Prosecutorial misconduct that leads to a mistrial is not enough to bar retrial on double jeopardy grounds unless there is evidence that the prosecutor “intended to goad the defendant into requesting a mistrial,” the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.

In United States v. Williams, a unanimous three-judge panel reversed a decision by Senior U.S. District Judge John P. Fullam to dismiss an indictment on the grounds that a mistrial was “intentionally triggered by the prosecutor” when he asked a question about the defendant’s prior drug convictions soon after being instructed not to do so.

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