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Sticking to Procedure

After the defendant, Siale Angilau, an alleged gang member on trial in federal court in Utah for racketeering conspiracy, became so disruptive today that the proceedings had to be ended, the judge sua sponte declared a mistrial, saying, "The court finds that this occurrence in the courtroom would so prejudice Mr. Angilau as to deprive him of a fair trial."

Well, yes, that's one way to put it. The "occurrence in the courtroom" was that Angilau charged the witness stand so suddenly and aggressively that a courtroom deputy had to shoot him. He died in the hospital shortly afterward.  CNN has the story.

And, yes, I suppose the thing to do is to declare a mistrial, since the jury might indeed draw some conclusions about Mr. Nicey.  On the other hand, I think the court can now withdraw the mistrial order as moot.

P.S.  Maybe the Innocence Project can add this one to their "exoneration" list, since the trial ended without a resolution favorable to the prosecution, and the government is unable to pursue a second trial.

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