Judge Throws Out DC Sniper Lee Boyd Malvo's Life Sentence

Lee Boyd Malvo enters a courtroom in the Spotsylvania Va. Circuit Court. A federal judge has tossed out two life sentences for D.C. sniper shooter Lee Boyd Malvo and ordered Virginia courts to hold new sentencin

A USA federal judge on Friday threw out the life terms for a man sentenced for his role in a deadly three-week shooting spree in 2002 that terrorised the Washington area.

In his 25-page ruling, Norfolk-based federal district judge Raymond A. Jackson vacated Malvo's sentenced and remanded the case to Spotsylvania County Circuit Court for appropriate sentencing.

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In 2012, the US Supreme Court ruled such sentences unconstitutional for juveniles and later found that the ruling should be applied retroactively.

He was convicted and sentenced to serve another two life sentences in Fairfax County. His Maryland lawyers are appealing in both state and federal court on the same grounds, and a hearing is set for next month.

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Cooley said he believes Malvo was the first and most carefully planned victim in the murder spree, orchestrated by his father-figure, Muhammad.

Muhammad and Malvo used a rifle to shoot over a dozen people from a modified trunk of a Chevrolet Caprice in random attacks in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. His previous life sentences were without possibility of parole. The Virginia attorney general responded that Roush could have suspended some of Malvo's life term. To begin with, while the jury in Chesapeake had only the option of a death penalty or life without parole, the capital murder statute required them to make specific findings about Malvo, including a conclusion that he poses a future danger. Muhammad was executed via lethal injection on November 10, 2009. "But if he's going to be let out in my lifetime, I'm not comfortable with that". "But he knew the difference between right and wrong".

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Malvo, now 32, was just 17 at the time of the shootings.

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