FARGO, North Dakota (AP) – Federal Judge Says Defense Lawyers Cannot Use Intellectual Disability As Factor In Second Death Penalty Debate For Man Convicted Of Murdering University Of North Dakota Student Dru Sjodin.
Last year, Judge Ralph Erickson ordered a new round of sentencing for Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., after ruling that the coroner’s misleading testimony, lawyers’ failure to expose the possibility of a defense against l Insanity and the evidence for severe post-traumatic stress disorder had violated Rodriguez’s law. constitutional rights. This overturned a jury vote in 2006 for the death penalty.
READ MORE: Prosecutors begin second round of Alfonso Rodriguez’s death penalty
Defense attorneys then filed a motion asking Erickson to reconsider intellectual disability as a defense. The judge said in an order last week that it could not be considered part of Rodriguez’s eligibility for the death penalty.
“On the basis of the evidence in the record and even with the extension of the developmental period until the age of 22, the Court concludes that Rodriguez did not fulfill his obligation to establish that he is intellectually disabled and categorically ineligible for the death penalty by virtue of the previous determinant and the current diagnosis. standards, ”Erickson wrote.
READ MORE: Judge sentences man convicted of murdering Dru Sjodin to death
Rodriguez, a convicted sex offender from Crookston, Minnesota, kidnapped 22-year-old Sjodin from a Grand Forks mall in 2003 and drove her to Minnesota, where he killed her and left her body in a field near Crookston.
Sjodin’s disappearance sparked days of massive research, reshaped the way Minnesota dealt with sex offenders, and led to the renaming of the National Sex Offender Registry for Sjodin.
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