The US Supreme Court will examine the life sentence without parole given to Lee Boyd Malvo for the 2002 “DC Sniper” murders (LUKE FRAZZA)

Washington (AFP) – The US Supreme Court on Monday agreed to examine the sentence of life in prison without parole handed down to a teenager involved in a series of sniper murders which terrorized the Washington area for several weeks in 2002.

Lee Boyd Malvo was 17 years old when he took part in the sniper attacks in Maryland, Virginia and the nation’s capital which left 10 people dead.

John Allen Muhammad, a 41-year-old Gulf War veteran Malvo regarded as his “surrogate father,” was considered the mastermind of the “DC Sniper” attacks.

Muhammad was sentenced to death and executed at a Virginia prison in 2009.

Malvo was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in Maryland and Virginia.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2012, however, that a life sentence without the possibility of parole was unconstitutional for juveniles.

In 2016, the nation’s highest court said its decision was retroactive and life in prison without parole should only be reserved for “the rarest of juvenile offenders, those whose crimes reflect permanent incorrigibility.”

Malvo, taking advantage of the rulings, has appealed his sentence and lower courts have delivered split decisions on his case.

Virginia’s Supreme Court, for example, ruled against him but an appeals court said he should get a new sentencing.

The Supreme Court will now intervene to settle the matter, which could impact hundreds of other inmates in the country who were juveniles when they were convicted.

Muhammad and Malvo terrorized the Washington region in October 2002 by randomly shooting people from a hiding place in the trunk of their car.

They were arrested at a highway rest stop on October 24, 2002 after a massive manhunt.

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