Washington, D.C.-area snipers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo will be sentenced this week. Tomorrow, Prince William County, Va., Judge LeRoy F. Millette Jr. will either impose a death sentence on Muhammad, 43, or reduce the jury’s recommendation to life in prison without parole, says the Washington Post. On Wednesday, Fairfax County, Va., Judge Jane Marum Roush can sentence Malvo, 19, only to life in prison without parole. Prince William and Fairfax prosecutors intend to swap the snipers for their next trials.
Prosecutors say the Malvo decision is not easy. They had been committed to seek a death sentence for the teenager in the Oct. 9, 2002, slaying of Dean H. Meyers, but now they are considering a l plea agreement that could avoid another trial and spare Malvo’s life. Prosecutors may defer until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules, probably not until next year, on the legality of executing juveniles. Should the court bar juvenile executions, there would be little reason to prosecute Malvo again.