We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a New Trial?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A new trial is a repeat of a legal trial, conducted because of a flaw or problem with the original. Courts only grant requests for new trials in very special circumstances, as they are expensive and there may be civil rights concerns about dragging out the legal process or retrying an accused person. In the United States, for example, a new trial after an acquittal would be considered double jeopardy under the Constitution, and would not be permissible.

There are three different reasons why a court may agree to conduct a new trial. The first is the lack of a verdict in the original trial as a result of a hung jury. Juries may hang, meaning that they are unable to reach agreement on a verdict, in a variety of circumstances. Judges typically encourage them to renegotiate and work with each other on an agreement, but they cannot compel juries to agree, and may decide to end the trial when it is clear that the jury will never reconcile its differences. A trial may also lack a verdict if something occurs to stop it partway through, such as a prejudicial event that would make it impossible for the trial to continue with the same jury.

Another reason for a new trial is an order from an appellate court. A convicted person has the right to appeal, and in the appeal hearing, she will present information to compel the court to overturn the original verdict. The court may agree to reverse the conviction and follow with an order to the original court to repeat the trial. The purpose of the new trial is to achieve a fair verdict, and the appellate court can issue a warning reminding the lower court about certain aspects of trial procedure, such as the need to word jury instructions with more care.

Finally, a trial may have a legal defect so profound that the verdict cannot be allowed to stand. A judge can review the facts of the case to decide if a defect was minor and the outcome would likely have been the same, or if it was significant enough to impede the course of justice. A defense attorney sleeping through a trial, for example, would be grounds for a new trial, as would the introduction of fabricated evidence to support a key point upon which a conviction hinges.

New trials are not desirable because of the expense and investment of labor, but the court will move forward with a new trial if it is necessary to make sure someone receives fair treatment in the justice system.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By Wisedly33 — On Jan 20, 2014

A murder case in my hometown was overturned because the prosecution didn't turn over evidence that could have changed the outcome. The defense knew an FBI profile of the murderer had been done, but they had never seen the report. The prosecution threw up their hands and said they never got the report. About three days after the guilty verdict, the report in question turned up on the judge's desk. After a fair amount of legal wrangling, the defendant was granted a new trial. That round ended in a mistrial, setting the stage for a third trail. He was acquitted the third time. It was a mess.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Read more
WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.