The DC Sniper and Questions of Youth in the Justice System

Top of Mind with Julie Rose, BYU Radio •

When a teenager commits murder, should he face the death penalty? Not according to the US Supreme Court, which, a decade ago, abolished the death penalty for offenders under 18. So, what should happen to that teenager? Is life in prison without the chance of a parole a reasonable sentence? Over the last several years the US Supreme Court has been steadily restricting that sentence for juvenile offenders, too. The latest case to come before the justices involves a particularly high-profile inmate –Lee Boyd Malvo, better known as one of the DC snipers who killed 10 people in a shooting spree back in 2002. Malvo was 17 at the time.  

About the Expert

Marsha Levick co-founded Juvenile Law Center in 1975. Throughout her legal career, Levick has been an advocate for children’s and women's rights and is a nationally recognized expert in juvenile law.