Another type of dead hand, according to Merriam Webster
Dictionary, Tenth Edition1
is "the oppressive influence of the past
Warning: The below is highly questionable opinion (keep in mind that, "Rascality has limits; stupidity has not." -Napoleon Bonaparte
Assuming that the past can't be changed, we are forced to deal with the present we are given/we have chosen, whoever or whatever it was shaped by (including ourselves).
d notions, ethical questions, and people's actions based on the past often must be dealt with. If only we could go back into the past and change it so that we didn't have to deal with the notions, etc., or make them easier to deal with. But while the past forces us to deal with what it has given us, it can sometimes help us to successfully deal with the past by teaching us lessons and showing us how we might succeed.
"dead hand." Merriam- Webster's collegiate dictionary. Editor
in Chief Frederick C. Mish. 10th ed. 1993.