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Feds respond to claims that Rodriguez is ineligible for death penalty

Alfonso Rodriguez Jr.
Alfonso Rodriguez Jr.

FARGO (KFGO-AM) - Federal prosecutors say defense attorneys' claims that the death penalty should be set aside for Alfonso Rodriguez are without merit and should be denied.

The U.S. Attorney's office has filed court documents countering claims that Rodriguez is mentally retarded; making him ineligible for the death penalty.

Rodriguez is embroiled in a lengthy appeal of his death sentence for the murder and kidnapping of Dru Sjodin.

The 489-page document also disputes claims that Rodriguez was represented by ineffective lawyers during his trial.

A federal judge will examine the arguments and determine whether an evidence hearing will be held.