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a person arraigned on indictment who refuses to answer a charge.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

MUTE, persons. One who is dumb. Vide Deaf and Dumb.

MUTE, STANDING MUTE, practice, crim. law. When a prisoner upon his arraignment totally refuses to answer, insists upon mere frivolous pretences, or refuses to put himself upon the country, after pleading not guilty, he is said to stand mute.
     2. In the case of the United States v. Hare, et al., Circuit Court, Maryland Dist. May sess. 1818, the prisoner standing mute was considered as if he had pleaded not guilty.
     3. The act of congress of March 3, 1825, 3 Story's L. U. S. 2002, has since provided as follows; Sec. 14, That if any person, upon his or her arraignment upon any indictment before any court of the United States for any offence, not capital, shall stand mute, or will not answer or plead to such indictment, the court shall, notwithstanding, proceed to the trial of the person, so standing mute, or refusing to answer or pleas, as if he or she had pleaded not guilty; and upon a verdict being returned by the jury, may proceed to render judgment accordingly. A similar provision is to be found in the laws of Pennsylvania.
     4. The barbarous punishment of peine forte et dure which till lately disgraced the criminal code of England, was never known in the United States. Vide Dumb; 15 Vin. Ab. 527.
     5. When a prisoner stands mute, the laws of England arrive at the forced conclusion that he is guilty, and punish him accordingly. 1 Chit. Cr. Law, 428.
     6. By the old French law, when a person accused was mute, or stood mute, it was the duty of the judge to appoint him a curator, whose duty it was to defend him, in the best manner he could; and for this purpose, he was allowed to communicate with him privately. Poth. Proced. Crim. s. 4, art. 2, Sec. 1.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
So, for example, if you mute "unicorn" you're also going to be muting #unicorn.
Type in the word or hashtag you'd like to mute. Entries can only be added one a time.
Users have to go to the tab where the site they want to mute is.
Farm for Mutes is a refreshing read for readers who like their literary escapades with a touch of weird.
These experiments show that, of the mutes tested, only the Yamaha Silent Brass mute attenuated sound enough to keep sound levels at or below 85 dB at the music stand.
In this article, I have offered "dumb" (no pun intended) readings of Epicene and Titus Andronicus that consider the potential effects and significance that gestures performed by stage mutes may have had in early modern theater.
The mere possibility of a mute air over the spine followed by a sweeper disaster gave hope that the slash and bash hadn't been completely extinguished by Mullen and his ilk, and the bowls were held up as a holy grail for the faithful.
While the use of everyday materials was common, there were also specially made mutes. At least three small pear-shaped wooden mutes have survived from the late 18th or early 19th century.(43) Since all three are located in England, it may be that the use of such mutes was most common there.
To use the feature, you will need to add words or phrases to your Mute list by going to the settings in the Notifications tab.
A new control within Ads Settings will enable you to mute Snow Boot Co.'s reminder ads."
Twitter is trialling a feature in its mobile apps that allows users to mute accounts that are becoming irritating, according to online reports.