Crown given more time to consider retrial for retired Quebec judge accused of murdering wife

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Retired Quebec Court of Appeal judge Jacques Delisle, now 86, was sentenced to life in prison after he was found guilty of murdering his wife in 2012. In April, however, the federal justice minister ordered a new trial, saying a miscarriage of justice may have occurred. (Radio-Canada - image credit)
Retired Quebec Court of Appeal judge Jacques Delisle, now 86, was sentenced to life in prison after he was found guilty of murdering his wife in 2012. In April, however, the federal justice minister ordered a new trial, saying a miscarriage of justice may have occurred. (Radio-Canada - image credit)

Crown prosecutors have been given three weeks to review the documents of former Quebec judge Jacques Delisle's case and decide whether to move ahead with a new trial for the murder of his wife.

The retired judge, now 86, appeared today in the same Quebec City courthouse where in 2012, he was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2009 death of his wife, Marie Nicole Rainville, and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

In April, however, the federal justice minister ordered a retrial after new information about the case came to light. David Lametti concluded that "a miscarriage of justice likely occurred" in Delisle's case, and a week later, the ex-judge was released on bail pending his new trial.

During his nine years behind bars, Delisle has maintained his innocence, claiming that his wife died by suicide with a gun belonging to her. Delisle is the only judge in Canada to have gone to prison for first-degree murder.

He exhausted all legal avenues after appealing his conviction to the Supreme Court, which refused to hear his case. His last recourse was a direct appeal to the federal justice minister for a ministerial review, which was submitted in the spring of 2015 and was successful.

Last month, Delisle's lawyers submitted a request for a stay of proceedings to the court, alleging there were mistakes in the original pathology report that helped lead to Delisle's conviction.

Crown prosecutors have until Oct. 1 to submit a decision. Should they choose to proceed with a trial, Delisle's next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 6.

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