Federal judge tosses out life sentences for DC sniper Malvo

Posted May 27, 2017

A federal district court judge has overturned the sentence of Lee Boyd Malvo on Friday, one of the two shooters involved in D.C.'s sniper attacks almost 15 years ago, according to the Washington Post.

Malvo's case was remanded back to Spotsylvania County Circuit Court in Virginia to issue a new sentence.

The ruling does not apply to the six life sentences Malvo received in Maryland after he pleaded guilty to six murder charges there. His lawyers are appealing those on the same grounds, the Post reported. But before that happens, the Virginia attorney general could appeal Jackson's ruling, which would postpone any resentencing hearings.

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Malvo was one of two shooters who killed ten people and injured three others in October of 2002.

John Allen Muhammad, Malvo's partner in the shootings, was executed in November 2009 in Virginia for his part in the crimes. A jury convicted Malvo of capital murder for the slaying of Federal Bureau of Investigation analyst Linda Franklin, who was shot in the head outside a Home Depot store.

In the years following his conviction Malvo said he was sexually abused by Muhammad from the age of 15 until the time they embarked on the shooting spree from inside a blue Chevrolet Caprice.

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In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life sentences for juveniles were unconstitutional. Jackson rejected that argument. The pair was subsequently captured in Frederick County, MD. An Alford plea means a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence to convict. His previous life sentences were without possibility of parole. Prosecutors sought a death sentence, but a jury opted for life in prison.

She said she has forgiven Malvo and knows that he was brainwashed by the older, imposing Muhammad. In 2016, the high court ruled that the principle could be applied retroactively.

"I'm not surprised at the ruling", Cooley said Friday.

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