Excerpt from The Constitutionality and Legality of Confiscations in Fee Now, as the first of these two ways of effecting an attainder is expressly prohibited by the Constitution, it follows, irresistibly, that the attainder of treason, corruption of blood, &c., mentioned in the Constitution, could only be had or brought about, as a resulting consequence, as at Common Law, from a sentence of death, for, that universally conceded highest of crimes, treason. An attainder of treason, then, as mentioned in the Constitution, only relates to attainder as at Common Law. And, by the Common Law, a man was said to be attainted only when sentence of death was passed upon him. Attainder was a consequence resulting from a sentence of death; and corruption of blood and forfeiture of the real estate of the offender followed (as a matter of course) from attainder. And these consequences of an attainder at Common Law extended in perpetuum. But the framers of the Constitution thought that the demands of public justice would be sufficiently satisfied, in the absence of express legislation on the subject, by tying up the corruption of blood and the forfeiture of estate, as a resulting consequence from an attainder of treason, to the lifetime of the party attainted. Hence, the constitutional provision that attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture, except during the life of the person attainted. See 2 Sprague, 140-1. Congress has, therefore, power to confiscate the property of rebels and traitors, in fee, for treason. And to fully understand and comprehend this important question, it is necessary to bear in mind that the Common Law forms the basis of the Constitution and laws of the United States. 1 Gallison's Rep., 489; 1 Baldwin's R., 559; 2 Pet., 144; 5; Pet., 241; 8 Pet., 659; 3 Pet., 446. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art techlogy to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.