Lied on job application about having brutally murdered his wife

by Walter Olson on July 15, 2008

But Quebec courts have ruled that’s no reason Jean-Alix Miguel should lose his job as a teacher at a Montreal vocational school. Miguel spent seven years in prison for the murder. (Julia Kilpatrick, “Law says convicted killers can teach and practise law — but experts disagree”, Canwest/Victoria (B.C.) Times Colonist, Jul. 13)(via Wingless).

{ 13 comments }

1 Dreadnaught 07.15.08 at 10:06 pm

Who can blame the guy. How are you going to get a good job after a murder. Wait, maybe one should not murder anyone. Who would have thought that?

2 Richard Nieporent 07.15.08 at 10:59 pm

In 1990, Sebastien Brousseau was convicted of stabbing his mother to death. After serving two years of his nearly five-year sentence, Brousseau completed a law degree and went on to become a lawyer … the provincial judicial body that oversees professional disputes ruled that he had “the morals, the conduct, the competence, the knowledge and the qualities” required to practise law.

One would have thought that stating that a murderer has the morals, conduct, and qualities required to practice law would be considered a canard. According to the provincial judicial body one would be wrong.

3 Wingless 07.15.08 at 11:38 pm

What really got me about this story, and the reason I posted it’s an advertisement for ‘crime pays’! At very least it seems “the system” isn’t serving the people it should. I mean, 3 years? 7 years? For beating somebody to death, a family member no less, WITH YOUR BARE HANDS?!

Miguel got the job less than a year after release. Was he not on any type of parole or post-incarceration supervision? Did his parole or supervisory officer not deem it necessary to warn the employer?

Lax sentences, lack of or negligent supervision, late or non-existent background checks, a backwards arbitrator & 2 high courts??? Pinch me, I want to wake up, get me out of this Bizarro World!

4 Bill Poser 07.16.08 at 1:11 am

It’s quite possible that the sentence was awfully light, but I can imagine circumstances where it might have been appropriate. Suppose that in response to extreme provocation the guy struck his mother once and had the bad luck to kill her with that blow? Such a person might be very unlikely to re-offend.

5 dustydog 07.16.08 at 1:35 pm

I don’t know about Canadian law, but it seems to me that the US 5th amendment right to avoid self-incrimination should extend it penumbra beyond the criminal trial, to things like job applications.

6 Ted Frank 07.16.08 at 1:52 pm

The Fifth Amendment has never extended beyond criminal self-incrimination. If Pam Plaintiff sues Dan Defendant, and Dan takes the Fifth when asked to testify, the court draws the adverse inference and Pam gets summary judgment in her favor. It’s certainly not an excuse to lie on a job application.

7 Dave Howe 07.16.08 at 3:07 pm

“morals, conduct, and qualities required to practice law”

hmm. well, did he stab her in the back? :)

8 PaulB 07.16.08 at 3:13 pm

Why are you all making a big deal out of the fact that he murdered his mother? It’s not like he can commit the same crime again.

9 gitarcarver 07.16.08 at 5:12 pm

Every job application I have ever filled out or reviewed as a supervisor had a clause that says something like “I agree that the above information is true and accurate.” The applicant then signs the application.

If a guy signs that and his information is inaccurate, or false, he should have no recourse. The company hired him on the basis of who he represented himself to be.

He should not be able to say “I lied. Oh well.”

10 jb 07.16.08 at 10:24 pm

The article title severely misses the point. Whatever right murderers have or do not have, people who lie on job applications should be fired when their lies come to light.

11 jtw 07.18.08 at 5:09 am

1) did he lie at all? It’s apparently assumed, but what did he do?
Did he just fail to mention he’d done time, or did he state he had not when asked?
If the former that’s not a lie at all…
Everyone massages his resume to not mention things he deems negative to his chances of getting the job (or to omit skills he doesn’t want to use on tha

2) when released, you should no longer be considered a criminal and your past should not influence your position in society. Anything else effectively means your sentence has not ended after the term set by the court sentencing you, which is a grave injustice to say the least. If someone thinks your sentence was too lenient, he should try to get the law changed to appoint tougher sentences, not take the law into his own hands.

Providing incorrect information is a breach of contract and should lead to termination.
Failing to provide information should not be deemed such unless that information directly pertains to your ability to perform the job (for example a pilot who fails to mention he’s a diabetic and will likely loose his medical at the next checkup).

12 sandy t 07.21.08 at 4:30 pm

For those who are wondering, 7 years for a murder is a rather LONG sentence in Canada, particularly if he served that whole time.
The standard clause on an employment contract is along the lines of: “Have you been charged or convicted of a criminal offense for which you have not received a pardon?” BUT it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an applicant on the basis of a criminal charge or conviction.

13 Bill Poser 07.21.08 at 7:16 pm

In Canada the penalty for second degree murder is life imprisonment . Parole becomes possible after anywhere from ten to twenty-five years, at the discretion of the judge. The penalty for first degree murder is life imprisonment without possibility of parole for twenty-five years, except that, in some cases, the prisoner may apply for early parole under the “Faint Hope Clause”, after fifteen years. Seven years is not a long sentence for murder: it is an impossible sentence.

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