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Q. When a case goes to trial and the result is a mistrial, what's the next step in the legal process? -- Anonymous
A. A mistrial occurs when the court ends a trial before its natural conclusion. Among the more common reasons for granting a mistrial are improper, prejudicial evidence coming before the jury or the jury being unable to reach a verdict. A mistrial can be granted by a request of the defendant or the prosecution or by the Court on it’s own initiative.
When a mistrial is declared, the jury is discharged, and, depending on the reason for the mistrial, the Court either will direct that the trial begin again with a new jury or dismiss the charges.
The determination of whether a new trial or dismissal is granted is based upon the Double Jeopardy clause to the U.S. and state constitutions, which provide that a person cannot be tried twice for the same offense, and that a defendant has the right to have his trial determined by the original jury.
Generally, if the defendant requests the mistrial, a new trial will be ordered. If the prosecution requests the mistrial, the defendant only will be ordered to stand trial again if the mistrial resulted from some kind of manifest necessity. A manifest necessity is something that happens during the trial that makes it impossible for justice to be obtained.
A deadlocked jury is an example of a manifest necessity. In this event, the defendants right to have the trial concluded by the original jury is considered outweighed by the public interest in allowing the prosecution one full opportunity to present its case.
When the mistrial occurs from prosecutorial error, usually the defendant can be retried. The exception, however, is in cases where the prosecution deliberately provokes a mistrial. If the prosecution intentionally commits misconduct because of a belief that the trial isn’t going well and the defendant is likely to be acquitted, the Court will not allow the prosecution to potentially benefit from its misconduct through a retrial. If this happens, the charges should be dismissed.
A second exception, but only in some states, is where there has been gross negligence by the prosecution or the judge. -- Jeralyn Merritt
Originally posted by nephyx
So if the Judge doesnt rule according to your wishes he must be a bad judge?