DC sniper Lee Boyd Malvo must be sentenced, says Maryland’s highest court: NPR


In a 2004 photo, convicted sniper Lee Boyd Malvo walks into a courtroom at Spotsylvania Circuit Court in Spotsylvania, Va. Maryland’s highest court ruled Friday that Malvo should be re-sentenced due U.S. Supreme Court rulings regarding constitutional protections for minors made after Malvo was sentenced to six life terms without the possibility of parole.

Mike Morones/The Free Lance-Star via AP


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Mike Morones/The Free Lance-Star via AP

DC sniper Lee Boyd Malvo must be sentenced, says Maryland's highest court: NPR

In a 2004 photo, convicted sniper Lee Boyd Malvo walks into a courtroom at Spotsylvania Circuit Court in Spotsylvania, Va. Maryland’s highest court ruled Friday that Malvo should be re-sentenced due U.S. Supreme Court rulings regarding constitutional protections for minors made after Malvo was sentenced to six life terms without the possibility of parole.

Mike Morones/The Free Lance-Star via AP

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland’s highest court has ruled that Washington, D.C.-area sniper Lee Boyd Malvo should be re-sentenced, due to U.S. Supreme Court rulings regarding the constitutional protections for minors taken after Malvo was sentenced to six life terms without the possibility of parole.

In its 4-3 decision, however, the Maryland Court of Appeals said it was highly unlikely Malvo would ever be released, as he is also serving separate life sentences for murders in Virginia.

“In practice, this may be an academic matter in Mr. Malvo’s case, as he would first have to be granted parole in Virginia before his consecutive life sentences in Maryland even begin,” Judge Robert wrote. McDonald’s in the majority opinion released on Friday. .

McDonald wrote that it is ultimately not for the Court of Appeals to decide the appropriate sentence for Malvo, or whether he should ever be released from his sentences in Maryland.

“We only believe that the Eighth Amendment requires that he receive a new sentencing hearing at which the sentencing court, now mindful of the principles elucidated by the Supreme Court, is able to consider s whether or not he is constitutionally eligible for life without parole under these rulings,” McDonald wrote.

Malvo, 37, is now confined to Red Onion State Prison in Virginia.

Malvo and his mentor, John Allen Muhammad, gunned down people in Virginia, Maryland and Washington as they pumped gas, loaded packages into their cars and went about their daily lives for a three-week period in 2002. Malvo was 17 at the time; Mohammad was 41 years old.

Muhammad was sentenced to death and executed in Virginia in 2009.

In Maryland, Malvo voluntarily testified against Muhammad. In 2006, Malvo pleaded guilty to six counts of first-degree murder in Montgomery County, a suburb of the nation’s capital.

At his sentencing that year, the prosecutor said Malvo, once under the thrall of a ‘wicked man’, had changed and ‘greatly grown’ since his involvement in the crimes, according to the court’s ruling. call.

The ruling said Malvo’s sentence was “in accordance with relevant state law and the state’s sentencing advisory guidelines at the time.”

“Since then, however, the Supreme Court has ruled that the Eighth Amendment does not authorize a life sentence without parole for juvenile homicide if a sentencing court determines that the offender’s crime was the result of transient immaturity, as opposed to permanent incorrigibility,” the judgment reads.

The ruling also noted that the Supreme Court ruled that the legal duress applies retroactively and applies to Malvo’s case.

Judges Jonathan Biran, Brynja Booth and Joseph Getty joined McDonald in the majority. Judges Shirley Watts, Michele Hotten and Steven Gould dissented.

Watts wrote that the sentencing court took into account Malvo’s status as a minor.

“The record demonstrates that Mr. Malvo received a personalized sentencing process in which his youth and accompanying characteristics were considered, and the circuit court was aware that he had the power discretion to impose a lesser sentence,” Watts wrote.

Hotten wrote that any alleged finding of corrigibility “did not render the petitioner’s sentences unconstitutionally disproportionate as applied.”

“The proportionality of the petitioner’s sentences must rather be weighed against the gravity of his crimes,” Hotten wrote. “The petitioner committed some of the worst crimes in the history of the state. It was not entirely disproportionate that a heavy sentence was imposed.”


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