Friday, June 26, 2009

Brooke Bennett – What of Jacques and Gagnon?

~Brooke Bennett

One of T&T’s readers left a comment on the story, Remembering Brooke Bennett.

cherylt asked, “Is there even a trial date set for that POS? Since stepdad pled guilty do we know how much time he was given?

The questions prompted me to think about
how much time I've invested following this case and the tons of print information I have read following Brooke’s death.

I offer this recap from previous entries and articles I have archived – many of which are no longer available online.

Michael Jacques
No, there is no trial date set and I don’t believe we will see one soon for several reasons.

When it was determined that this would be charged as a federal case rather than a state case, several things came into play:

August 2008 –
U.S. District Judge William Sessions granted Desautels request and allowed famed husband and wife legal team, David Ruhnke and Jean deSales Barrett of Montvale, N.J. to assist with the defense. They have successfully defended many high profile clients facing a possible death penalty.

October 2008 -
Prosecutors placed the death penalty as an option on the table, but it is United States Attorney General Michael Mukasey who makes the final decision on whether or not Jacques faces the death penalty.

It becomes apparent that with the Presidential election looming, Michael Mukasey will not issue the final decision on the death penalty. The President elect will be appointing a new Attorney General.

November 2008 -
Jacques' attorneys filed a motion requesting the court push back the date in the death-penalty authorization process to April 2009.

February 2009 –
Eric H. Holder Jr. is sworn in as Attorney General. Holder is personally opposed to the death sentence.

Brooke’s case
languishes on Holder’s desk awaiting a decision.

Jacques is obviously not salvageable as a member of society. His repeated acts of rape and violence have more than proven what a sick, sadistic predator he is.

Regardless of death penalty application approval or not, Brooke deserves justice!

Raymond Gagnon
April 2009 –
Pleaded guilty to transportation of child pornography in US District Court in San Antonio. He faces 5 to 20 years when he is sentenced on July 10.

He is however, still facing additional charges of possession of child pornography in Cullman, Alabama, where he lived before moving to Texas. The San Antonio plea agreement does not affect those pending charges.

So, justice for Brooke remains in limbo for the time being and that’s why we all need to keep her memory alive.