- The Washington Times - Monday, March 18, 2019

The Supreme Court agreed to hear a case Monday involving one of the D.C. snipers, who is challenging his sentence of life without parole.

A lower court has ruled Lee Boyd Malvo should get a new sentencing hearing, given he was 17 at the time of the shooting spree. The Trump Justice Department appealed to the justices.

At issue is a 2012 high court ruling that held the sentencing of juvenile homicide offenders to life in prison without parole violated the 8th Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

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And in 2016, the justices applied their 2012 ruling to a separate case involving a man who was sentenced to life without parole in Louisiana for a crime committed when he was 17.

In that ruling, the court said only ” ‘the rare juvenile offender whose crime reflects irreparable corruption’ ” may be sentenced to mandatory life in prison without parole.

Based on both the 2012 and 2016 cases, Malvo argues Virginia should have to re-evaluate his sentence.

He had been sentenced before those rulings, and the justices will now decide whether their later decisions apply to Malvo retroactively.

Malvo and John Allen Muhammad terrorized the Washington area in 2002 with their shooting spree, which saw the two men conduct random attacks at locations around the Beltway. Some residents avoided going out except when absolutely necessary, and some gas stations took to hanging tarps at their pumps to block people filling up their tanks from becoming targets.

Schools were placed on lockdown and on one occasion, Interstate 95 was closed.

They killed 10 people and wounded three, all while taunting police. They had drilled a hole in the trunk of their car just above the license plate so they could fire from undercover, then drive off, eluding authorities and prolonging the terror for weeks.

Muhammad, who was an adult during the spree, was sentenced to death and was executed in 2009. He had brought Malvo into the U.S. illegally and acted as a father figure toward him.

Malvo was convicted by a jury of murdering one woman, and he pleaded guilty to the murder and attempted murder of two other individuals in Virginia. He also pleaded guilty to six murders in Maryland.

He has been serving his time in Virginia at Red Onion State Prison.

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