The younger of two men who terrorized the Washington D.C. area during a deadly weeks-long shooting spree 17 years ago believes he deserves a chance at parole.
Lee Boyd Malvo and John Allen Muhammad killed 10 people and injured three others during the so-called “D.C. Sniper attacks” in 2002. Malvo, who was sentenced to life behind bars without the possibility of parole at a Virginia prison, was just 17 years old when the rampage unfolded across the nation’s capital.
Malvo, now 34, will request on Wednesday that the United States Supreme Court order he be re-sentenced in wake of a 2012 court decision that prohibits mandatory life sentences for juveniles, ABC News reported.
“Invalidation of ‘mandatory’ life without-parole sentences is premised on the court’s recognition that the qualities of youth – immaturity, vulnerability and changeability – must be taken into account when sentencing a juvenile offender because those qualities will typically make life without parole an excessive punishment for a juvenile,” Malvo’s attorney’s wrote in court documents.
His lawyers additionally noted that jurors were only able to consider a punishment of life without parole or the death penalty in the case.
The nation’s top court in 2012 decided mandatory life sentences without parole for minors violated the Eighth Amendment, which protects against cruel and unusual punishment.
Justice Elena Kagan, writing for the 5-4 majority, said that sentences must “take into account how children are different, and how those differences counsel against irrevocably sentencing them to a lifetime in prison.”
Malvo is one of 12 people sentenced as juveniles to a life behind bars without parole in Virginia, and “he understands that even if his sentence is reduced, he’s not getting out,” his attorney, Craig Cooley told the Washington Post.
He was handed four life-without parole sentences in Virginia and six life-without parole sentences from Maryland.
“I was a monster,” Malvo told the Post from prison in 2012.
“If you look up the definition of what a monster is, I was a ghoul, a thief. I stole people’s lives. I did someone else’s bidding just because they say so… There is no rhyme or reason or sense.”
Malvo’s co-conspirator, Muhammed, was sentenced to death for the D.C. shooting spree and executed in 2009.