Brooke Bennett's Father Speaks Out About the Death Penalty - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Brooke Bennett's Father Speaks Out About the Death Penalty

Jim Bennett Jim Bennett
Brooke Bennett Brooke Bennett
Michael Jacques Michael Jacques

Randolph, Vermont - August 26, 2009

     Jim Bennett wears a button with his daughter's picture on it every day. It's placed over his heart -- he says it's how he feels closest to her as he deals with his grief.
     "I'm day to day," he said. "Some things are better; some things are never going to be better."
     Twelve-year-old Brooke Bennett was kidnapped, raped and killed last summer, allegedly by her uncle, Michael Jacques. Federal prosecutors announced Tuesday they will seek the death penalty if he is convicted. Bennett says nothing will bring Brooke back, but he hopes the legal system will bring her justice.
     "I don't know that there's any punishment," he said. "Nothing's going to fix it but he needs the most penalty he can get."
     Bennett says the fourteen months since Brooke's disappearance have been difficult, sometimes painfully slow. Months have gone by without any developments. Tuesday's announcement was a positive step.
     "I'm just glad they finally made a decision so things can proceed," he said. "I can get on with the rest of it now. We've been waiting on that decision a long time and it's held things up."
     The decision to seek the death penalty against Jacques is a development Bennett had hoped for, but one he says does not help in his healing process.
     "There's no closure of any kind because there's no decision," he said. "They decided they're going to go for that but it doesn't mean they're going to get it. It's just a step in the right direction."
     A step in what has been a long journey, grieving for his little girl.
     "I still have my other two children but everything else has totally changed," he said. "My outlook on things. Trust. How I look at people. Everything changes."

Kate Duffy - WCAX News

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