Flouting the rule of law
I've been following the Razor Wire vs. Rivanna Trail case [Cover story, "Slashed: Presley's razor wire claims collateral damage," December 9, 2004]. In a normal world, when a court finds an alleged criminal innocent, that's the end of the story. The prosecutor cannot appeal. Only the accused has the right of appeal.
The court's decision would be final if we lived under rule of law, but in this case, the city has decided to rewrite the law to apply to one person.
A bill of attainder is a legislative act that specifically names individuals to be in commission of a crime and subject to prosecution. The difference between the new ordinance and a bill of attainder is that the ordinance will not come right out and say Shirley Presley is in violation of this new law.