|adj.||1.||both deaf and unable to speak; without the sense of hearing or the faculty of speech. Same as Deaf-mute.|
DEAF AND DUMB. No definition is requisite, as the words are sufficiently
known. A person deaf and dumb is doli capax but with such persons who have
not been educated, and who cannot communicate, their ideas in writing, a
difficulty sometimes arises on the trial.
2. A case occurred of a woman, deaf and dumb, who was charged with a crime. She was brought to the bar, and the indictment was then read to her, and the question, in the usual form, was put, guilty or not guilty ? The counsel for the prisoner then rose, and stated that he could not allow his client to plead to the indictment, until it was explained to her that she was at liberty to plead guilty or not guilty. This attempted to be done, but was found impossible, and she was discharged from the bar "simpliciter."
3. A person, deaf and dumb, may be examined as a witness, provided he can be sworn, that is, if he is capable of understanding the terms of the oath, and assents to it and if, after he is sworn, he can convey his ideas, with or without an interpreter, to the court and jury. Phil., Ev. 14.