CultNews reported last month that there was little chance a “brainwashing” defense would work to acquit “D.C. sniper” Lee Malvo.

A jury found Malvo guilty of murder after 13 hours of deliberation yesterday reported CNN.

Now the teenager faces the sentencing phase of his judicial journey.

The sister of one victim called the verdict a “Christmas present,” others who lost loved ones to the so-called “D.C. sniper’s” bullets expressed emotions ranging from joy to relief reported the Baltimore Sun.

But will 18-year-old Lee Malvo be sentenced to death?

“When you catch someone with blood on his hands, don’t waste our time. Get a rope,” said the mother of one of the boy’s victims.

“I want him to get life in prison where he can receive counseling…God says to forgive,” offered the husband of another one of the teenager’s fatal targets.

Many believe Malvo became the puppet of his mentor John Muhammad. A man who witnesses described as a powerful influence over the boy, with a history of dominating and controlling those around him.

Was the control Muhammad held over Malvo cult-like “brainwashing” in its depth and intensity? Experts varied in their opinions, but in the end there seems to be little doubt that the older man was the impetus behind the murder spree.

But regardless of what malevolent influence convinced Malvo to pull the trigger, he did do it. And though God may forgive him, the jury did not offer absolution.

Will the issue of undue influence ameliorate his final punishment?

Malvo’s mentor Muhammad has already been condemned to death. The teenager’s lawyers now hope that the testimony concerning the older man’s control over his protégé will mitigate the boy’s sentencing.

However, Malvo may instead follow in the footsteps of Manson Family members, who despite being “brainwashed” by their leader Charles Manson, were sentenced to death for the grizzly murders they committed.

Only the temporary cessation of the death penalty in California saved them from execution.

If Malvo is sentenced to death he will be youngest prisoner on death row in the US reported the Times Dispatch.

“Statistically, a failed insanity defense usually results in a death sentence,” one defense attorney told Associated Press.

However, that same lawyer speculated that because of the jury’s relatively lengthy deliberation Malvo might receive a life sentence.

But the “D.C. snipers” executed ten people in their murder spree without mercy.

History may repeat itself, and like the followers of Charles Manson, the follower of John Muhammad may receive the ultimate punishment.


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