Law Center - POSTED: 2009/10/18 17:19
The AlabaThe violent North Carolina criminals set to be freed later this month because of a court ruling and good conduct credits have racked up more than 250 infractions in prison for offenses such as fighting, weapon possession and theft.
Department of Correction records reviewed Friday by The Associated Press show the violations go as far back as the 1970s but also appear as recently as 2008, raising questions about whether the prisoners are reformed. Each one of the 20 inmates has at least two infractions, and combined they have a total of 256.
They have repeatedly been denied parole.
The inmates are scheduled to be released Oct. 29 after state courts sided with one of the inmates, double murderer Bobby Bowden, that a 1970s law defined a life sentence as only 80 years. The state's Fair Sentencing Act in 1981 included a retroactive provision essentially cutting all those sentences in half, and good behavior and other credits have shortened the sentences to the point that they are now complete.
Bowden had argued before the Court of Appeals in 2008 that he had accumulated 210 days of good conduct credit, 753 days of meritorious credit, and 1,537 days of gain time credit. But the 60-year-old has also racked up 17 infractions in prison, including two for weapon possession, one for damaging property and several for disobeying orders.