Court Upholds Death Sentence In Dru Sjodin Murder Case
A federal court has upheld Alfonso Rodriguez Jr's death sentence in the murder of Dru Sjodin. Rodriguez was convicted of raping and stabbing Sjodin, 22, to death after abducting her from the parking lot outside her work on November 22, 2003.
Rodriguez had been released from prison only months before killing Sjodin. He was released as a level 3 sex offender, the kind deemed being high risk of re-offending. Both Minnesota and North Dakota strengthened their laws regarding sex offenders following the Dru Sjodin case, and a Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Registry was created.
Rodriguez, 56, who had been released from prison just a few months before the kidnapping, appealed on several grounds, including the venue for the trial, the composition and selection of the jury, evidentiary rulings, statements by the prosecution and Sjodin’s family and friends during the penalty phase of his trial, the jury instructions during the penalty phase and the constitutionality of the death penalty.