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 ?
157) But at a deeper level, the issue is not just whether Europe imposes some analogue to civil death, but how Europe handles the terms of prisoner reentry.
On one side is capital punishment, LWOP, decade-plus imprisonment, the analogues to civil death, the sentencing guidelines insofar as they focus on offender characteristics, and three-strikes laws--all variations on a common theme of immutable criminality and its associated strategy of banishment.
historical punishment of civil death, its decline, and its revival in
Part II proposes that civil death should be constitutionally
implications of under-standing a civil death loss of legal status to be
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.
So civil death is, inherently, an artificial state, one engineered by the powerful through any number of means--denial of rights and privileges, restriction to certain places, or imprisonment, for example--to disenfranchise and create a powerless class.
Today civil death is most popularly associated with prison inmates, who lose a measure of their civil rights while incarcerated; and former convicts who have lost the right to vote or run for political office.
In the allegorical world of Piers Plowman, civil death describes the circumstances of both wives and monks during the Middle Ages.
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.
Indeed, there is a point at which civil death becomes civil genocide, or, the effective "whipping out" of a particular public within the body politic.
Oppressive regimes from chattel slavery to Jim Crow teach us that, even at the sites of greatest oppression, civil death is never complete.