all rights to inherit land or other hereditaments from an ancestor, to retain possession of such property and to transfer any property rights to anyone, including heirs, by virtue of his or her conviction for Treason or a felony punishable by death, because the law considered the person's blood tainted by the crime.

Attainder and the consequent corruption of the blood were abolished by English statutes and are virtually unknown in the United States.

CORRUPTION OF BLOOD,, English crim. law. The incapacity to inherit, or pass an inheritance, in consequence of an attainder to which the party has been subject
     2. When this consequence flows from an attainder, the party is stripped of all honors and dignities he possessed, and becomes ignoble.
     3. The Constitution of the United States, Amendm. art. 5, provides, that no person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval, forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger" and by art. 3, s. 3, n. 2, it is declared that "no attainder of treason shall work. corruption of blood, or forfeiture, except during the life of the person attainted."
     4. The Constitution of Pennsylvania, art. 9, s. 19, directs that "no attainder shall work corruption of blood." 3 Cruise, 240, 378 to 381, 473 1 Cruise, 52 1 Chit. Cr. Law, 740; 4 Bl. Com. 388.