Former judge Jacques Delisle released from detention

Former judge Jacques Delisle released from detention

Former judge Jacques Delisle pleaded guilty Thursday to the manslaughter of his wife. He was handcuffed and taken into custody, before emerging a free man just a few hours later.

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This saga, which will have marked the legal annals of Quebec, ended Thursday morning with the conviction of Jacques Delisle, almost 15 years after the death of his wife, Nicole Rainville, on November 12, 2009.

Screenshot, TVA News

“Guilty,” confirmed the 88-year-old man in a firm voice, a statement that contrasted with his speech in recent years, which positioned him as the victim of a miscarriage of justice.

Before pronouncing the sentence, the magistrate offered the accused to speak, which he declined.

Stevens LeBlanc / Le Journal de Québec

The parties suggested an overall sentence of 8 years and 311 days of detention, one day more than what Jacques Delisle has already served in prison, following his conviction for the premeditated murder of his wife in 2012.

  • Listen to the legal segment with Nicole Gibeault via

Administrative reasons explain the need for this additional day of detention, the parties explained.

Justice Étienne Parent welcomed this common suggestion. The condemned man, visibly confused because of his deafness problems, then walked slowly towards detention.

“Jacques Delisle did not leave free, he did not leave innocent. That, in itself, is unprecedented for someone who claimed to be the victim of a miscarriage of justice to plead guilty and receive a sentence,” commented the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions, Mr.e Patrick Michel.

Photo Stevens LeBlanc

Jacques Delisle’s detention was nevertheless short-lived. Barely four and a half hours after his conviction, around 3 p.m., the octogenarian regained his freedom. Escorted by his son-in-law, he took a seat in a car driven by his son, before leaving the courthouse to return to his residence, where he will be able to reconnect with his daily life.

“Agree to disagree”

Surprisingly, this settlement comes as the parties still cannot agree on the events that led to the death of Nicole Rainville.

“A bit like the English say: We agree to disagree», imagined the Crown prosecutor, Mr.e François Godin, at a press briefing.

On the one hand, the Crown is still convinced that Jacques Delisle caused the death of his wife and that if a second trial took place, he “could be found guilty again of premeditated murder,” argued Mr.e Godin.

On the other hand, the defense maintains that Jacques Delisle would have provided a loaded weapon to his wife, who could no longer bear life, and who then ended her life.

“The bottom line is that he helped his wife commit suicide,” summarized Jacques Delisle’s lawyer, Mr.e Jacques Larochelle.

Their theses, although divergent and refuted on both sides, nevertheless agree on one point: they both legally correspond to the definition of the accusation of involuntary homicide.

“The parties may not agree on a factual framework, but arrive at the same legal conclusion,” explained Mr.e Godin at a press briefing, adding that this result is neither usual nor common, but that in this case, this outcome was “in the best interests of justice”.

For mee Larochelle however, the “logical” charge would have been a charge of assisted suicide, which the Crown opposed.

“But as the result is the same, that is to say one day of detention, I did not fight it,” commented Jacques Delisle’s lawyer.

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