July 4th, 2008 11:30 EST
The Murder of Brooke Bennett: We Must Get Serious About Protecting Our Children
"Instead of gathering at a vigil to offer prayers for the safe return of a missing 12-year-old girl, residents found themselves mourning the news that her body had been found.
Police unearthed Brooke Bennett`s body Wednesday from a makeshift grave about a mile from her uncle`s house, ending a weeklong search for the subject of Vermont`s first Amber Alert...
As state police announced the grim news Wednesday evening, they said Michael Jacques, the girl`s 42-year-old uncle and a convicted sex offender, will face federal kidnapping charges."
Quotation from the Associated Press
How many times has this awful tragedy played out in the past few years? A young girl is kidnapped; her smiling face is a staple on cable news networks; relatives and loved ones pray for her safe return; her defiled corpse is found, and a convicted sex offender is arrested.
Samantha Runion, Michelle Vick, Polly Klass, Jessica Lunsford, and now Brooke Bennett.
This is not a fate reserved only for runaways and unwanted children, all of the murdered innocents I mentioned had parents who loved them deeply.
This is a catastrophe that can strike any home, wealth and even love can`t prevent our children from being snatched in the twinkling of an eye.
The suspect, Michael Jacques, has been convicted of multiple sex offences, he should have been behind bars, and not free to defile and kill an innocent child.
In a few months when Brooke`s face morphs into that of Polly Klass and Jessica Lunsford, and our anger diminishes, will we once again fail to take concrete actions to protect our children?
Our society has yet to get serious about protecting our children, witness the recent Supreme Court decision to ban the death penalty for child rapists:
"The US Supreme Court narrowly ruled Wednesday that a man convicted of raping a child cannot be sentenced to death, saying capital punishment must be reserved for murder cases.
By a one-vote majority of 5-4 the justices said the US constitution which prohibits `cruel and unusual punishment` bars the imposition of the death penalty `for the rape of a child where the crime did not result, and was not intended to result, in the victim`s death.`"
Quotation from AFP
The death penalty should be reserved for the most egregious crimes, and what crime is more monstrous than the rape of a very young child? The Supremes failed to deliver a message to pedophiles and predators that we consider their crimes horrific beyond words, and that they will pay the stiffest penalty for violating our children.
Thanks to the stupidity of the Supreme court, the death penalty is now off the table for creeps who rape children. In the absence of the death penalty we should have a one strike law: Rape a child and you will spend the rest of your in prison.
Needless to say, if Jacques is found guilty, he should receive the death penalty. It won`t bring back Brooke, but it will ensure that Jacques wont` be released 30 years from now and kill another child. It will give Brooke`s family and friends the satisfaction that justice was carried out.
The government`s most sacred responsibility is to protect our children, and so far they are failing miserably in this regard.
It`s incumbent upon us to contact our state and federal elected representatives and demand that they introduce bills that will give the maximum penalty to those monsters amongst us who prey on children.
If our elected officials listen to us, only then will the parade of missing and murdered children slow down.