Chafee undeterred by public opinion on Pleau case

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Gov. Lincoln Chafee said Thursday he’s sticking to the law in trying to keep accused killer Jason Pleau in the state system.

But those who want to see him executed don’t buy that.

“We both know he’s not conservative. He’s strictly a flower pot. He’s a flower child,” said Vinny Pezza of Prudence Island.

And now many are making the argument that the governor shouldn’t waste money on a legal case.

“The way the economy is right now, why are you spending money on this issue? I mean the guy killed somebody, he should pay and I don’t think the governor should be involved,” said Arthur Morrissette of Bristol.

Pleau is accused of killing David Main outside a Woonsocket bank in 2010.

The governor said this fight over a principal is not costing the state any extra money.

“We have just had our in-house counsel, who’s on salary, do all our legal work. We’ve had interns. So, there hasn’t been an added cost to the taxpayer,” Chafee said.

Local attorney Mark Dana said this is the kind of case that could make it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“In this climate, in this term with the court so strongly with state’s rights, on the Arizona case, on the Obama law and health care, I think there’s a very good chance they may take this,” Dana said. “And the 1st Circuit went 3-2, so clearly there’s an issue here.”

The governor has some national support for his effort, but not much on the local level.

“This is an emotional case. And I would hoped that people would look at civilized countries and how they conduct themselves as civilized communities. We don’t just have an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth. We’ve moved away from that,” Chafee said.

Main’s sister said in an email Wednesday that Chafee’s decision to appeal is a “miscarriage of justice.”

It will be several months before the Supreme Court decides to take the case.

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