DC sniper SCOTUS, new juvenile sentencing standards.
The Supreme Court said Monday that it will take up the case of Lee Boyd Malvo, one of the infamous Beltway snipers, and evaluate whether he’s able to challenge his life sentence without parole due to new juvenile sentencing standards. The Washington Post reports that in 2002, a then-17-year-old Malvo and John Allen Muhammad murdered 10 people in a string of sniper attacks in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, in what officials called “one of the most notorious strings of terrorist acts in modern American history.” Muhammad was executed in 2009; Malvo was given a life sentence without parole in Virginia and Maryland. But in the years after Malvo was sentenced, the Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles are unconstitutional unless the crime demonstrates “irreparable corruption.” The court also ruled that the decision is retroactive. As a result, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond overturned a Virginia Supreme Court ruling, arguing that because a judge had never evaluated Malvo on the “irreparable corruption” standard, he deserves a new hearing. Malvo has also appealed his sentence in Maryland.