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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 ?
Linear regressions of the elevation reached by high tides on the stakes against the elevations reached by high tides on the coast were compared among sites using Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) to determine whether the degree of muting varied among sites.
The greatest muting of tides occurred at CM, TE1, and TE2; high tides at these sites were ~0.3 m lower than the same tides along the open coast.
Of Altenburg's reasons for muting, the first, which does not seem to have been applied to the oboe, is practical, the second is expressive and the final three are both musical and technical.
Musical-technical reasons were occasionally given for the muting of the oboe in the 18th century.
Google's muting option comes after Apple rolled out ( similar Safari features in November when Safari 11 was released.
That's correct, as much as the release date of Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the biggest entertainment story this week you can avoid The Last Jedi spoilers by muting all things related to the film.
An upcoming version of the popular web browser Google Chrome will do away with one of the more annoying aspects of the modern web by ( automatically muting tabs that have sound that plays automatically.
Muting that content by default should make the web a better place for those users.
Currently, the broader muting feature is available in ( Chrome Canary , Google's experimental version of the Chrome browser for workshopping new and in-development features.
For starters, it must be pointed out that muting any content does not actually make the content invisible to you, it only mutes the notification of such content.