Supreme Court Will Hear Case Involving Convicted D.C.-Area Sniper

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider reinstating four life-without-parole sentences on Lee Boyd Malvo, one of two snipers who killed 10 people in a Washington-area shooting spree in 2002.

The justices will review a decision that ordered a new sentencing hearing for Malvo on the Virginia charges to consider letting him eventually become eligible for parole.

The case turns on a 2012 Supreme Court decision that said people who commit crimes before turning 18 can’t be given a mandatory life-without-parole sentence. The Supreme Court said in 2016 the ruling applies retroactively.

A federal appeals court said the 2016 ruling also affected discretionary sentences like Malvo’s, requiring judges to consider whether the person is so "permanently incorrigible" as to warrant a guaranteed lifetime sentence.

Malvo was 17 at the time of the attacks, which terrorized the nation’s capital and surrounding area for three weeks. The other killer, John Allen Muhammad, was executed in Virginia in 2009.

Malvo was also sentenced to six life-without-parole sentences in Maryland. He is separately challenging those sentences.

The case, which the court will hear during the nine-month term that starts in October, is Mathena v. Malvo, 18-217.

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