civil death

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Civil Death

The Forfeiture of rights and privileges of an individual who has been convicted of a serious crime.

Civil death is provided for by statute in some states. Most civil death statutes apply only to offenders who have been sentenced to a life term.

Civil death involves the imposition of numerous disabilities, including the denial of the privilege to vote, to hold public office, and to obtain many job and occupational licenses. In addition, an offender cannot enter into judicially enforceable agreements, such as contracts, and may not obtain insurance and Pension benefits. The offender may also be deprived of any right to commence certain lawsuits in court.

Successive marriages can also be affected by civil death laws. The issue is whether or not the spouse of a person declared civilly dead may enter into a subsequent marriage. The state courts are in disagreement on the matter, although, in most instances, where a felony is a ground for Divorce, the spouse of the convicted person may end the marriage.

civil death

the loss of all civil rights because of a serious conviction.

CIVIL DEATH, persons. The change of the state (q.v.) of a person who is declared civilly dead by judgment of a competent tribunal. In such case, the person against whom such sentence is pronounced is considered dead. 2 John. R. 218. See Gilb. Uses, 150; 2 Bulst. 188; Co. tit. 132; Jenk. Cent. 250; 1 Keble, 398; Prest. on Convey. 140. Vide Death, civil.

References in periodicals archive ?
Behrens notes that an imposition of civil death was an alternative, rather than an addition, to other forms of public punishment, such as hanging and mutilation.
Curtailed access to education compliments disfranchisement in the scenario of civil death and must be addressed in efforts to promote and enhance the civic capacity and participation of current and former prisoners.
The flashy lifestyle in a country where the twin threats of famine and more civil deaths are looming large have raised concerns among local population about children dreaming of turning into pirates.