Malvo attorneys seek to have sentences vacated - The Daily Progress: News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Malvo attorneys seek to have sentences vacated

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Posted: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 10:20 pm

Citing a 2012 Supreme Court ruling, attorneys for convicted D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo have petitioned federal courts in Maryland and Virginia to vacate the 10 life sentences he is serving.

Malvo, now 28, was four months shy of his 18th birthday when he and John Allen Muhammad gunned down 13 people in the Beltway area over a three-week period in October 2002, according to court records.

The pair used a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle to shoot people ranging in age from 13 to 72 out of the modified trunk of a blue Chevrolet Caprice. Malvo and Muhammad killed 10 people in random attacks as the victims engaged in everyday activities like pumping gas and mowing the lawn.

Malvo's lawyers cite Miller v. Alabama, a June 25, 2012, U.S. Supreme Court decision, claiming their client's punishment is a violation of his Eighth Amendment rights.

The 5-4 ruling found that mandatory life imprisonment without parole for convicts younger than 18 at the time of their crime is a breach of the constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

Attorneys Craig Cooley and Michael Arif in Virginia and William C. Brennan Jr. in Maryland each asserted in Tuesday court filings that the finding should apply retroactively to Malvo under a 1989 Supreme Court decision addressing the application of new rules of law.

None of the the attorneys listed on Malvo's petitions responded to interview requests.

Malvo was convicted of six counts of first-degree murder in Montgomery County, Md., in 2006; capital murder, attempted capital murder and two counts of using a firearm while committing a felony in Spotsylvania County in 2004; and two counts of capital murder and use of a firearm while committing a felony in Chesapeake, also in 2004, court records state.

Malvo is being held at Red Onion State Prison, a super-maximum security facility in Wise County.

Muhammad was convicted of capital murder in 2003 and executed by lethal injection at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt on Nov. 10, 2009. He was 48.

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