A Vermont man accused of kidnapping, raping and killing his niece will not face the death penalty.
Federal prosecutors have
struck a deal with suspected murderer Michael Jacques. The Randolph man is
charged with the 2008 abduction, sexual assault and killing of his 12-year-old
niece Brooke Bennett.
"He's not getting
away with anything. Michael Jacques is going to spend every last breath he has
in a federal prison. That's not a nice place to be," said Jerry O'Neill, a
former federal prosecutor, who was not involved with the case.
On Friday the U.S. Justice
Department announced it has called off the 47-year-old's upcoming death penalty
trial. In exchange Jacques will plead guilty to all charges against him and
agree to a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
"It's a result that makes
sense all the way around," O'Neill explained.
O'Neill says while the
decision may anger death penalty proponents it spares prosecution, defense and
court resources -- while bringing certainty and closure to the case.
certainty as to what the result is. if you take this case to trial, there's at
least some possibility that he would not get the death penalty and you don't
have any better result than what you're getting right here, O'Neill explained.
Under the agreement
Jacques also surrenders his right to an appeal. O'Neill says the deal sends a
message to criminals and protects the public.
"It's a huge
deterrent involved in it. And Michael Jacques will never molest another child. That's probably the most important thing you
can accomplish," O'Neill said.
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