Governor Lincoln Chafee has issued the following statement in response to the indication by federal prosecutors today that they intend to use the death penalty against Jayson Pleau:
I always knew that it was possible the federal government would seek the death penalty in this matter and for that reason, I opposed the transfer of Jason Pleau to federal custody. Under the federal Interstate Agreement on Detainers law, states have the right to refuse to transfer prisoners in their custody for public policy reasons. As a matter of public policy, Rhode Island opposes the death penalty for any crime. Today’s decision does not alter the state’s position and we will continue to vindicate Rhode Island’s rights under federal law. The law firm of Akin Gump will pursue this case pro bono in the Supreme Court of the United States.
Chafee has repeatedly pointed to Rhode Island’s prohibition on the death penalty in explaining his stance.