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Malvo gets Life

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Jeff White, Dec 23, 2003.

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  1. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    Anyone know if he can get the death penalty in any of the other states he killed in?

    Sniper Malvo Gets Life in Va. Slaying
    AP
    1 hour, 15 minutes ago

    By MATTHEW BARAKAT, Associated Press Writer


    CHESAPEAKE, Va. - The jury in the Washington sniper case Tuesday spared Lee Boyd Malvo from the fate awaiting his mentor John Allen Muhammad — the death penalty — after his lawyers portrayed him as an impressionable boy who had fallen under Muhammad's murderous spell.

    Malvo, 18, will be instead be locked away for the rest of his life.

    Malvo, wearing a blue sweater that made him look like a schoolboy, sat expressionless, with his elbows on the defense table.

    The jury took 8 1/2 hours over two days to decide his fate.

    Last month, Muhammad, 42, was convicted of murder in nearby Virginia Beach, and the jury recommended he get the death penalty. The judge has yet to impose sentence.

    Prosecutors had argued that death was the only appropriate sentence for Malvo, who was convicted of murder last week in the shooting of FBI (news - web sites) analyst Linda Franklin. She was cut down by a single bullet to the head in one of 10 slayings that gripped the Washington area with fear for three weeks in October 2002. Malvo was 17 at the time.

    Prosecutor Robert F. Horan Jr. argued that the killings were part of a scheme to extort $10 million from the government and that Malvo was the triggerman in most if not all of the slayings. Horan rejected the notion that Malvo was less responsible for his crimes because he had come under the influence of Muhammad.

    "They were an unholy team, as vicious as brutal and as uncaring as you can be," Horan said. "You can talk about John Muhammad all you want. Maybe it was his plan. Maybe it was his idea. But the evidence stamps this defendant as the shooter. ... He did it. Not John Muhammad."

    Horan argued that Malvo had shown no remorse. Malvo occasionally wept when confronted with the consequences of his crimes, but he was crying for himself, not his victims, the prosecutor said.

    Defense lawyer Craig Cooley argued that Malvo had been molded into a killer by the charismatic Muhammad. Cooley said Malvo came to regard the Muhammad as a father figure and was susceptible to older man's influence because of his own father's absences and because his mother beat him and moved him constantly.

    "Children are not born evil. When they commit evil acts, you can almost always trace the acts to the evil that has been performed against them," Cooley said.

    In seeking to save Malvo's life, Cooley reminded the jurors of the consequences of their decision. Cooley held a large stone as a prop, telling the jury that in ancient times the jury itself would hurl the stones at the defendant.

    "The stone has no compassion. Once it has been cast, it has no ability to temper its impact. The commonwealth urges you to vote to kill, to stain your stone with the blood of this child," Cooley said.

    The jury consisted of eight women and four men, eight whites and four blacks. The foreman was a 41-year-old minister, and four others had occupations connected to education. Two were homemakers.

    At the trial, the defense had presented an insanity defense, claiming Muhammad had so brainwashed Malvo with his notions of black nationalism, racism and revolutionary violence that the teenager was unable to tell right from wrong. Malvo and Muhammad are black.

    Though the argument failed in the guilt-or-innocence part of the trial, it was central to the penalty phase.

    Also during the penalty phase, jurors wept when they heard testimony from Franklin's 24-year-old daughter Katrina Hannum, who said she has nightmares every night in which she sees Malvo shoot her mother in the head.



    Malvo was convicted of two counts of capital murder: one alleging Franklin's slaying was part of a series of murders, the other alleging the killing was intended to terrorize the population. The second law was passed after Sept. 11. Both counts could have brought the death penalty.

    Virginia law requires a jury to find at least one "aggravating factor" to impose a death sentence. Prosecutors argued there were two: that Malvo poses a future danger and that his crimes were "outrageously or wantonly vile."

    Prosecutors pointed to an escape attempt Malvo made the day of his arrest and letters Malvo wrote in jail as evidence of his dangerousness. One has a drawing of a police officer in crosshairs with the notation: "Make no mistake. I would take you out at your dinner table." Another note said: "Sept. 11 we will ensure will look like a picnic to you."

    During the trial, the jury heard recordings of Malvo bragging to police about killing 10 people at random, boasting haughtily that most of the victims had been brought down by a single shot, and chuckling as he recalled how a lawnmower kept rumbling along after the man pushing it was shot.

    The random killings, Horan said, epitomized vileness: "If that's not vile, there is no vile."

    Malvo later told mental-health experts that he had been the triggerman in only one of the killings, that of a bus driver; the defense said he took the blame for all the shootings to protect Muhammad. But the jury rejected that theory; in convicting Malvo, it concluded he was the triggerman in Franklin's slaying.

    Malvo and Muhammad could stand trial again. Prosecutors in Maryland and Louisiana have said they want a crack at Muhammad, and Malvo could face a similar fate.

    Attorney General John Ashcroft (news - web sites) had cited Virginia's ability to impose "the ultimate sanction" in sending Malvo and Muhammad to Virginia for prosecution.

    Virginia is one of only 21 states that allow the execution of those who were 16 or 17 when they killed. Since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, Virginia is one of only six states that have actually executed someone whose crime was committed as a juvenile.
     
  2. Norton

    Norton Member

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    What a cop out. There's no question in anyone's mind that he assasinated 11 innocents....now we get to pay for him to live on the federal tab for the next 60-70 years.....just peachy:fire:
     
  3. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    Norton,
    With the cost of the mandatory appeals and the fact that the state ends up paying for both the prosecution and defense in these cases, it will actually be cheaper to lock him up for life. I would rather see justice done though.

    Jeff
     
  4. dinosaur

    dinosaur Member

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    You never know. Bad things happen in prison too.:evil:
     
  5. Beren

    Beren Moderator Emeritus

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    He won't last ten years in prison. I'll be surprised if he lasts five.
     
  6. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    The Islamic terrorist savage will be released on parole in ten years or less.
     
  7. HogRider

    HogRider Member

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    I hope he ends up like Jeffrey Dahmer.
     
  8. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

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    Well, there's the hope that he gets brutally sodomized every day he spends in prison.:evil:
     
  9. BigG

    BigG Member

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    As some have noted, he will have his work cut out for him in prison. Jeff Dahmer didn't last long once he got in. Maybe it is just.
     
  10. Norton

    Norton Member

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    I'm not a correctional officer, nor do I play one on TV...but given that Malvo has expressed fealty to the Muslim terrorist mindset, do you think that he will find protection of some sort from link minded groups of individuals in prison?

    Personally, while I wish they would execute him just to get it all over with, maybe having a large, sweaty guy named Bubba tell him he looks sorta pretty will be a worse punishment after all:evil:

    Jeff White: Normally, I would agree with you on the cost differential....but given that he's only 18, and there's little likelihood for too many appeals.....maybe this is a case where execution would be cheaper?
     
  11. Sarge111

    Sarge111 member

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    The poor kid DESERVES life...

    about 15 seconds of it.
     
  12. tyme

    tyme Member

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    Keep in mind that he wouldn't ever get paroled, even if VA were to think he should be. Maryland would try and convict him of something, and the feds would try and convict him of something.
     
  13. Waitone

    Waitone Member

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    Fellow prisoners have a tendency to exact justice when the state and / or juries fail to do so.

    Dahlmer needed to die. It took prison to make it happen.
     
  14. XLMiguel

    XLMiguel Member

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    Most of the folks I've run into this evening are pretty dissapointed with the sentence, grudgingly conceding that 2 x Life/no parole, $200K in fines (thought no one has any idea on how we might collect on that?), is the least we could do for him. :fire:

    At least we know he ain't going anywhere, and there several other juristictions that want a turn with him, some of which are 'death qualified', so I suspect sooner or later, he'll get his.
     
  15. Sarge111

    Sarge111 member

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    The poor kid DESERVES life...

    about 15 seconds of it.
     
  16. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Wow, that's some good lawyering.

    I saw on CNN at the gym that his final sentencing hearing is March 10th. Under Ol' Virginny law, is the jury recommendation simply that, a recommendation?

    May the judge choose death, despite the recommendation or does tradition hold that the jury's recommendation wins out?:confused:
     
  17. Ironbarr

    Ironbarr Member In Memoriam

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    As I understood the local news today... the judge can reduce from death to life but not bump it from life to death.
     
  18. nico

    nico Member

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    I agree with everything that's been said so far.
    To answer one of jeff's original questions, I'm pretty sure Louisianna and Georgia can still execute the SOB, but somebody mentioned on the radio today that MD probably wouldn't, even though the governor has lifted the death penalty moritorium.
     
  19. El Rojo

    El Rojo Member

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    Prison is not fun. Life in prison is pretty much as good as the death penalty. At the prison I work at, there are only three groups represented in any great numbers: whites, hispanics, and blacks. Even those groups have factions. As far as I know, the asians and arabians are on their own. So some sort of Islamic faction keeping him safe in prison? I doubt it. Nation of Islam (All black from what I have seen) has some weight, but we will see how much.

    The beautiful part of prison is that the weasels of society can just "PC" (protective custody) up and they never have to leave their SHU (Special Housing Unit, AKA The Hole) cell. Sometimes security gets lax like in the case of the pedofile priest who bought it a few months back, but he will remain fairly safe in the SHU.

    I do find it interesting that there are people on this board who seem to have an aweful big bloodlust when it comes to these murderers and other types. I don't understand how your seeking brutally, horrifying vengence is any different than the crimes they commit. I am not saying I am necessarily against the death penality. I think it is fair to say we can put someone to death, but that doesn't mean we should enjoy it. Actions and consequences is how I look at it. For most people I just hope it is the Internet talking and they really aren't that sadistic.
     
  20. Norton

    Norton Member

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    El Rojo,

    While I will admit that I am not entirely comfortable with the "run of the mill" (sorry, couldn't think of a better way to express that) death penalty cases because there have been a few too many false sentences, there are some cases that are clear cut exception to that unease.

    This is one of them, Timothy McVeigh was another.

    McVeigh, in the most cowardly of attacks, snuffed out the lives of a bunch of peple just going about their daily lives at work.....trying to make a buck so that they can go home and do the best they could for their family.

    Malvo and Muhammed are no different. Being right here in the thick of those attacks ....my students come from the middle school where the shooting was....I can not really convey to you the fear that was pervasive in a metro area the size of Balt/Wash.

    We are a military family and for me to see people at a Naval Commissary hunching down behind cars while fueling drove home to me the notion that this was no different than 9-12-01 when I came home from school to see a guy with a .50 machine gun mounted behind sandbags at the end of our road.

    It was terrorism, plain and simple.

    Now, at the risk of having to adjust my tin foil hat, I'll go as far as to say that we almost had some serious civil unrest in PG County in the early hours of those attacks when there were 4-5 shootings right away.

    The quote that will forever illustrate how thin the veil of civilization is, "There's a bunch of white supremacists shooting black people all around the beltway....it's happening". And that was a TEACHER (why do I stay in this business??)

    What if that little spark had gotten just a little more fuel?

    Little man Malvo wants to play adult games...he pays adult prices.....
     
  21. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Member

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    The death penalty, as practiced in the U.S., is just stunningly pointless. We spend mountains of public cash and wait decades so we get a shot at killing a bad guy... if he lives long enough to get executed. And we still manage to screw it up and try to kill the wrong guy sometimes.

    I like the idea of Malvo put to death for his crimes. But I'm hard pressed to see our death penalty system as anything but stunningly full of crap and a waste of everyone's time and money.

    As for the jurors... consider that the alternative was either life, or a deadlock that resulted in life, since some of the jurors flat-out weren't going to come around to accept death. In that context everyone just voting for life imprisonment was more sensible.
     
  22. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    In a few years he'll be paroled since he will be considered some sort of "political prisoner" so some crap:banghead:

    We really need to revamp our system. I believe in justice, and maybe an appeal.

    However, in cases as clear as this there should have been plasitic sheets on the court room floor so he could have been bagged and tagged right there!

    I'll save the tax payers about $40k a year if they'll ship him here for me to put him down. I won't even charge anything, and I'll put the other sack of **** to sleep also:cuss:
     
  23. Khornet

    Khornet Member

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    Someone always pays

    for every crime. When the judicial system fails to make the perp pay, someone still pays.....the innocent.

    And when it's widely believed that criminals can be expected to escape justice, more people tend to get killed "resisting arrest". Or snuffed in prison. Or killed after parole.

    When juries shirk their duty, they not only deprive the victim of justice, though. They also deprive the accused, some of whom may be innocent but are punished anyway by vigilanitsts before justice can be carried out.

    Makes me think of Malone's comment on another thread, to the effect that we have no business in Iraq because our own hands aren't clean. If we fail to do what's right, even knowing that we are not free from sin ourselves, we are in fact conemning others to suffer for our sins. Failing to give the death sentence is jurors condemning others for the jurors' sins. Failing to oust Saddam is Americans condemning Iraqis to suffer for our national sins.

    You just have to try to do what's just in each case, and what's just doesn't depend on how good you are. It's not YOUR justice you are charged with carrying out; for a religious person like me it's the Lord's justice, or for a nonbeliever it's society's justice. Either way, what was done with Malvo was a betrayal of what's right. Someone will get the death penalty anyway.
     
  24. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Khornet, sometimes the jury does not do what we want; it's still due process.

    Do not fear, a couple of other Southern states may want to prosecute him.:uhoh:
     
  25. BigG

    BigG Member

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    I think the "peer review" may make up for any perceived weakness in the sentence of the little A/H.

    If he's not a punk yet, he will be, right after the doors slam shut behind his young @$$. :evil:

    Agree with buddy Sean; the death penalty as practiced in USA is stunningly pointless. :cuss:
     
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