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March 31, 2020

US Supreme Court dismisses Washington sniper's freedom bid - Tip News

US Supreme Court dismisses Washington sniper's freedom bid

US Supreme Court dismisses Washington sniper's freedom bid
'Lee Boyd Malvo, one of the "DC snipers," seen in 2002, the year of the shootings ' - By: AFP/File LUKE FRAZZA

The US Supreme Court officially dismissed a challenge Wednesday by "DC Sniper" Lee Boyd Malvo to his sentence of life without parole after a law came into effect offering the possibility of freedom for juvenile offenders who have served 20 years.

Malvo got four life sentences without parole for three sniper-style murders committed in the state of Virginia with John Muhammad in 2002, when Malvo was 17.

Malvo agreed to end his resentencing bid on Monday because he will be eligible for parole in two years in any case under the Virginia law that came into force on the same day.

If freed by Virginia, however, he would still have to serve six more terms of life without parole for another six killings in neighboring Maryland as part of the same shooting spree.

Malvo and Muhammad, a 41-year-old Gulf war veteran, sparked panic in the suburbs of Washington during a three-week reign of terror that earned them the moniker the "DC Snipers."

The pair targeted random victims at gas stations, parking lots and other outdoor locations, killing 10 and wounding three.

One or the other would open fire from inside the specially modified trunk of a car fitted with a peep hole to shoot through. After a sprawling manhunt they were arrested in a parking lot.

Muhammad, the instigator of the killing spree, was executed in 2009 while Malvo's status as a minor saved his life.

The Supreme Court later ruled that defendants of age 17 and younger should not be sentenced to life terms without parole, except the "rarest of juvenile offenders, those whose crimes reflect permanent incorrigibility."

Malvo appealed his sentences in Virginia before the new provision was signed into law, arguing that his age had not been taken into account.

Lower courts issued contradictory decisions so the case went to the highest court, which heard arguments in October of last year.

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