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In criminal law proceedings, a mistrial is declared when a case is dismissed before it has reached its regular end.

Mistrial:

Mistrial

In criminal law proceedings, a mistrial is declared when a case is dismissed before it has reached its regular end. A mistrial has no legal effect and is regarded as a void decision. With one important exception in the United States: the provision of double jeopardy contained in the Fifth Amendment prohibits retrial for the same offence if a mistrial is declared in error, against the defendant’s wishes, or because of prosecutorial or judicial misconduct. In other words, if a mistrial is declared because of prosecutorial or judicial misconduct, the judge will usually award retrial on the same subject.

The most typical incident that results in a mistrial is when a jury is unable to reach a unanimous decision on the verdict. This is referred to as a “hung jury,” and if no consensus can be reached despite repeated efforts, the court may declare a mistrial in this situation.

The possibility of a mistrial arises from a variety of circumstances, the majority of which are the result of a serious procedural mistake or professional misconduct. Sometimes, misbehaviour by a party to the trial, or by a jury, or by an outside player such as a member of the audience, might be so disruptive that it necessitates the declaration of a mistrial. An impasse is reached when a juror is disqualified and no replacement can be located, as well as when the litigants cannot agree on how to continue with the remaining jurors. A mistrial may be declared in this situation if no replacement can be found. When a court finds that it lacks jurisdiction over a matter in the midst of a trial, it is called a mistrial, and the case is thrown out entirely. A mistrial may be declared if it is revealed that members of the jury have discussed the matter in violation of court directions, or if it is discovered that a sequestered jury has had access to biassed media coverage of court proceedings. In addition, the untimely death of an attorney or other person to the trial may be grounds for declaring a mistrial in certain cases.