Springtime for a Terrorist

Will the Supreme Court reduce the sentence of terrorist murderer Lee Boyd Malvo?

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case of Lee Boyd Malvo, sentenced to life in prison without parole for his role in killing 10 people in Maryland, Virginia and Washington in 2002. Malvo was 17 at the time and his accomplice, John Allen Muhammad, was sentenced to death and executed in 2009.

Muhammad was a member of the Nation of Islam and his “Islam-centric” partner Malvo was a Jamaican who used forged documents to enter the United States. More than 17 years have passed since their terror spree and for many the events have faded from memory, if they were known at all.

In 2002, the Baltimore Sun provided a timeline of the killing spree, noting that, on October 2,  “a 55-year-old man becomes the sniper's first victim when he is killed by a single bullet around 6 p.m. in a grocery parking lot in Montgomery County.” Then, on October 6 “a 13-year-old boy is critically wounded moments after being dropped off at a middle school in Bowie in Prince George's County.”

In the early going, police thought a single sniper was at work and were baffled how he was able to shoot without detection. As it happened, Muhammad and Malvo had rigged a 1990 Chevrolet Caprice with holes that enabled fire without opening the trunk. They setup near a school and on October 7, 2002 shot 13-year-old Ian Brown who took a .223 round in the chest.

The shooting caused Montgomery County police chief Charles Moose to break down on television. After capture, Lee Boyd Malvo told jail guards he shot Brown to show the authorities the snipers “meant business” and that he had been pleased to see chief Moose cry on television.  Ten years later in the Washingtonian, Alicia Shepard’s  “Terror in October: A Look Back at the DC Sniper Attacks” charted victims, relatives, and provided insight on the terrorists.

James “Sonny” Buchanan, 39, was mowing a lawn when he was shot and twenty minutes later a bullet struck Sara Ramos, 34, while she was reading on a bench. Less than two hours later, Lori Ann Lewis-Rivera, 25, of Silver Spring was murdered while vacuuming her minivan at a Kensington Shell station.” James L. Premkuar was gunned down while gassing up his cab, which his daughter Andrea recalled, “had American-flag stickers on it.”  Dr. Caroline Namrow, a local physician, was getting gas at the same time.

“The man had agonal breathing—the last breath before someone dies,” Namrow told the Washingtonian. “I checked for a pulse but didn’t feel one.” Dr. Namrow attended the trials of Muhammad and Malvo and explained, “Malvo’s was most disturbing. He looked so young. And he was proud—he described what he had done in graphic detail for the detectives. At his trial, he was doodling on his pad and was very detached. It was shocking.”

Muhammad wrote a letter to his first wife Carol Williams, asking that she visit on his execution day. “I don't want to be missed the day that these devils murder my innocent black ass,” Muhammad explained. For all but the willfully blind, that explain the terrorists’ motive.

In 2003, Malvo drew a sentence of life without possibility of parole and the convicted murderer has been incarcerated at a super-maximum security prison in Virginia. In 2017, federal judge Raymond Jackson, a Clinton nominee, agreed that juveniles are “less deserving of the most severe punishments” and vacated Malvo’s sentence.

More recent Supreme Court decisions have changed sentencing requirements for juvenile offenders. The Supreme Court will rule whether Lee Boyd Malvo is entitled to a more lenient sentence, with possibility of parole.

As victim Ian Brown explained in 2012,  “I was in the hospital for one month. I was in a coma for one week. I had to learn to walk again.” Brown and other terror victims should be watching Chief Justice John Roberts, who has shown there is nothing he won’t do for the creator of Obamacare.

Dr. Caroline Namrow, shocked by the murders and Malvo’s behavior at trial, might keep watch on Obama appointees Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, the self-described  “wise Latina” who always knows best yet has a humble side. Nobody should be surprised if this pair argues for leniency, with possible release.

Anybody could be forgiven for believing that Malvo deserves the same penalty as John Muhammad. He was executed in 2009, the same year self-proclaimed “soldier of Allah” Nidal Hasan yelled “allahu akbar” while murdering 13 American soldiers at Ford Hood --  14 if you count the unborn child of Pvt. Francheska Velez – and wounding more than 30 others.

POTUS 44, who refused to link Islam with terrorism, called the mass murder “workplace violence.” Hasan was sentenced to death in 2013 but remains alive, and that raises an issue of disparate treatment.

John Muhammad took part in 10 murders and was executed seven years after the crimes. Nidal Hasan is not African American, claimed more victims, and seven years after his death sentence remains alive. November 5 marks 10 years since the soldier of Allah’s murder spree. That would be a good day to carry out the sentence but any day would do. Justice delayed is justice denied.

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Screenshot from YouTube