Death penalty dropped against Alfonso Rodriguez, Jr.

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – In 2006, Rodriguez was sentenced to death by U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson.

However, federal prosecutors have made a decision to no longer seek the death penalty against the man convicted of kidnapping and killing UND Student Dru Sjodin.

U.S. Attorney Mac Schneider assures Rodriguez will remain behind bars for the rest of his life.

“Well, what we know for certain is he will be sentenced to life in prison and that he will draw his last breath in the custody of the bureau prisons. What remains to be seen is where he might be sent, that I am sure will come out in the coming weeks, but he will remain a federal prisoner for the rest of his life. ” says Mac Schneider, United States Attorney

Schneider and his predecessor, Drew Wrigley, have continued to work to help gain justice for Sjodin and her family.

“Well from our office, we have a twenty-year relationship with that wonderful family. We care deeply about them, our regard from them and our hope that they achieve the greatest measure of peace possible will continue on in the years to come.” says Schneider

An executive with the non-profit Death Penalty Information Center says the Biden administration has a pattern of only revisiting certain cases.

“But it seems to me the pattern for me if the case had roots in a prior administration, that is the crime happened and they said we may seek the death penalty, maybe even filed some papers. Then, this justice department will pursue that. At least, they did in the case of Mr. Saipov in NYC and the terrorist case where eight victims murdered.” says Richard Dieter, Executive Director of the Death Penalty Information Center

Dieter adds that he is not surprised the death penalty was withdrawn in the Rodriguez case.

Categories: Local News, North Dakota News