The five years since the abduction and murder of University of North Dakota student Dru Sjodin have brought tougher laws against sex offenders. The Associated Press quotes state and federal prosecutors as saying it is not enough. Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. was sentenced to death for kidnapping and killing Sjodin. He is in a federal prison awaiting execution while his lawyers prepare to argue an appeal. Prosecutor Drew Wrigley believes the case captured national attention because Sjodin was abducted while walking to her car after shopping. It could have happened to anybody, Wrigley said.
New laws against sex offenders have been enacted in North Dakota and Minnesota. The names of victims have been attached to federal legislation, including the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, Katie’s Law, and Dru’s Law. Minnesota keeps more sex offenders locked up longer, and supervises them more closely once they get out of prison. It has sharply increased the number of sex offenders it commits to secure hospitals after their prison sentences run out, and it has adopted tougher sentencing for new offenses, particularly for repeat offenders. North Dakota has launched a user-friendly sex offender Web site that includes detailed information, photographs of offenders, and the ability to sign up for e-mail notices when offenders move into a certain city.