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U.S. Supreme Court

Rhode Island Governor Loses Bid for Supreme Court Stay in Showdown over Death Penalty

Posted May 25, 2012 8:24 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Accused killer Jason Pleau and Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee have failed to obtain a U.S. Supreme Court stay that would prevent the defendant from being turned over to federal custody.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer refused a stay on Thursday, report WPRI.com and the Providence Journal. Chafee had refused to surrender Pleau to federal authorities for prosecution because of the possibility the feds would seek the death penalty. Pleau is accused of fatally shooting a gas station manager outside a bank in September 2010.

Pleau is currently serving an 18-year sentence in Rhode Island for violating probation in another case. The Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled earlier this month that the governor could not refuse to surrender Pleau. “The supremacy clause operates in only one direction,” the court said.

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