Criminal law, Quebec, Quebec Court of Appeal, Rulings
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New trial ordered for murderer following insufficiently clear jury instructions

A new trial has been ordered for a 51-year old Quebec City man convicted of first degree murder after the Quebec Court of Appeal held that the trial judge did not provide with sufficiently clear instructions to the jury over the reliability of a confession made in a “Mr. Big” police sting operation.

In a case that applied the new framework established last year by the Supreme Court of Canada over the admissibility of confessions elicited during “Mr. Big” operations, the Quebec Court of Appeal ruled that the confession made by Alain Perreault during the police sting was admissible because its probative value outweighed its prejudicial effects. But the appeal court found the trial judge should have instructed the jury the context in which the admission was made to address concerns about the reliability and prejudice that arise from these confessions. “Mr. Big” operations are elaborate stings where undercover agents recruit suspects into fictitious criminal organizations to gain their trust and extract a confession, particularly in cold cases.

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