Jeff Manza and Christopher Uggen (2008) explain that "civil death" (Latin: civiliter mortuus
) and contemporary modern day variants of disenfranchisement laws are rooted in medieval Europe, evolving from ancient Greece's atimia and ancient Rome's infamia (Stanley & Weaver, 2014; Levine, 2009).
(143) The common law form of civil death was "attainder"; Lord Coke called the "attainted" offender "civiliter mortuus
" (144) (civilly dead) and Blackstone called him "dead in law." (145) Attainder had three principal incidents: forfeiture (the offender lost his property), "corruption of blood" (which meant among other things that the offender could not give or receive inheritance), and the extinction of most or all of the offender's civil rights (including rights incident to having a legally recognized identity, like the right to sue or serve as a witness).
Quiring also speaks of the idea of the civiliter mortuus
, which is the consequence of the delinquent's condemnation.
legem positus, and is accounted in law civiliter mortuus
," or, as
(8.) Civiliter mortuus
: instead of a beheading (capital punishment of decapitation), a person-by a proclamation of Civic death-was either physically expelled beyond the Roman Limes or the "outlawed" was punished by the general communication bar excommunication.
Every person so attained was 'disabled to bring any action; for he is extra legem positus and is accounted in law civiliter mortuus