Brooke BennettIt's good news when a murder suspect is caught, right? When the police put the pieces of the puzzle together and haul in a guy like Michael Jacques, the uncle from Vermont who just admitted he kidnapped, raped, and killed his 12-year-old niece, Brooke Bennett?

Jacques just copped a plea deal for the awful crime -- the first to result in an Amber Alert for the State of Vermont. He's expected to spend life in prison without parole, but he'll avoid the death penalty for cooperating.

Well, sort of cooperating. It's been five years since Jacques was first hauled into a courtroom, five years since little Brooke was murdered, five years that her parents have had to wait for this day.

So much for swift justice.

Granted, Jacques initially pleaded not guilty in the case, claiming that he had nothing to do with Brooke's June 25, 2008, disappearance from a convenience store. Our justice system, as its built, gives time for a suspect to present a case for their defense.

But it seems Jacques, a registered sex offender, was just playing games, stringing the courts along as his lawyers debated the legality of threatening him with the death penalty. For five years, he waited ... until just this week, as his trial was supposed to start, agreeing to the plea deal. He confessed that he used a 14-year-old girl (who he was sexually abusing) to lure his 12-year-old niece (Jacques was once married to the sister of Brooke's mother, Cassandra Adams) to a pool party at his house and then sexually assaulted her and killed her. Brooke's body was found in a grave not far from her uncle's home about a week after her disappearance. 

Jacques was arrested shortly thereafter.

But as the five-year span since that arrest until this week's guilty plea shows, that was hardly worth the celebration that one would expect from a suspect's arrest.

It didn't give Brooke's parents answers, bring Brooke justice, not for five long, long years. Jacques got to put up his defense, but what did they get?

Even now, Jim Bennett and Cassandra Adams are said to be unhappy with the plea deal that will spare their daughter's killer from the death penalty. Of course ... nothing can give them their daughter back.

But the man who did this to them got five extra years to torture them ...

Do you think it takes too long for cases to go to trial? Is this fair to the victims?

 

Image via Amber Alert