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.
US District Judge Raymond Jackson in Virginia ruled that Lee Boyd Malvo deserved another sentencing hearing because the US Supreme Court has ruled that mandatory life sentences for minors are unconstitutional. Last year, the court ruled that decision could be retroactive.
Jackson remanded Malvo's case back to Spotsylvania County Circuit Court, where he pleaded guilty in 2004 and agreed to life in prison without parole.
Malvo, now 32 years old, is currently being held at Red Onion State Prison, a super-maximum security prison in Virginia.
However, the federal judge's ruling only applies to his sentences in Virginia.
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Malvo appealed his life sentences on the premise that he was seventeen-years-old at the time of the murders, making him a minor exempt from a life sentence (based on Miller v. Alabama). His lawyers are appealing those on the same grounds, the Post reported. 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.
The shooting spree killed 10 people and wounded three across Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC, over three weeks in October 2002. Under Virginia law, a capital murder conviction requires either a death sentence or life without parole. 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. Investigators later said Muhammad meant to kill his ex-wife, who lived in the Washington area.
"I was at peace knowing Muhammad was executed and Malvo was serving life without parole".
"I couldn't say no", he said in the interview.