So if you’re old enough, you’ll remember the D.C. sniper shootings back in 2002. It was all over the fucking news. Well, it was two assholes, Lee Boyd Malvo (then 17 years old) and John Allen Muhammad. Muhammed was an adult, tried, convicted, and sentences to death, that all around piece of shit was executed in 2009.
When SCOTUS, in 2012, decided Miller v. Alabama, they decided that it was cruel and unusual punishment to give a minor mandatory life in prison without parole. In a later ruling in Montgomery v. Louisiana they decided that Miller must be retroactive as a matter of constitutional law. So Malvo, didn’t get a mandatory sentence, but he did get life without parole. So Malvo’s cheeky counsel is creatively trying to say that the ruling was about life, not about it being mandatory, and asked for relief.
Petitioner Mathena, chief warden of Virginia’s high-security Red Onion State Prison on the other hand, thinks this whole thing is some bullshit. Malvo is a first class scumbag, and at 17, certainly knew WTF he was doing, and deserves the sentence he got. It wasn’t mandatory, it was the sentence the jury came to. So Miller and Montgomery don’t fucking apply here.
The case was dismissed, being withdrawn by Malvo, due to a passage of new legislation which passed in Virginia on February of 2020 saying that if someone is given a life sentence under the age of 18, they are eligible for parole after 20 years.