Judge allows R.I. death penalty case to proceed

A judge has ruled that federal prosecutors can seek the death penalty against a Rhode Island man charged in the killing of a gas station manager. The Providence Journal reported that US District Judge William Smith rejected Jason Pleau’s challenge to the constitutionality of the federal death penalty law last week. Smith said legal precedents allow the federal death penalty to be imposed in states like Rhode Island that do not have capital punishment. Governor Lincoln Chafee fought unsuccessfully to keep Pleau out of federal custody, citing the state’s rejection of the death penalty.