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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



Life v. death

It's no done deal, but it's looking less likely that Michael Jacques of Bethel will face the death penalty if he's convicted of killing his 12 year-old niece Brooke Bennett now that there's a new top cop in town in Washington D.C.

It's just been learned that President Obama's Attorney General, Eric Holder, has told prosecutors in a heavy-duty murder case involving gang leaders in San Francisco to kill the idea of seeking the death penalty in the cases. A California law journal has the story, and you can check it out by clicking HERE.

Tom Anderson, the outgoing U.S. Attorney in Vermont, has recommended the government seek the death penalty in the Jacques case if he's convicted of kidnapping, raping, drugging and killing Brooke, but the man Pat Leahy has tapped to replace Anderson, Tris Coffin, isn't so inclined and, it appears, Holder may not be either. That's important, because Holder as AG has to sign off on any case where the death penalty is being recommended.

-- Sam Hemingway

Right... b/c Jacques deserves to live as he is a valuable member of our society? I just don't get it.
Leahy opposes the death penalty so it shouldn't come as a shock that the person he appointed won't be able to pursue it - even if he were inclined. Everybody should have seen that one coming....
Well, wait a minute. In the California case linked here the local USA recommended against the DP. In this case -- according to your note -- the local USA recommended for the DP. So if the new AG is honoring local recommendations, it doesn't follow that he'll spare Jacques.
Im sorry but regardless of what Bernie thinks Micheal Jacques deserves to die for what he did to Brooke Benett! That man and the many many out there deserve the same thing! Regardless what the political crownies think!
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