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Maryland high court to resentence DC Sniper Lee Boyd Malvo as juvenile offender

He was 18-years-old when he was convicted for his participation in the sniper spree that terrorized the D.C. area.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — Editor's Note: This video is from Feb. 2022 about Maryland's Supreme Court reviewing the D.C. sniper's life sentence.

Maryland's high court is requesting a resentencing for D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo to be tried as a juvenile offender, according to a Friday announcement.

Malvo, who turned 37 this year, was sentenced to multiple life terms after he pleaded guilty to killing six people in Montgomery Count in Oct. 2002. He was 18 years old when he was convicted for his participation in the sniper spree, alongside John Allen Muhammad, that terrorized the D.C. area. In Maryland, Virginia, and the District the two killed 10 people and wounded three. Others were also killed during their travel from Washington state to the D.C. region.

Muhammad was executed in 2009 for the crimes.

At the time of the incident, Malvo was 17 and under Maryland law, a sentence for a juvenile offender does not permit a sentence of life without parole when convicted of homicide if the sentencing court determines that the offender’s crime was the result of transient immaturity, as opposed to permanent incorrigibility.  

Oral arguments for the request for either sentencing relief or release were held in February of this year, almost 20 years after the original conviction. 

The request came after the Juvenile Restoration Act (JUVRA) was signed into law just a few months prior. Under the act, a juvenile offender who was convicted as an adult and serving a sentence that was imposed before Oct. 1, 2021, may file a motion for reduction after serving 20 years of the sentence.

According to a court document, the defendant is entitled to be resentenced to ensure compliance with the U.S. Constitution's Eighth Amendment.

The resentencing will remain within the discretion of the sentencing court for Malvo. Currently, no information has been released as to when the Supreme Court resentencing will begin.

Malvo is already eligible for parole in Virginia where he is currently serving four life sentences, but attorneys and even the court in its ruling say parole there is unlikely. 

Credit: WUSA9

In a statement to WUSA9, Kiran Iyer, the public defender representing Malvo said:

 “This decision reaffirms that all juveniles sentenced in Maryland to life without parole are entitled to a constitutionally adequate sentencing hearing. While we are pleased with this victory, Mr. Malvo has been granted a resentencing hearing in Maryland—nothing more—and is still serving multiple life sentences in Virginia. There are still many obstacles to Mr. Malvo ever being released."

The Maryland Attorney General's Office said it is reviewing the opinion and had no comment. 

Watch Next: Parallels between Northwest DC shooting that left 4 dead and the 2002 sniper attacks

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