It is entirely understandable that many members of the Randolph-area community would react with outrage to the news late last week that accused murderer Michael Jacques will be allowed to plead guilty and serve a sentence of life without parole, while waiving his right to appeal.
If in fact the death penalty is ever justified, the moral depravity of the crime with which Jacques is charged — the kidnapping, rape and murder of his 12-year-old niece, Brooke Bennett, in 2008 — would surely call for its imposition in this case.
And, while it was not universal, that was the tenor of reaction staff writer Mark Davis encountered when he visited Randolph after the U.S. Justice Department announced its decision on Friday.
“I think he should get the death penalty for what he did,” Duane Litchfield told Davis, in comments that were representative. “It was quite an ordeal to put the family through. Why should he get to sit in prison? He took the rest of her life. Kind of a dirty way for him to get out of it. Yeah, it will be closure, but it isn’t really, because (the family) knows he’s sitting there, and we’re supporting him for the rest of his life. I feel they should string him up.”
Earlier coverage of the Jacques case begins at the link.