“Unacceptable negligence” in the laboratory: ex-judge Delisle, not a unique case

Jacques Delisle is an “exemplary case of the malfunctioning of the system”, considers his longtime lawyer, who says he is convinced that the ex-judge is not the only one in this situation.

• Read also: Delisle case: a public inquiry is called for

• Read also: Termination of proceedings: ex-judge Jacques Delisle is free

“Delisle is an example. But there are many others. The system is human, therefore very imperfect. It’s inevitable,” says M.and Jacques Larochelle, during a first interview granted since his client was released from the premeditated murder charge against him.

The one who has been alongside Jacques Delisle from the first day of this legal saga was not present when the stay of proceedings was pronounced. A “major” impediment held him back, he justified himself.

The renowned litigant became aware of the decision rendered by Judge Jean-François Émond the same evening. A “judgment of exceptional quality”, in which “everything has been carefully examined”, comments the one who has always been convinced of the innocence of his client.

“Problems” in the lab

In his decision, Judge Émond scolded the public prosecutor by asserting that an expert from the Laboratory of Forensic Sciences and Forensic Medicine (LSJML) had shown “unacceptable negligence” at the time of the autopsy of the deceased, which deprived Jacques Delisle of “highly relevant evidence”.

“There is a problem with the Laboratory, that is obvious”, comments Mand Larochelle.

The latter, however, is resigned to the situation. He is not convinced that a public inquiry would improve things, as claimed in our pages on Saturday by his colleague, lawyer James Lockyer.

Called to react to the criticisms addressed to the LSJML, Québec solidaire asks the Minister of Public Security Geneviève Guilbault to indicate “what she intends to do to shed light on what happened and so that this type of situation does not happen again”.


“Once again, a technical error prevents justice from being served. Was it incompetence or inadequate protocols? asks MP Alexandre Leduc.

Minister Guilbault did not respond to our interview requests. The Ministry of Public Security, for its part, stated in a general way that the “experts of the LSJML are subject to a multitude of obligations, starting with the impartiality of their analysis, as well as a rigorous supervision of their scientific practices”. .

Recall that Nicole Rainville died of a bullet to the head in 2009. Her husband, Jacques Delisle, claimed then that she had taken her own life.

The ex-judge was found guilty of premeditated murder in 2012. On April 7, 2021, the federal Minister of Justice ordered a new trial, saying he was convinced that a miscarriage of justice may have been committed.

A year and a day later, the 86-year-old man benefited from a stay of proceedings.


By failing to preserve, document and photograph the brain sections he claims to have made, and by neglecting to take and locate brain sections showing the passage of the projectile, [le pathologiste du LSJML] acted with gross negligence. »

The non-availability of this evidence is so damaging that the law [de Jacques Delisle] to make full answer and defense is violated. »

Society’s interest in a final judgment 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. »

*Excerpts from the decision of Judge Jean François Émond, who ordered a stay of proceedings in this case, on Friday.

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