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Juror calls judge's decision to overturn Alfonso Rodriguez death sentence a 'joke'

Luke Lillehaugen said it was also a waste of taxpayer's time and money.

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FARGO — "Kind of a joke," was Luke Lillehaugen's reaction when he found out Alfonso Rodriguez's life has been spared for now .

"It's a waste of taxpayers' time and money," he went on to say.

Now a rancher in Nelson County, North Dakota, Lillehaugen was 31 and living in Fargo back in 2006 when he was chosen to serve as a juror for Rodriguez's trial in the kidnapping and killing University of North Dakota student Dru Sjodin.

"It wasn't really something I wanted to be on, didn't want to do it, wasn't looking forward to doing it, definitely was an experience," he recalled.

He remembers it took a little more than two days to decide Rodriguez, a serial rapist, should be put to death. Lillehaugen said the appeals were no surprise.

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"The first couple of years I followed it, but as the years went on and life went on I kind of tuned it out," he explained.

That was until Tuesday, Sept. 7.

"Fifteen years later it's all thrown out. Well, it was a waste of seven, eight weeks of our lives," he said.

Lillehaugen said he will once again be paying attention to the case. He is hoping for the same result.

"I stand by the decision I made back then; I think he needs to be put to death for it," said Lillehaugen.

Related Topics: CRIME AND COURTS
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