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Other action in the Supreme Court

FARGO, N.D. — The U.S. Supreme Court says it will not hear an appeal by a man sentenced to death for kidnapping and killing a University of North Dakota student in 2003.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Fargo says the court announced on Monday it had denied the petition for Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., who’s currently on death row at a federal prison.

A legal team already has been named to handle a final appeal historically referred to as habeas corpus.

Twenty-two-year-old Dru Sjodin was abducted from the parking lot of a Grand Forks shopping mall in November 2003. Her body was found five months later near Crookston, Minn.

In other action Monday:

* The court turned down a request to make public a national patient advocate’s appeal in the case of a Kansas doctor linked to dozens of patient overdose deaths.

It refused to allow the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to intervene in Siobhan Reynolds’ case.

The filings in Reynolds’ case have been sealed. The committee wanted to intervene so it could ask the court to make the papers open to the public.

But the high court said only redacted copies will be made public.

* The court said it won’t hear an appeal from Massachusetts prison inmates who say they should be able to vote.

Massachusetts and 47 other states generally prohibit incarcerated felons from voting. Maine and Vermont allow it.

In 2001, several jailed felons sued, saying not allowing them to vote violated the federal Voting Rights Act. They say keeping them from the polls is illegal because the percentage of imprisoned felons who are black or Hispanic is higher than the percentage in the state as a whole.

But the federal appeals court in Boston ruled Congress never intended to prohibit states from barring incarcerated felons from voting.

The case is Simmons v. Galvin, 09-920.

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