Lee Boyd Malvo’s life sentence for his involvement in the 2002 DC sniper attacks has been overturned by a federal court because he was only 17 years old at the time of his arrest. The ruling is based on a 2016 decision by the US Supreme Court.
On Friday, Malvo’s three capital murder sentences and one attempted capital murder sentence were overturned by US District Judge Raymond Alvin Jackson of the Eastern District of Virginia.
The ruling cited both the Supreme Court decision in 2012 that found juvenile sentences of life without parole were unconstitutional and the 2016 decision that made the same judgement retroactive.
“Crucially, neither the plea agreement nor the sentencing judge provided any notification… that, by signing the plea agreement, he was waiving his Eighth Amendment right to a sentencing hearing in which the judge must determine “whether the juvenile offender before it is a child ‘whose crimes reflect transient immaturity’ or is one of ‘those rare children whose crimes reflect irreparable corruption,’” Judge Jackson wrote, according to WTOP.
Malvo, now 32, took part in sniper shootings that killed 10 people and injured three others between October 2 and 24, 2002, across the Beltway in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC.
The other perpetrator, John Allen Muhammad, was executed in Virginia in 2009. Malvo remains at the state’s super-max Red Onion State Prison.