Maryland court rules DC-area sniper, linked to 10 murders, must be resentenced

In what boils down to a compliance component, Washington, D.C.-area sniper Lee Boyd Malvo must be resentenced for his role in a cowardly shooting spree that took place nearly two decades ago.

Maryland’s highest court has ruled that Malvo, who was sentenced to six life sentences without the possibility of parole, must be resentenced because of Supreme Court decisions relating to constitutional protections for juveniles, Fox News reported.

Malvo is also serving separate life sentences for murders in Virginia and the Maryland Court of Appeals said in a 4-3 ruling that it’s very unlikely Malvo would ever be released from custody — victims were gunned down from long range in both Maryland and Virginia while doing mundane tasks like pumping gas and working in the yard.

“As a practical matter, this may be an academic question in Mr. Malvo’s case, as he would first have to be granted parole in Virginia before his consecutive life sentences in Maryland even begin,” Judge Robert McDonald wrote in the majority opinion, according to Fox News.

The judge said it’s ultimately not up to the Court of Appeals to decide on sentencing, just compliance with previous Supreme Court rulings.

“We hold only that the Eighth Amendment requires that he receive a new sentencing hearing at which the sentencing court, now cognizant of the principles elucidated by the Supreme Court, is able to consider whether or not he is constitutionally eligible for life without parole under those decisions,” McDonald wrote.

Ten people were killed in the three-week serial sniper spree that terrorized the DC area in October 2002. Malvo was 17 years old at the time and would be sentenced to life without parole in both Maryland and Virginia. His partner in crime, John Allen Muhammad, who was 41 at the time, was executed in November 2009 in Virginia.

Tom Tillison


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