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Lawyers Update Judge on ND Death Penalty Appeal in Murder of Dru Sjodin

Created: 12/19/2013 5:44 PM KSTP.com
By: Leslie Dyste

A federal judge says it's too early to tell whether an appeal by a man sentenced to death for killing a University of North Dakota student can be decided without a hearing.
    
Lawyers in the case of Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., of Crookston, Minn., appeared in a Fargo courtroom Thursday to update U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson on the habeas motion, considered the last step in the appeal process.
    
A jury in 2006 convicted Rodriguez, a convicted sex offender, of kidnapping and killing Dru Sjodin, of Pequot Lakes, Minn.
    
The government last month filed a 417-page answer to the appeal, which claims among other things that Rodriguez is mentally disabled and his trial lawyers did a poor job.
    
Prosecutors say Rodriguez's appeal has no basis and he should be executed.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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