Juvenile ‘Beltway Sniper’ Granted Maryland Resentencing

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Trevor Schakohl Legal Reporter
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The surviving “Beltway Sniper” must receive sentencing again because he committed his crimes as a juvenile, a state court found Friday.

Lee Boyd Malvo, then 17, and then-41-year-old John Allen Muhammad killed 10 people and injured three in the Washington, D.C., area in October 2002, mostly using a concealed high-powered rifle, the Maryland Court of Appeals said. Authorities executed Muhammad in 2009, while Malvo was sentenced in Maryland to six consecutively running terms of life imprisonment with no parole possibility along with four similar sentences in Virginia, the court noted.

for Muhammad and jury selection. REUTERS/Dave Ellis/POOL

Washington DC area sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad enters the courtroom at Prince William County Circuit Court in Manassas, Virginia August 18, 2003. REUTERS/Dave Ellis/POOL

Muhammad brought the Jamaica-born Malvo to the U.S. in 2001, and the younger man’s lawyer argued at his 2006 Maryland sentencing he had “grown tremendously” after being under the influence of the “evil man,” according to the Maryland Court of Appeals. The court determined Friday that Malvo be re-sentenced for his Maryland convictions due to subsequent U.S. Supreme Court findings that juveniles whose “transient immaturity” spurred their crimes cannot be jailed for life with no parole possibility under the Eighth Amendment.

The Supreme Court dismissed Malvo’s Virginia case in 2020 after a new state law made all juvenile offenders with life sentences parole-eligible after 20 years’ imprisonment, CBS News reported. He must be freed there for his Maryland sentences to start, and the Maryland appeals court acknowledged its inability to decide if he should ever be released for his crimes in their state. (RELATED: Federal Judge Blocks Idaho Law Banning Nearly All Abortions)

“This decision reaffirms that all juveniles sentenced in Maryland to life without parole are entitled to a constitutionally adequate sentencing hearing,” Malvo’s public defender attorney Kiran Iyer told WUSA9. “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.”

Iyer declined to comment further to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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