'D.C. Sniper' Malvo can seek parole after change in Virginia law




  • In US
  • 2020-02-24 20:46:53Z
  • By Reuters
'D.C. Sniper' Malvo can seek parole after change in Virginia law  

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lee Boyd Malvo, who was 17 when he took part in the deadly 2002 "D.C. Sniper" shooting spree in the Washington area, will get a chance to seek parole in Virginia following a change in state law enacted on Monday, preempting a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the matter.

The change, signed by Democratic Governor Ralph Northam, allows people like Malvo, now 35, who were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for offenses committed before age 18 to ask for release after 20 years.

He also received a sentence of life in prison without parole in Maryland, which is not affected by the Virginia law.

Malvo, who is incarcerated in a supermax state prison in Virginia's Wise County, and an older accomplice, John Allen Muhammad, were convicted in the shootings in which 10 people were killed. Muhammad was sentenced to death and executed in a Virginia state prison in 2009 at age 48.

Virginia had appealed after a lower court ruled that Malvo should be resentenced in light of Supreme Court precedent that mandatory life sentences without parole for juvenile offenders violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. The Supreme Court on Oct. 16 heard arguments in the case and was due to issue a ruling by the end of June.

Lawyers on both sides sent a letter to the court asking for the case to be dismissed after Northam signed the legislation.

The shootings occurred over three weeks in Washington, Maryland and Virginia, causing panic in the U.S. capital region.

Malvo received four life sentences in Virginia, where he was convicted of two murders and later entered a separate guilty plea to avoid the death penalty.

The Supreme Court will need a future case in order to decide the legal question of whether inmates in similar situations who commit crimes as minors can receive new sentencing hearings to allow judges to consider whether their youth at the time of the offense merits leniency.


(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Supreme Court postpones April oral arguments over coronavirus
Supreme Court postpones April oral arguments over coronavirus
  • US
  • 2020-04-03 19:20:31Z

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday postponed oral arguments scheduled for April as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and is considering alternative options for handling the various outstanding cases. Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said that the nine justices - including oldest member Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 87 - are all healthy. Among the April cases to be delayed is a dispute over the complex U.S. presidential election system focusing on whether Electoral College electors are free to break their pledges to back the candidate who wins their state's popular vote.

Trump nominates McConnell ally to powerful appeals court
Trump nominates McConnell ally to powerful appeals court

President Donald Trump is nominating a 37-year-old judge and former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to a seat on the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Walker drew a "Not Qualified" rating from the American Bar Association when Trump nominated him last year to be a federal judge in Kentucky.

Trump taps Kavanaugh ally for seat on influential appeals court
Trump taps Kavanaugh ally for seat on influential appeals court
  • US
  • 2020-04-03 15:16:22Z

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday announced plans to nominate a vocal ally of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to an influential federal appeals court in Washington. Justin Walker, 37, who has served as a federal district court judge in Kentucky since October, would replace Republican appointee Judge Thomas Griffith on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit if approved by the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate. Griffith, appointed by former President George W. Bush, had previously announced his plans to retire.

March Madness Revisited: No. 16 seed UMBC makes history with win over No. 1 Virginia
March Madness Revisited: No. 16 seed UMBC makes history with win over No. 1 Virginia

A No. 16 seed had never beaten a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Until UMBC shocked the world with its blowout win of Virginia.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US