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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 ?
Rock Album: ``The Delivery Man,'' Elvis Costello and the Imposters; ``American Idiot,'' Green Day; ``The Reason,'' Hoobastank; ``Hot Fuss,'' the Killers; ``Contraband,'' Velvet Revolver.
12) English law specifically conveyed feudal property of an idiot to the king's custody during the lifetime of the person; after death it was returned to the idiot's heirs.
Only an idiot would not have expected this series eventually to branch out into mainline religion.
Maybe then we could do away with Z-rated celebrities in jungles and idiots dancing on ice.
Karl Pilkington has become a lot more famous since his satellite television series An Idiot Abroad took off.
It's like therapy to just be a complete idiot with my friends and it's fantastic.
In the Munnabhai series, it was the ideology of Mahatma Gandhi, while in his latest venture 3 Idiots, he wants the world to know what it really means to be an " idiot".
TOLD By An Idiot returns to the Unity with what is being billed as one of the highlights of the theatre's autumn season.
The idiot on the motorbike sped off, leaving my boyfriend writhing in agony in the gutter.
Philip Ferguson's work is important because it draws a distinction between mental illness and mental retardation, in today's terminology, and between the idiot and the insane of the past.
I was sat behind that absolute idiot of a man who shouted all the way through like a child wanting a picture.