US ordered to say if RI inmate faces death penalty
PROVIDENCE, R.I.—A judge has ordered the U.S. Department of Justice to indicate whether it will seek the death penalty for a Rhode Island inmate in a legal tug-of-war between the governor and federal prosecutors.
U.S. District Judge William Smith issued the order Wednesday regarding Jason Pleau (plew). He set a Tuesday deadline, but federal authorities sought and were granted a one-week extension.
Pleau is accused of fatally shooting a man outside a Woonsocket bank in 2010.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee (CHAY'-fee) had refused to surrender Pleau to federal authorities, saying they want to try him to make the death penalty a possible punishment. Rhode Island doesn't have capital punishment.
An appeals court ruled he may stand trial in federal court.
U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha (nuh-ROH'-nuh) says prosecutors will comply with the order.