Alfonso Rodriguez lawyers update judge on death sentence appealAttorneys for Alfonso Rodriguez were back in court Thursday to appeal his death sentence. Rodriguez was convicted in 2006 for kidnapping and killing UND student Dru Sjodin.
By: Michael Yoshida, WDAZ
Attorneys for Alfonso Rodriguez were back in court Thursday to appeal his death sentence. Rodriguez was convicted in 2006 for kidnapping and killing UND student Dru Sjodin.
Since 2007, Alfonso Rodriguez has been awaiting execution at a prison in Indiana. Thursday his lawyers were in federal court in Fargo for what is considered to be the final appeal of his 2007 death sentence. Since being convicted for the 2003 murder of Dru Sjodin, Rodriguez has attempted several times to appeal his conviction.
Rodriguez now has a new team of attorneys for his latest appeal, in which he argues that he had ineffective lawyers during his trial in 2006 and that he is mentally diminished for a number of reasons.
Thursday afternoon, U.S. Judge Ralph Erickson, the same judge who imposed the Rodriguez's 2007 death sentence, said that it appears the main questions asked by the appeal concern the conduct of the prosecutors and Rodriguez's mental health.
Judge Erickson has given both parties 60 days to do discovery. March 7th has been set as the next date for motions of summary judgment to be filed. Following these motions, if a hearing is required then one will be scheduled promptly. This appeal can also go to the federal circuit court of appeals and to the U.S. Supreme court.