Crown appeals Jacques Delisle case

Ex-Judge Jacques Delisle is not done with justice. The Crown is appealing the stay of proceedings ordered against the 86-year-old man, three weeks after he was released from first-degree murder charges.

• Also read: “Unacceptable negligence” in the laboratory: Ex-Judge Delisle, not an isolated case

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The appeal was filed at the Quebec Courthouse office late Thursday morning.

In particular, the Crown argues that Judge Jean-François Émond’s decision “deprives society of the benefit of a new trial in which all admissible evidence supporting the murder charge could have been presented publicly and evaluated by twelve citizens”.

As a result, “the fundamental process of seeking truth is hampered; which, in this context, is likely to endanger public confidence in the administration of justice,” continue prosecutors on the case, Me François Godin and Me Julien-Beauchamp-Laliberté.

Recall that on April 8, Supreme Court Justice Jean-François Émond ordered a stay of trial against Jacques Delisle, citing the “unacceptable negligence” of a Crown expert in the case.

Among other things, the pathologist of the laboratory for law and forensic medicine would have refrained from collecting, photographing and documenting the brain slices of the deceased at the time of their autopsy.

This “gross negligence” would have deprived the defense of “highly relevant” evidence as it could have clarified the firing angle and trajectory of the bullet. These questions were important in explaining the thesis of murder or suicide.

The Crown believes that Judge Émond erred in law as to the existence of fault or abuse by the State in concluding that the pathologist in this case was “unacceptably negligent”.

He also erred in law by concluding that the trial would be “inevitably unfair,” thereby justifying a stay of the trial before all the evidence had been presented to the jury.

The Crown argues that Judge Émond “ruled prematurely matters that should have been decided by a jury” and that he gave “undue importance” to the prosecution’s expertise in the issue of the angle shots.

She asserts that murder remains a possible jury verdict, given all of the prosecution’s evidence, and that no expert to date has ruled out the possibility.

Continuation of the saga

Recall that in 2012 Jacques Delisle was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years for the first degree murder of his wife.

After exhausting all legal remedies against this judgment, Jacques Delisle submitted an application for revision to the Federal Minister of Justice. He also provided his version of the facts for the first time, he who had not testified at the time of his trial.

This version of events would be “inconsistent with important aspects of his defense presented at the first trial,” the Crown argues in its appeal.

On April 7, 2021, the Attorney General ordered a new trial in the case, saying he was convinced a likely miscarriage of justice had been committed. After nine years in prison, Jacques Delisle was released on parole.

In August 2021, the ex-judge’s lawyers filed a motion to stay the case, which was heard in November. On April 8, Judge Émond accepted the defense’s arguments and ordered a stay of the trial.

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