Heralding the 1663 Royal Charter for the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations as â€śone of the great human rights documents of the world,â€ť Gov. Lincoln Chafee set the stage Tuesday for the celebration next year of the 350th anniversary of King Charles IIâ€™s grant to John Clarke and Roger Williams.
A history buff who frequently references Roger Williams, the stateâ€™s founder, and the charter in his speeches and Statehouse presentations, Chafee appointed a 34-member commission to organize a celebration for the sesquarcentennial, which will culminate on July 8, 2013.
WOONSOCKET â€“ The state chapter of the ACLU has filed a â€śfriend of the courtâ€ť brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston, siding with Gov. Chafee in his efforts to prevent accused murderer Jason Pleau from facing a possible death sentence at the hands of federal authorities.
Four other ACLU affiliates, from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Puerto Rico, which are covered by the courtâ€™s jurisdiction, are also parties to the brief, as are the national and state associations of criminal defense lawyers.