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Supreme Court will decide if convicted sniper in 2002 District of Columbia area killings can get new sentence

The Supreme Court of the United States, March 2017. (Phil Roeder/Flickr)

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide whether life-without-parole sentences for the primary gunman in a series of 2002 murders that terrorized the Washington, D.C., region must be reconsidered.

The justices will hear the state of Virginia’s appeal of a federal appeals court ruling that Lee Boyd Malvo should be resentenced because he was a teenager at the time of the crimes.

Malvo was 17 during the shooting spree that killed 10 people in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. The mastermind of the murders, John Allen Muhammad, was executed in 2009 for his role. Malvo received four sentences of life without parole in Virginia and six sentences in Maryland.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that mandatory life-without-parole sentences cannot be imposed on juveniles unless they committed murder and were deemed permanently incorrigible. That ruling was made retroactive in a subsequent high court decision four years later.

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit vacated Malvo’s sentences last June and asked the trial court to decide whether his “crimes reflect permanent incorrigibility” or “reflect the transient immaturity of youth.”

Even if Virginia must resentence Malvo, he still faces life without parole in Maryland for six murders committed there.


© 2019 USA Today

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