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US says death right in VT girl's assault and death - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

US says death right in VT girl's assault and death

Michael Jacques Michael Jacques

Associated Press - May 18, 2010 9:05 AM ET

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Federal prosecutors say efforts to block the death penalty by lawyers for a Vermont man charged with killing his niece have the potential to destroy the foundation of American justice.

Prosecutors made those claims in papers filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Burlington in the case against 44-year-old Michael Jacques of Randolph.

Jacques is charged with kidnapping, sexually assaulting and then killing his 12-year-old niece, Brooke Bennett, in June 2008. Jacques is being charged in federal court and prosecutors are planning to seek the death penalty if he is convicted. He has pleaded not guilty.

Defense attorneys had argued the death penalty is discriminatory.

The Burlington Free Press says prosecutors counter the federal death penalty is established law.

Click here for complete coverage of the Brooke Bennett case.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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