Idiot

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IDIOT, Persons. A person who has been without understanding from his nativity, and whom the law, therefore, presumes never likely to attain any. Shelf. on Lun. 2.
     2. It is an imbecility or sterility of mind, and not a perversion of the understanding. Chit. Med. Jur. 345, 327, note s; 1 Russ. on Cr. 6; Bac. Ab. h.t. A; Bro. Ab. h.t.; Co. Litt. 246, 247; 3 Mod. 44; 1 Vern. 16; 4 Rep. 126; 1 Bl. Com. 302. When a man cannot count or number twenty, nor tell his father's or mother's name, nor how old he is, having been frequently told of it, it is a fair presumption that, he is devoid of understanding. F. N. B. 233. Vide 1 Dow, P. C. now series, 392; S. C. 3 Bligh, R. new series, 1. Persons born deaf, dumb, and blind, are, presumed to be idiots, for the senses being the only inlets of knowledge, and these, the most important of them, being closed, all ideas and associations belonging to them are totally excluded from their minds. Co. Litt. 42 Shelf. on Lun. 3. But this is a mere presumption, which, like most others, may be rebutted; and doubtless a person born deaf, dumb, and blind, who could be taught to read and write, would not be considered an idiot. A remarkable instance of such an one may be found in the person of Laura Bridgman, who has been taught how to converse and even to write. This young woman was, in the year 1848, at school at South Boston. Vide Locke on Human Understanding, B. 2 c. 11, Sec. 12, 13; Ayliffe's Pand. 234; 4 Com. Dig. 610; 8 Com. Dig. 644.
     3. Idiots are incapable of committing crimes, or entering into contracts. They cannot of course make a will; but they may acquire property by descent.
     Vide, generally, 1 Dow's Parl. Cas. new series, 392; 3 Bligh's R. 1; 19 Ves. 286, 352, 353; Stock on the Law of Non Compotes Mentis; Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.

References in periodicals archive ?
The New Theatre in Cardiff has announced its autumn/winter programme and on the slate are productions of Rain Man (September 29-October 3), in which Morrissey will play the role of idiot savant Raymond Babbit alongside Oliver Chris in the Tom Cruise shades, and a stage adaptation of prison comedy Porridge (November 3-7).
Demme, who was born in 1944 (in between George Harrison and Keith Moon), was a sort of idiot savant music-video genius, who in 1984 made the best ever rock concert movie, Talking Heads' "Stop Making Sense.
Moon Blake, the ten-year-old protagonist of this novel, is like an idiot savant.
Released from jail to his largest collector's farm, he struggles to reestablish his relevance while tending to his idiot savant brother Hugh.
Adom, from Atlanta, will be performing at the Nags Head, in Queens Road, Nuneaton, as part of a tour to promote their album Idiot Savant.
Dustin Hoffman may have set the course for these dysfunctional geniuses in Rain Man with his portrayal of an autistic idiot savant who can beat the house in Las Vegas but can't cross a street alone or tolerate missing an episode of The People's Court.
Indeed, it would be a surprise to find that Liam, who for much of his career has done a good impersonation of an idiot, has suddenly turned into an idiot savant.
It's about an idiot savant who wants to be an opera singer.
She contributed to the concept that Nijinsky was an idiot savant, a genius of dance but inept in social life.
In short, we were promised a child prodigy and got an idiot savant.
A week on Friday sees a return for the annual Idiot Savant Christmas Pageant, also at the Georgian.