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Stillwater inmate petitions to return to Russian homeland

http://www.startribune.com/local/east/41266177.html?elr=KArks:DCiUHc3E7_V_nDaycUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aULPQL7PQLanchO7DiUrAn inmate from a Stillwater detention center is petitioning to serve his remaining sentence in his native Russia.

Pyotr Shmelev is using an international treaty and the fact that Minnesota will save $32,800 in incarceration costs to argue his case.

Shmelev is said to be serving a 30 year sentence for killing his wife in 2001.

According to The New York Times, Shmelev is one of nearly two dozen foreign nationals in Minnesota prisons whose requests to complete their sentences in their native countries have been denied by the commissioner of corrections.

Critics of the international treaty say that there is no assurance that these criminals will be forced to carry out their sentences once abroad.

"I support the community expectation that violent offenders or serious drug traffickers should serve their entire prison sentence in Minnesota before returning to freedom in their home country," Corrections Commissioner Joan Fabian said.