The Catholic bishops of North Dakota and Minnesota are expected to issue a letter this week, stating their position against the death penalty for Alfonso Rodriguez Junior, who is accused of the murder of University of North Dakota student Dru Sjodin, reported The Associated Press.
Although there is no word yet if federal authorities will seek the death penalty, the bishops will ask that prosecutors seek justice that does not include "vengeance."
Rodriguez has pleaded innocent in the federal court case, which is being heard in North Dakota. If convicted, Rodriguez could face the death penalty.
The bishops are planning to send the letter to U.S. attorneys Drew Wrigley of North Dakota and Tom Heffelfinger of Minnesota, and U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.