The D.C. Sniper Is Trying To Have His Prison Sentence Reduced With The Help Of A Monumental Supreme Court Case
Malvo was a juvenile when he was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
October 16, 2019 at 11:17 pm
Lee Boyd Malvo, who killed 10 people and injured others using sniper rifles in the Washington, D.C. area in 2002, is seeking a less harsh prison sentence, CNBC reported.
Malvo was 17 years old when he joined John Allen Muhammad in the killing spree that later led to them being named the “D.C. snipers.” Muhammad was in his 40s when he connected with Malvo and groomed him to be his partner in crime.
The two shot at least 21 people around the country, killing 14, including the 10 homicides in the Washington area, the Washington Post reported.
For his crimes, Malvo received life in prison without parole. Blavity previously reported Muhammad was executed in 2009.
However, recent Supreme Court cases have upheld that courts must consider a minor’s age before sentencing them to life without parole. This follows another recent ruling from 2005 saying the courts cannot sentence minors to death.
The Miller v. Alabama case barred mandatory life without parole sentences for minors in 2012. The Supreme Court ruled life sentences went against the Eighth Amendment, CNBC noted.
Justice Elena Kagan wrote the 5-4 majority opinion in the case.
In 2016, the Montgomery v. Louisiana case applied the rule retroactively to include prisoners who were previously sentenced, including Malvo. An appeals court said Malvo is entitled to resentencing with the new rules in place.
The Washington Post reported Malvo committed other murders before his joint sniping spree.
In February 2002, Malvo and Muhammad rang Keenya Cook's doorbell and later shot the single mother in the face while she was making dinner for her young daughter.
It turned out that Malvo, with Muhammad’s orders, was supposed to shoot Cook’s aunt, who had supported Muhammad’s ex-wife in a custody battle over their children.
Isa Farrington Nichols, Cook’s aunt, is in favor of the Supreme Court’s new laws, even if they shorten Malvo’s sentence, according to an interview with The Post.
“This is not about him being released,” Nichols said. “The first time I heard it, I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ This was someone sent to my door to kill me. But as I listened more and more, I understood the totality of what’s involved, and the other families involved in youths sentenced to life without parole … I believe there’s a bigger picture here. This is something that needs to be done.”
Not all of Malvo’s victims want the case to be reopened, The Post noted.
The mostly conservative Supreme Court may put a stop to the increasing leniency for juvenile offenders, the Associated Press reported.