Former Quebec Court of Appeal judge Jacques Delisle will not face a second trial.
The 86-year-old, who was convicted of his wife’s death in 2009, is now free after Quebec Superior Court Judge Jean-Francois Émond granted a stay of legal proceedings against him.
In his decision, Émond agreed with Delisle’s argument that a second trial would not be fair because Crown experts made serious mistakes in the original pathology report that led to his conviction in 2012.
Delisle attended the judgment at the Quebec courthouse with his son and daughter. The group cheered and hugged after hearing the decision.
“He is 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 in peace with his family,” Roy said. Delisle will be 87 next month.
Crown Attorney Francois Godin said he and his colleagues would take the time to read the 99-page decision before determining whether to appeal the decision.
Free after 10 years
In 2012, Delisle was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2009 death of his wife, Marie Nicole Rainville, and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years.
But the ex-judge has always claimed his innocence, saying that this 49-year-old wife committed suicide.
In April 2021, Federal Justice Minister David Lametti ordered a new trial 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 thereafter. He had spent nine years in prison.
At a hearing in November, Delisle’s attorneys argued that errors in some evidence led to their client’s conviction. They said these errors made by Crown experts would make it difficult to ensure the fairness of a new trial. They also argued that there had been unreasonable delays in the case.
Crown prosecutors argued that a new trial was necessary due to 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 declined to hear his case in December 2013.