The life sentences that Lee Boyd Malvo received for his role in the 2002 sniper shootings which occurred in Virginia were thrown out Friday by a federal judge, because Malvo was 17 at the time of the attacks.
The Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole were unconstitutional for juveniles, and in 2016 the court decided that ruling should be applied retroactively. And so even though Malvo entered pleas in Spotsylvania County, Va., and agreed to serve two life sentences without parole, in addition to being convicted by a jury and sentenced to two life sentences in Chesapeake, Va., U.S. District Court Judge Raymond A. Jackson vacated all four sentences and ordered resentencings.
The ruling does not apply to the six life sentences Malvo received in Maryland after he pleaded guilty to six murder charges there. His Maryland lawyers are appealing in both state and federal court on the same grounds, and a hearing is set for next month.