A relative of the 10-year-old Cedar Rapids girl who was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and murdered last spring has joined a campaign to get the death penalty reinstated in Iowa. Jenny Slight, Jetsetta Gage’s great aunt, says justice was not really served with last week’s conviction of Roger Bentley, the man accused of killing Jetsetta, because Bentley won’t be put to death. She says she’s had a lot of people come and tell her what they’d like to do, and she says she tells them to write to the legislature.
Slight has this warning about potential sex offenders. She says, “These people are like chameleons. They will adapt and be anything you want them to be. They will be your friend, they will be your neighbor, anything you want them to be, because they are chameleons.” Slight says you have to be aware of the people who’re around your children. She says, “They (sex offenders) don’t have something stamped on their forehead to say ‘I’m bad’. So you need to check everybody out. Not trust anybody.”
Slight spoke this (Wednesday) morning at a news conference in Newton, an event arranged by State Senator Larry McKibben, a Republican from Marshalltown who is pushing to reinstate capitol punishment in Iowa for those who kidnap, rape and kill kids. McKibben says Democrats in the Iowa Senate are blocking a debate on his death penalty bill. McKibben is planning similar events around the state and he’ll be joined — as he was in Newton — by Republican candidates for the state senate who support the death penalty.