The court hears arguments for the Crown in case #29198, Her Majesty the Queen v. Jacques Fontaine, on November 6, 2003.
Jacques Fontaine shot and killed Robert Dompierre on February 15, 1999, and later turned himself in to police. His defence at trial was that he shot Mr. Dompierre involuntarily as a result of his mental state (mental disorder automatism), aggravated by fears that someone was trying to kill him and by his habitual use of marijuana. The Quebec Superior Court judge that heard his case refused to put this defence to the jury and Mr. Fontaine was convicted of first-degree murder. The Quebec Court of Appeal overturned the conviction and ordered a new trial. The Supreme Court of Canada must decide if the appeal should be upheld.
Lawyer Joanne Marceau presents arguments on behalf of the Crown. She responds to questions from Supreme Court justices Louise Arbour and Michel Bastarache. Lawyer Sébastien St-Laurent speaks on behalf of Mr. Fontaine and responds to questions from justices Arbour and Bastarache.