US Supreme Court To Consider If Beltway Sniper Should Be Released Early

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday over whether Beltway Sniper Lee Malvo should be resentenced.

Washington, DC – U.S. Supreme Court justices heard arguments on Wednesday about whether Beltway Sniper Lee Malvo was wrongly sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Malvo was 17 years old in 2002 when he helped his adult partner target and kill 10 people in the Maryland, DC, Virginia metropolitan area, WRC reported.

The shootings, which went on over a three-week period, paralyzed and terrified the region.

Now Malvo’s attorneys have said their client deserves a new trial because of recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings that banned mandatory life sentences for juveniles, WRC reported.

In 2012, the court held that teenage killers couldn’t automatically be sentenced to life without parole.

“Mandatory life without parole for a juvenile precludes consideration of his chronological age and its hallmark features — among them, immaturity, impetuosity, and failure to appreciate risks and consequences,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote in the decision, according to WTOP.

And then four years later, in 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court made that ruling retroactive, opening up the door for numerous prisoners sentenced as juveniles to have their life sentences reviewed, WRC reported.

The state of Virginia has argued that Malvo was not sentenced to a “mandatory” term because the judge in his case had the option to suspend part of his prison term, but opted not to.

Virginia Solicitor General Toby J. Heytens said the jury in Chesapeake had been presented with the choice of the death penalty or life without parole, and had chosen not to give Malvo a death sentence, The New York Times reported.

However, Heytens also pointed out that the judge could have imposed a lighter sentence than life without parole if he had felt it was warranted.

Malvo’s attorneys have argued that, at the time, Virginia judges and attorneys didn’t realize they had the option of reducing the sentence, WTOP reported.

The justice’s ruling on Malvo’s case will actually mean more to other offenders fighting to have their sentences changed than it will to the Beltway Sniper because he has also been convicted in Maryland and is facing six life-without-parole terms in that state as well, according to WRC.

Numerous advocates have voiced concern about using Malvo as the face of an effort to reduce sentences for youthful offenders because it would be difficult for the justices to feel sympathy for his plight.

In addition to the Beltway Sniper murders in the DC area, Malvo and his partner were also suspected of additional shootings in Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana, and Washington State, The New York Times reported. Malvo could still be charged in connection with those murders.

Although Malvo was 17 when he and 41-year-old John Muhammad went on their killing spree around the Beltway, a number of the justices were residents of the Washington metropolitan area during the Beltway Sniper’s reign of terror.

Muhammad was sentenced to death for his role in the sniping and executed in 2009 for the murder of Dean Harold Myers in Prince William County, Virginia, WRC reported.

Comments (27)
No. 1-18
flybynight
flybynight

Well here's a story tailor-made for the trolls in 5,4,3,2,1

sturnman22
sturnman22

Should have been executed like his partner. A killer before he went to prison and still a killer if released.

Just-My-Thoughts
Just-My-Thoughts

17 yrs old you KNOW right from wrong! He'll do it again...

Devil-Dog-1024
Devil-Dog-1024

Evidently, some commenters didn't read the article before opening their pie holes. Even if he is released from that prison, "he has also been convicted in Maryland and is facing six life-without-parole terms in that state. " He wouldn't be free.

tfort
tfort

Read the article.

K-9 319
K-9 319

Released, he should have been executed.

cspcapt
cspcapt

he will kill again if released

Dra71
Dra71

If this was California Newsome would have set him free years go and had a parade for him.

61mouse
61mouse

WTF his victims were giving a life sentence

61mouse
61mouse

He grew up looking like Daddy, SCUMBAMMA

Anomie88
Anomie88

If this happened in Philadelphia, DA Krasner would have dropped the charges to disorderly conduct. Keeping his BLM friends in business.

gdmn2find8
gdmn2find8

Okay, so he gets released after being in prison since he was what 18? Just curious, how many will he have to kill either in a sniper mode or just outright shoot before they catch him, maybe and sentence him to life in prison. Does anyone really believe that he got better in prison?

Just Dee
Just Dee

First, let me say a few things.

  1. I'm a liberal.
  2. I spent years working shoulder to shoulder with cops, both in trauma ERs and in the field.
  3. I'm a Democrat.

Now, before you begin foaming at the mouth, let me assure you that not only am I not opposed to the death penalty in cases like this, I could start the IV and push the buttons on the delivery system, but I could do it, go home and kiss my kids, and sleep like a baby if there was a good reason for the execution.

I've known the best cops, and the worst. I've held cops heads when they cried at the loss of a life, be it a partner, a child, or someone they didn't even know existed two hours before.

I also have physically ejected a couple of them from my ER, which is somewhat more impressive when you know I'm 4'10".

This is a case that would not disrupt my sleep pattern in the least. Life is a gift. Anyone who can do what this man did is not, nor will he ever be, worthy of such a gift and he needs to be treated like the piece of garbage he is, period. I take heat for backing LEOs up all the time, and you know what? I don't care who likes it and who doesn't. My mother hated me and told me so every day of my life because she wanted a son, and I was not one. The one day I can ever remember her NOT telling me what a sorry waste of space I was, was the night I dropped off my kids so I could go to work and they were showing a spree killer who had gotten a last minute pardon from the death penalty and the CO's were walking him back to his cell, IV still in place, and laughing like a loon. I had seen a couple of his victims, and asked what was going on. My mom said he had gotten a last minute stay of execution. My answer was, "That's a damn shame." She made the remark that I was awfully hard nosed about it and I told her I knew what he was capable of and that the world would be a far better place if they would dig a deep hole, drop him in it, and drop a very large rock right onto his head. Funny, but I didn't get the "I hate you" talk that night.. I think it was the first time she realized there were many things she didn't know about me, and I was fine with that, too. I'm now a few days from 71, and if anything am even more convinced that if someone is willing to risk a death sentence for deliberately ending someone else's life, they don't deserve their own life. Period.

widbill45acp
widbill45acp

Billy The Kid would have loved her!!!

widbill45acp
widbill45acp

All the young SS soldiers in Germany would qualify for release as well. Wow, how the world has changed!

HeavensHeroes
HeavensHeroes

If for some reason the courts rule in his favor and he gets released early hopefully someone puts him in the crosshairs of a scope and does to him what he did to others.

USMCgirl
USMCgirl

17yrs old.... you KNOW better and you KNOW the consequences of your actions! He knew and he should rot in prison!

fakenews777
fakenews777

released early?? What the hell?? He (it) should be dead by now... how is it getting out of jail early? Kill it now! We are a society of retards!!! Liberals are retards!