23 December 2003

Malvo Sentenced to Life
When the jury came back at 4 p.m., the foreman handed the judge only the verdict on the terrorism charge. Circuit Judge Jane Marum Roush sent jurors back to the jury room to fill out the other form. But they had not circled the verdict on the form, and the jurors were sent back to the jury room for a second time. Seconds later, they returned with the verdict. The jury then came back at 4:10 p.m. and handed the second verdict form to Roush.

The sentence is a stunning win for Malvo's defense team, which focused its efforts throughout the trial on saving the teen-ager's life rather than proving his innocence.
The prosecution is giving his reasons for the verdict:
Prosecutor Robert F. Horan Jr. said afterward that Malvo was ``very lucky that he looks a lot younger than he is.'' And he suggested the timing of the deliberations just days before Christmas affected the jury.

``We used to have a theory when I was a very young prosecutor that whatever you do, don't try one on Christmas week,'' Horan said.
I guess sometimes - even when you choose the most likely jurisdiction, in the most likely State - little glitches occur in your attempt to make sure someone gets killed. General Ashcroft, on behalf of the Bar of the Commonwealth of Virginia, I'd like to introduce you to Mr. Craig Cooley.

(2) Malvo's parents express gratitude to the jury.

(3) Family members and victims reacted:
Victoria Buchanan Snyder, brother of Sonny Buchanan, one of the 10 dead, said "I cannot say I am not disappointed, because I am disappointed." "There cannot be another case more deserving of the death penalty," she went on, but concluded: "I respect the jury's decision."

Paul Laruffa who was wounded by a bullet shot said failure to give Malvo the death penalty "minimizes what this man did." "Was Malvo less guilty than Muhammed? I don't think so. They did exactly the same thing. That is why we are expressing our disappointment."

Vijay Walekar, the brother of taxi driver Premkumar Walekar, who was shot dead as he put petrol in his vehicle, said: "I am not happy with the verdict" and highlighted the risk that Malvo could escape and reoffend
(4) A reporter describes the courtroom as the sentence is revealed.

(5) A Richmond attorney, Steven Benjamin, discusses the sentence.

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