Jacques Delisle Receives a Stay of Proceedings - Quebec Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions Appeals the Decision
On April 8th, 2022, the Quebec Superior Court entered a stay of proceedings on Mr. Jacques Delisle’s first degree murder charge. Unfortunately, on April 28th, 2022, the Quebec Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions filed notice that they will appeal the decision.
Mr. Delisle, a retired Justice of the Quebec Court of Appeal, was convicted of first-degree murder in 2012 in the death of his wife, Nicole Rainville. Ms. Rainville took her own life on November 12, 2009.
On April 7, 2021, Federal Justice Minister David Lametti ordered a new trial for Mr. Delisle after concluding that a miscarriage of justice likely occurred in his trial. The Minister came to this decision after considering a s.696.1 application that was submitted by James Lockyer on Mr. Delisle’s behalf in 2015. The application was supported by new expert evidence that was not before the courts at Mr. Delisle’s trial or at his appeal.
On April 9, 2021, the day after the Minister’s decision, Innocence Canada counsel James Lockyer and Quebec counsel Jacques Larochelle secured Mr. Delisle’s release pending the new trial ordered by Minister Lametti.
On April 8, 2022, Justice Émond, writing in the Superior Court's 99-page ruling, found that “society has no interest in a trial that will inexorably prove to be unfair. The social interest of a final judgment ruling on the merits and the process of finding the truth cannot prevail if the fairness of the trial is irreparably compromised by the fault of the state.”
After the stay was granted, Lockyer reflects: “It has been a long ordeal for Mr. Delisle and his family. Fortunately, they have had the strength to endure it and I wish them all the best in the future. Mr. Delisle is the victim of a wrongful conviction, and his case reminds us how our criminal justice system is human and therefore fallible.”
Innocence Canada will be watching the next steps in Mr. Delisle's proceedings with interest and concern.