Alfonso Rodriguez the death penalty for the 2003 kidnapping, rape and murder of Dru Sjodin.
“Today is the most difficult day of my life,” U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson said this morning in handing down the sentence.
He rejected a motion for a new trial.
Rodriguez abducted Sjodin in November 2003 from the parking lot of a mall in Grand Forks, N.D. Her body was found about six months later by a ravine near Crookston, Minn.
The case was tried in federal court because state lines were crossed when the crime was committed, which is why Rodriguez was eligible for the death penalty. Neither North Dakota nor Minnesota allow the death penalty in state prosecutions.
Rodriguez, 53, could be on death row for several years as appeals are made by his attorneys.
Sjodin was a native of Pequot Lakes, Minn.
While, as I’ve mentioned, I oppose the death penalty for one and only one reason – the systemic inevitability of eventually executing the wrong person – suffice to say I don’t think Rodriguez has any claim to be convicted in error.
I won’t be celebrating his execution, but I won’t picket it, either.