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A death sentence

Although his defense attorney has vowed to file a motion for a new trial -- and if that's denied, an appeal has been promised -- it appears likely that Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. will be the State of North Dakota's first execution since 1905.

Although his defense attorney has vowed to file a motion for a new trial -- and if that's denied, an appeal has been promised -- it appears likely that Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. will be the State of North Dakota's first execution since 1905.

Jurors on Friday sentenced Rodriguez, a convicted sex offender, to death for the kidnapping and killing of Dru Sjodin. The decision came after more than a day and a half of deliberations, and it came from the same jury that convicted Rodriguez on Aug. 30 on a charge of kidnapping resulting in Sjodin's death.

While the State of North Dakota doesn't have the death penalty, it is allowed in federal cases -- which were applicable here because Sjodin was taken from North Dakota into Minnesota. The evidence implicating Rodriguez in this crime was overwhelming. His record of assaults dates back more than 30 years. He kidnapped and killed Sjodin six months after his release from prison.

Congratulations to the jury for a job well done.

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