Lee Boyd Malvo’s life sentences for his role in the 2002 sniper shootings in Virginia were thrown out by a federal judge because Malvo was 17 at the time of the attacks, the Washington Post reports. In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole were unconstitutional for juveniles, and four years later, the court decided that ruling should be applied retroactively. Even though Malvo agreed to serve two life sentences without parole, in addition to being convicted by a jury and sentenced to two life sentences, U.S. District Court Judge Raymond Jackson vacated all four sentences and ordered resentencings.
The ruling does not apply to the six life sentences Malvo received in Maryland after he pleaded guilty to six murder charges there. He is appealing in both state and federal court on the same grounds. Malvo could still receive life sentences again. Malvo, now 32, and John Allen Muhammad were both convicted of 10 murders committed in a three-week period in the Washington, D.C. area. Muhammad was sentenced to death, and he was executed in 2009. Prosecutors sought the death penalty for Malvo as well, but a jury in Chesapeake, Va., chose a life sentence.