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Sniper suspect Lee Boyd Malvo, center, is surrounded by deputies as he is brought into court to be identified by a witness during the trial of sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad at the Virginia Beach Circuit Court in Virginia Beach, Va.,Wednesday Oct. 22, 2003. Witness Muhammad Rashid, a Maryland liquor store owner was the witness on the stand when Malvo was brought in. (AP Photo/Davis Turner,pool)

A federal judge nullified the life sentences of the 2002 DC sniper Lee Boyd Malvo


A federal judge on Friday nullified the life sentences of Lee Boyd Malvo for his role in the sniper shootings in Virginia in 2002 because a 2012 Supreme Court ruling that declared that life sentences without parole were unconstitutional for juveniles. In 2016, it was determined that the Supreme Court ruling could be applied retroactively, such as in Malvo's case, who was 17 at the time of the crimes, the Washington Post reported.

U.S. District Court Judge Raymond A. Jackson ordered re-hearings for Malvo despite his guilty plea.

Jackson's ruling, however, doesn't apply to the six life sentences Malvo, now 32, received in Maryland after he pleaded guilty to six murder charges there. His lawyers are appealing the sentences in state and federal court on the same grounds.

Those cases remain pending.

The rulings don't vacate Malvo's sentences either. Instead, the courts in Fairfax and Spotsylvania must resentence Malvo on the standards devised by the Supreme Court in 2012.

It's still possible that he receive the same sentences.

Malvo and John Allen Muhammad were convicted of 10 murders in a three-week period in the Washington area. Muhammad was sentenced to death, and executed in 2009.

On the other hand, Malvo was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole in 2004.

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