News Team PODCast Reports
State, Pleau preparing death penalty appeal to high Court
Posted: 5/10/2012 2:24:53 PM
Gov. Lincoln Chafee and the attorney for Jason Pleau are preparing an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, to keep the suspected Woonsocket bank shooter from facing a possible death penalty prosecution.
Chafee said attorneys for the state would pursue an appeal of this week's 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals split ruling that the state surrender Pleau to face prosecution by the federal government, in the 2010 shooting death of David Main, as Main, a gas station manager deposited receipts at a Woonsocket bank. And, Pleau's attorney, Robert Mann said he is preparing an appeal to the Supreme Court.
"It's an issue where even in the most difficult situations, you're going to stand up for the state's policy and opposition to the death penalty, or you're going to have gray areas," said Chafee. "In our case, in the state, we arguably executed an innocent man, and since then, we have been opposed to the death penalty, and that's been the Rhode Island position."
Chafee was asked about an angry email from one of David Main's sisters, Deborah Smith, asking how he would feel if it was his son, Caleb who had been gunned down.
"You are obstructing justice," Smith wrote to Chafee. "If your son Caleb was shot in the head, in broad daylight while doing his job you would be horrified, as we were!"
"That's fair, I think that's fair to bring that up," Chafee said. He maintains that he has considered the feelings of the Main family in reaching his decision to pursue a Supreme Court appeal.
Pleau's attorney, Robert Mann is preparing to file an appeal to the Court.
"We're working on pleadings right now, and I'm not prepared to discuss them yet," said Mann. "It's fair to say that we're working on them right now." Pleau has indicated that he would accept a life sentence without the possibility of parole in state court, over the risk of facing the death penalty in a federal prosecution. The U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island, Peter Neronha has not indicated whether he would seek the death penalty if Pleau is convicted, but says that any decision to seek the death penalty rests with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Mann said that he has spoken with Pleau since the 1st Circuit rendered its 3-2 decision earlier this week.
"Of course," Mann said. "I'm not going to get in to my discussions with Mister Pleau. I communicate with him, but I'm not going to get into my discussions with him."
Jason Wayne Pleau | Photo Courtesy WPRI.com
(5/10/2012 10:01:10 PM) |
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