No 2nd trial for ex-Quebec judge once convicted in wife’s death

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Former Quebec Court of Appeal judge Jacques Delisle will not be facing a second trial.

The 86-year-old man, who was convicted in the 2009 death of his wife, is now free after Quebec Superior Court Justice Jean-François Émond granted a stay in the legal proceedings against him.

In his decision, Émond said he agreed with Delisle’s argument that a second trial would not be fair because the Crown’s experts made serious mistakes in the original pathology report that led to his conviction in 2012.

Delisle, who was released from prison in April 2021 to await a new trial, attended the ruling at the Quebec City courthouse with his son and his daughter. The group cheered and embraced upon hearing the ruling.

WATCH | Jacques Delisle exits courthouse after learning he won’t face 2nd trial:

Jacques Delisle walks a free man

Former judge Jacques Delisle walks out of a Quebec City courthouse towards ‘peaceful days with his family’ after proceedings were dropped in his 2009 murder case. 0:59

“He’s very happy,” said defense attorney Maxime Roy, one of Delisle’s lawyers.

“He just wants to move on and spend the rest of his days peacefully with his family,” Roy said. Delisle turns 87 next month.

Defense attorney Maxime Roy, who represented Jacques Delisle at the April 8 hearing, said his client is happy. ‘He just wants to move on,’ said Roy. (Sylvain Roy Roussel/Radio-Canada)

Crown prosecutor François Godin said he and his colleagues would take some time to read the 99-page ruling before determining whether they will appeal the decision.

Free after 10 years

In 2012, Delisle was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2009 death of his wife, 71-year-old Marie Nicole Rainville, and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

But the ex-judge always maintained his innocence, claiming that this wife of 49 years died by suicide.

In April 2021, federal Justice Minister David Lametti ordered a retrial after new information about the case came to light. Lametti concluded that “a miscarriage of justice likely occurred” in the case.

Delisle was released on bail shortly after. He had spent nine years in prison.

Jacques Delisle, a former Quebec Court of Appeal justice, is seen at the Quebec courthouse in September 2021. Delisle’s lawyers argued that there were mistakes in some of the evidence that led to their client’s initial conviction. (Radio Canada)

At a hearing in November, Delisle’s lawyers argued that mistakes in some of the evidence led to their client’s conviction. They said those errors made by the Crown experts would make it difficult to ensure the fairness of a new trial. They also argued there have been unreasonable delays in the case.

Crown prosecutors argued that a new trial was necessary because of the seriousness of the charges.

This is not the first time Delisle has fought to have his conviction overturned. He appealed to the Supreme Court, which refused to hear his case in December 2013.

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