Federal judge tosses life sentences for convicted DC sniper

Glen Mclaughlin
May 27, 2017

A former Bellingham High School student's two life sentences are thrown out.

The order for reconsideration is based on a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision giving constitutional sentencing protections to juveniles. Instead, the courts in Fairfax and Spotsylvania must resentence Malvo, on the new standards devised by the Supreme Court in 2012, and he could still receive life sentences again in those proceedings.

The court concluded that while the convictions would stand, the life sentences would be tossed out, and Malvo would be resentenced.

However, the federal judge's ruling only applies to his sentences in Virginia.

Malvo was 17 when he and co-defendant John Allen Muhammad are alleged to have committed the sniper attacks. His Maryland lawyers are appealing in both state and federal court on the same grounds, and a hearing is set for next month. Judge Raymond Jackson agreed and made his ruling to vacate Malvo's sentence.

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Virginia argued that Malvo waived his right to appeal when he entered his pleas. The Virginia attorney general responded that Roush could have suspended some of Malvo's life term.

"We believe that Judge Jackson's ruling is consistent with the mandates of the United States Supreme Court on these sentencing issues". Prosecutors sought a death sentence, but a jury opted for life in prison.

"I was at peace knowing Muhammad was executed and Malvo was serving life without parole".

Cheryll Shaw, whose father, Jerry Taylor, was shot and killed by Muhammad and Malvo in March 2002 in Tucson, Arizona, in one of several killings that preceded the sniper shootings in the D.C. region, said the news that Malvo could potentially be released at a future date was an unpleasant shock.

"I couldn't say no", he said in the interview.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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