RI Lawyers Appeal Transfer to Feds on Death Penalty Case

By Tanya Roth, Esq. on July 07, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The First Circuit Court of Appeals has been asked to overturn a ruling that would transfer a Rhode Island man into the custody of federal officials in a death penalty case.

Boston.com reports that the appeal was filed with the First Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this week in the case of Jason Pleau.

Pleau’s lawyers are appealing an order by federal Judge William E. Smith for the state of Rhode Island to hand over Pleau to federal officials so that he can stand trial in federal court.

Pleau is currently facing the prospect of the death penalty and is accused of killing a gas station manager last September. He is scheduled to be arraigned on charges of conspiracy, armed robbery and murder later this week in a federal district court in Providence, RI.

Federal prosecutors are arguing that a review is not permitted due to the fact that the First Circuit Court of Appeals can only review final decisions from lower courts as opposed to interim issues. They claim that the case raises important issues relating to the federal laws and agreements between the states and the federal government involving the handling of prisoners.

Jason Pleau is set for arraignment this Friday before federal Magistrate Judge David L. Martin. His case will be considered by the Capital Case Unit on July 25 and the decision will be made as to whether the government will pursue the death penalty for Pleau.

Rhode Island is a state that is generally opposed to the death penalty and in the past, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee had rejected a request to surrender Jason Pleau to federal officials. Governor Chafee said that he plans to comply with this order.

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