Supreme Court’s Malvo case to af­fect other con­victed teens

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Second Front - By JES­SICA GRESKO

WASH­ING­TON — Lee Boyd Malvo, who ter­ror­ized the Wash­ing­ton re­gion in 2002 as one-half of a sniper team, is at the cen­ter of a case the Supreme Court will hear this fall. But the jus­tices’ even­tual rul­ing prob­a­bly will mean less for him than for a dozen other in­mates who, like the now-34-yearold Malvo, were sen­tenced to life with­out pa­role for mur­ders they com­mit­ted as teens.

At is­sue for the Supreme Court is whether Malvo should be re­sen­tenced in Vir­ginia in light of Supreme Court rul­ings re­strict­ing life-with­out-pa­role sen­tences for crimes com­mit­ted by ju­ve­niles.

But the case could also be an op­por­tu­nity for the Supreme Court, which has re­cently be­come more con­ser­va­tive, to put the brakes on what has been a grad­ual move to­ward more le­niency for ju­ve­nile of­fend­ers.

Regardless of the case’s out­come, Malvo isn’t leav­ing prison any­time soon. He’s serv­ing four life-with­out-pa­role sen­tences in Vir­ginia. He was sen­tenced to an­other six life life-with­out-pa­role terms for shoot­ings in Mary­land. But an ap­peals court ruled last year that Malvo should be re­sen­tenced in Vir­ginia, the de­ci­sion the Supreme Court will re­view.

The ap­peals court ex­plained that af­ter Malvo was sen­tenced, the Supreme Court is­sued a se­ries of de­ci­sions af­fect­ing ju­ve­nile killers, de­ci­sions that re­quired Malvo to be re­sen­tenced.

But even if the jus­tices were to agree that Malvo should re­ceive new sen­tences in Vir­ginia and even if he were given some­thing short of life with­out pa­role, then he still would have to suc­cess­fully get his Mary­land sen­tences re­duced be­fore hav­ing a shot at free­dom.

“The re­al­ity is that other peo­ple have more at stake in this case than he does,” said Jody Kent Lavy, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Wash­ing­ton-based Cam­paign for the Fair Sen­tenc­ing of Youth, which has filed a Supreme Court brief sup­port­ing Malvo.


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