mistrial

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mistrial

1. a trial made void because of some error, such as a defect in procedure
2. (in the US) an inconclusive trial, as when a jury cannot agree on a verdict
References in periodicals archive ?
Intentional prosecutorial misconduct in the submission of evidence, like misconduct that manipulates mistrial rules, triggers serious concerns of state oppression through abuse of the criminal process.
Under existing doctrine, the defendant in such a case faces a no-win situation similar to that of the defendant in the mistrial context:[98] he either must endure a second prosecution at the hands of the State or accept a conviction that could not have been secured in the absence of the prosecutor's intentional misconduct.
Arguably, Kennedy extends double jeopardy protection only to "cases in which the conduct giving rise to the successful motion for a mistrial was intended to provoke the defendant into moving for a mistrial.
Intent to trigger a mistrial, intent to avoid a fair acquittal, and intent to secure an unfair conviction are merely specific instances of an overriding intent to subvert the protections afforded by the Double Jeopardy Clause by denying a defendant the benefit of his first tribunal.
The Kennedy Court based its narrow intent standard largely on the worry that a broader "overreaching" standard would greatly increase the number of mistrial requests and subsequent double jeopardy claims in trial courts as well as encourage trial judges to deny defendants' mistrial requests.
These positions are apparently contrary to those of the Seventh and Fourth Circuits, both of which have found that a defendant who did not move for a mistrial on the basis of intentional prosecutorial misconduct cannot claim a double jeopardy bar to retrial after his conviction is reversed on that ground.
See Ponsoldt, supra note 10, at 94-97 (surveying the development of the Court's treatment of prosecutorial misconduct in double jeopardy mistrial cases); Westen & Drubel, supra note 27, at 85 "[T]he Court has had more experience [with the problems of reprosecution following mistrial] and its analysis of this aspect of double jeopardy is more mature.
T]here would be great difficulty in applying [the traditional rules] where the prosecutor's actions giving rise to the motion for mistrial were done "in order to goad the [defendant] "into requesting a mistrial.
For, absent a bar to reprosecution, the defendant would simply play into the prosecutor's hands by moving for a mistrial.
The rationale for the exception to the general rule permitting retrial after a mistrial declared with the defendant's consent is illustrated by the situation in which the prosecutor commits prejudicial error with the intent to provoke a mistrial.