Trial Judge Must Consider All Possible Alternatives Before Declaring a Mistrial
In Thomason v. State, 620 So. 2d 1234, 1239 (Fla. 1993), the Supreme Court of Florida stated:
"The double jeopardy provision of the Florida Constitution requires a trial judge to consider and reject all possible alternatives before declaring a mistrial over the objection of the defendant . . . ."
The Court further stated, "By failing to consider and reject all possible alternatives to a mistrial, including a continuance, the trial judge did not meet the requirement of manifest necessity and double jeopardy barred retrial." Id. at 1240.
This argument must fail for two reasons.
First, the mistrial was not declared "over the objection of the defendant."
The trial court did not need to consider possible alternatives because the defendant moved for the mistrial. Second, as discussed above, an illness of a juror qualifies as a manifest necessity.
This Court has held that "if the trial court . . . properly declares a mistrial based upon sufficient record evidence . . . then double jeopardy does not attach." Lebron v. Florida, 799 So. 2d 997, 1011 (Fla. 2001).