Lee Boyd Malvo, who was sentenced to multiple life-without-parole sentences for his involvement in the 2003 DC Sniper murders, asked the US Supreme Court to dismiss his appeal Monday following a newly-passed Virginia law allows parole boards to consider Malvo for early release.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed the bill into law Monday. The bill permits those sentenced to life in prison who committed crimes under the age of 18 to seek parole after serving 20 years:
Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A or any other provision of this article to the contrary, any person sentenced to a term of life imprisonment for a single felony or multiple felonies committed while the person was a juvenile and who has served at least 20 years of such sentence shall be eligible for parole and any person who has active sentences that total more than 20 years for a single felony or multiple felonies committed while the person was a juvenile and who has served at least 20 years of such sentences shall be eligible for parole. The Board shall review and decide the case of each prisoner who is eligible for parole in accordance with § 53.1-154 and rules adopted pursuant to 568 subdivision 2 of § 53.1-136.
Malvo sought Supreme Court review after a Virginia court sentenced him to life without parole. The Supreme Court has held that mandatory life sentences for juveniles are unconstitutional. The ruling applies to any person with a previous, mandatory, life-without-parole, juvenile conviction.
Malvo was 17 years old when he committed two murders as part of the DC Sniper killings. However, Malvo’s life-without-parole sentence was not mandatory sentence. Malvo sought to have the Supreme Court expand its previous holdings to all juvenile, life-without-parole convictions.
The Supreme Court heard arguments for Malvo’s appeal in October and had yet to issue and opinion.