Publisher's note: This informational nugget was sent to me by Ben Shapiro, who represents the Daily Wire, and since this is one of the most topical news events, it should be published on BCN.
The author of this post is Ashe Schow.
Seventeen years ago, the Washington, D.C. metro area was terrorized for three weeks by sniper fire, which claimed the lives of 10 people and critically injured three others.
The culprits were John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, who was 17 at the time of the attacks. Muhammad was executed on November 10, 2009, while Malvo was sentenced to six consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.
In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that mandatory sentences of life without parole for juvenile offenders violated the Eight Amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, CNN reported
. In 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit vacated the three life sentences Malvo received in Virginia based on the Supreme Court's 2012 ruling.
The Supreme Court heard Malvo's case last fall. Attorneys for Malvo, now 35, argued that he should be resentenced in light of the Supreme Court's recent rulings on juvenile offenders. The Supreme Case on Wednesday dismissed Malvo's case.
"The one-sentence order, which was expected, comes two days after Virginia's governor signed a bill making juvenile offenders who were sentenced to life imprisonment eligible for parole after serving 20 years. Both sides told the Supreme Court there was no reason to continue the case,"
Just because Malvo's sentence in Virginia was reduced does not mean he will be getting out of prison anytime soon. He still has life sentences from Maryland for the people who were killed there during the 2002 attacks. More from CNN:
- At oral arguments, Virginia argued that the sentence of life without parole could stand because Malvo's sentence was discretionary, not mandatory.
- Justice Elena Kagan had questioned, however, whether Virginia properly considered Malvo's age. She pointed out that the 2012 decision, which she wrote, could be summarized in two words: "youth matters," and that a sentencer must treat children differently from adult offenders.
- Justice Brett Kavanaugh, on the other hand, repeatedly questioned a lawyer for Malvo on the meaning of the court's precedents and how they would impact cases where the judge or jury did not just consider a sentence of life without parole.
In response to the Supreme Court dismissing the case, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) released a statement saying the case is about more than just Malvo.
"He has counts in the state of Maryland so it would be a long time. But it's not so much about him. It's about the hundreds of people who are incarcerated right now and were tried as juveniles and we want them to have an opportunity for a second chance,"
Northam said in the statement.
Fox 5 DC reported
that former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, who prosecuted Malvo for his crimes in Maryland, made sure people knew Malvo was not getting released thanks to the latest ruling.
"Six people were murdered in Montgomery County and should have their day in court, was that we were worried and concerned about what might happen in Virginia down the road. And this has happened, so even in the event that Malvo were to be paroled, he would then have to serve six life sentences in Maryland,"
Gansler said in his own statement, adding that Malvo is unlikely to be paroled and the Maryland sentences mean he'll probably never leave prison.