The Quebec Court of Appeal in Montreal has ordered a new trial for the cardiologist who was found not guilty by reason of mental disorder in the killing of his two children. The jury’s verdict, coupled with the fact that the doctor was released prior to the Court’s ruling, sparked considerable public outrage which prompted the government to tighten the rules for the release of persons subject to confinement following a mental disorder verdict. If the ruling stands criminal defence lawyers anticipate an an interesting re-trial because the court held that on the basis of the psychiatric evidence there was sufficient grounds to leave the defence to the jury. The verdict was overturned due to the trial judge’s erroneous instructions as to the effect of the evidence of voluntary intoxication which was also presented at trial.
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