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Definition of Mistrial

A mistrial is any courtroom trial which has ended prior to its normal conclusion. Mistrials are considered invalid trials and may be declared for a variety of reasons including: a jury has been selected incorrectly, there is a hung jury, the court lacks jurisdiction to prosecute the case, or there was an error in the court proceedings which prejudiced the jury against the defendant. Judges are supposed to exercise their right to declare a mistrial with extreme care and only if it is absolutely necessary.

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