Federal judge tosses out life sentences for DC sniper Malvo

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Lee Boyd Malvo, one of the two "D.C. snipers" found guilty of a string of fatal shootings that paralyzed the Washington region in October 2002, will have a chance at serving something less than life in prison.

Now, Malvo's case has been remanded back to Spotsylvania County Circuit Court to issue a new sentence.

He also noted that the convictions themselves stand and emphasized that, even if Malvo gets a new sentencing hearing, he could still be resentenced to a life term.

He was convicted and sentenced to serve another two life sentences in Fairfax County.

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Malvo appealed to the court saying he should not have been sentenced to life without parole because he was 17 years old at the time of the murders and he based his appeal on the Supreme Court ruling in Miller v. Alabama. His Maryland lawyers are appealing in both state and federal court on the same grounds, and those cases are pending. A jury convicted Malvo of capital murder for the slaying of Federal Bureau of Investigation analyst Linda Franklin, who was shot in the head outside a Home Depot store. His previous life sentences were without possibility of parole.

The attorney general's office argued unsuccessfully that the Supreme Court rulings should not apply to Malvo. Prosecutors sought a death sentence, but a jury opted for life in prison.

As they traveled, Muhammad and Malvo carried out a series of murders across the country, beginning in Washington state. Muhammad was executed via lethal injection on November 10, 2009. "I was able to move on with my life", she said. Malvo's entire trial was essentially a sentencing hearing, as Cooley and Arif told a life story of abuse and neglect by his mother, and brainwashing by Muhammad. "But he knew the difference between right and wrong".