A United States high court on Friday overturned some of the life sentences of Jamaica-born U.S. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo, who was convicted for his role in a killing spree in Washington nearly 15 years ago.
A total of 10 people were killed and three others were shot during a three-week period that left residents of D.C., Virginia, and Maryland on edge.
Muhammad was executed in 2009.
He was convicted and sentenced to serve another two life sentences in Fairfax County.
Malvo was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the sniper-style attacks committed in October 2002, along with John Allen Muhammad.
The relevant case law, concerning the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and usual punishment, came down after Malvo was originally sentenced.
However, the federal judge's ruling only applies to his sentences in Virginia.
Malvo then negotiated a plea bargain in Spotsylvania County and agreed to a life sentence and waived his appeal rights. The Virginia attorney general responded that Roush could have suspended some of Malvo's life term. The state argued that the jury's findings provide the kind of individualized assessment that the Supreme Court requires to sentence a juvenile to life in prison.
"We believe that Judge Jackson's ruling is consistent with the mandates of the United States Supreme Court on these sentencing issues". Lawyers for Malvo said Muhammad, who treated Malvo as his son and taught him marksmanship, had a Svengali effect on the youth and coerced him into the killing spree.
"I couldn't say no", he said in the interview. "But he knew the difference between right and wrong".
Malvo, now 32 years old, is currently being held at Red Onion State Prison, a super-maximum security prison in Virginia.