USA (McKoy’s News) – Lee Boyd Malvo’s Life Sentences Tossed: The life sentences that Lee Boyd Malvo received for his role in the sniper shootings which occurred in Virginia in 2002 were thrown out Friday by a federal judge, because he was 17 at the time of the attacks.
The Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole were unconstitutional for juveniles, and in 2016 the court decided that ruling should be applied retroactively. And so even though Malvo pleaded guilty in Spotsylvania County and agreed to serve two life sentences without parole, in addition to being convicted by a jury and sentenced to two life sentences in Fairfax County, U.S. District Court Judge Raymond A. Jackson vacated the four sentences and ordered re-hearings for Malvo.
The ruling does not apply to the six life sentences Malvo received in Maryland after he pleaded guilty to six murder charges there. His Maryland lawyers are appealing in both state and federal court on the same grounds, and those cases are pending.
The ruling also does not vacate Malvo’s convictions. Instead, the courts in Fairfax and Spotsylvania must resentence Malvo, on the new standards devised by the Supreme Court in 2012, and he could still receive life sentences again in those proceedings.
Malvo, now 32, and John Allen Muhammad were both convicted of 10 murders in a three-week period in the Washington area, beginning with trials in Virginia in 2003. Muhammad was sentenced to death for the slaying in Prince William County of Dean Meyers, and he was executed in 2009.
Prosecutors sought the death penalty for Malvo as well, for the slaying in Fairfax of Linda Franklin outside a Home Depot in the Falls Church area. But a jury in Chesapeake, Va., where the trial was moved because of pretrial publicity, chose a life sentence for Malvo, and Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Jane Marum Roush imposed that sentence in March 2004.
Contributed by Dr. Colin O Jarrett