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Associated Press, Published October 01 2010

Purdon won't hand Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. death penalty case

FARGO (AP) — The new U.S. attorney for North Dakota will not take over further appeals by death row inmate Alfonso Rodriguez Jr.

Timothy Purdon says ethics advisers at the Department of Justice have decided to keep him off a handful of cases because of his previous affiliation with the Vogel Law Firm.

Purdon would not be more specific about possible connections to the Rodriguez case.

Rodriguez was convicted in 2006 for killing University of North Dakota student Dru Sjodin. It was the state's first federal death penalty case.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide by the end of the year whether it will hear Rodriguez's case.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.