Federal judge tosses out life sentences for DC sniper Malvo

Federal judge tosses out life sentences for DC sniper Malvo

A federal judge has overturned two life sentences for Lee Boyd Malvo, the man who terrorized Washington DC in 2002 with a series of sniper-style shootings.

In January 2017, Richmond defense attorney Craig Cooley asked a judge to toss out the life sentence against Malvo, because the U.S. Supreme Court has since ruled it unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life in prison without parole, without a sentencing hearing. In 2016, the court also decided that ruling could be retroactively applied to cases.

Malvo also was sentenced to life in prison in Maryland for the murders that occurred there.

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18-year old sniper suspect Lee Malvo, (C), who was 17 at the time of the alleged crimes, appears in court. His Maryland lawyers are appealing in both state and federal court on the same grounds, and those cases are pending.

Prosecutors sought the death penalty for Malvo as well, for the slaying in Fairfax County, Va., of Linda Franklin outside a Home Depot in the Falls Church area.

Virginia argued that Malvo waived his right to appeal when he entered his pleas.

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Malvo said he met Muhammad in Antigua and took to the road with him. The Virginia attorney general responded that Roush could have suspended some of Malvo's life term. The state argued that the jury's findings provide the kind of individualized assessment that the Supreme Court requires to sentence a juvenile to life in prison.

In 2013, he appealed to the court for a new sentence in light of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Miller v. Alabama, which held that juveniles must be treated differently in sentencing "because [they] have diminished culpability and greater prospects for reform". He executed for the killing in 2009. "I realised that once he goes back to his sense, he recognised that there is a God".

Malvo is now 32-years-old.

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