PROVIDENCE – Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case of a murder suspect at the center of a legal tug of war between the state and federal prosecutors, The Associated Press reported last week.
The petition filed by Chafee’s attorneys seeks to appeal a U.S. Court of Appeals decision that Jason Pleau may stand trial in federal court, where prosecutors say they intend to seek the death penalty. Rhode Island does not have the death penalty. Chafee has sought to prevent Pleau from being prosecuted in federal court.
The AP said that the governor argues that the federal government is violating a legal agreement that authorizes the state to deny a request to transfer a prisoner. “This is a significant states’ rights matter,” Chafee said.
There has been no word on when the Supreme Court will announce whether it will hear the appeal. The court agrees to take only a fraction of the thousands of cases it is asked to review each year. •