Malvo was 17 years old when he and John Allen Muhammad went on a three-week shooting spree in the Washington D.C, Maryland and Virginia Beltway area in October 2002.
According to WTOP, Malvo filed a motion in 2017 to have his sentence corrected based on guidance from a 2012 Supreme Court decision. That decision, his lawyers argue, makes a life sentence without parole for juveniles illegal in Maryland.
Supreme Court decisions that occurred after Malvo’s sentencing said that the Eighth Amendment bans life sentences without parole for juveniles “if a sentencing court determines that the offender’s crime was the result of transient immaturity, as opposed to permanent incorrigibility,” Judge Robert McDonald wrote.
The appeals court judge added that it was unclear if the lower court concluded that Malvo couldn’t be reformed.
Both Maryland and Virginia banned life without parole sentences for juveniles in 2021, WTOP reports. Those convicted as juveniles in Maryland and who served at least 20 years of their sentence can submit a motion to have their sentence reduced.
“We hold only that the Eighth Amendment requires that he receive a new sentencing hearing at which the sentencing court, now cognizant of the principles elucidated by the Supreme Court, is able to consider whether or not he is constitutionally eligible for life without parole under those decisions,” McDonald said.
Malvo, now 37, is serving his life sentence at the Red Onion State Prison in Virginia. Muhammad, Malvo’s accomplice in the shootings, was executed in Virginia in November 2009 for his involvement.