A North Carolina Supreme Court decision on the length of a "life" sentence may force the state to release 20 violent offenders this month.
Earlier this month, the state Supreme Court upheld a decision in the case of Bobby Bowden, who was convicted of two murders, the Associated Press reported. A 1974 law defined a life sentence as 80 years. Because Bowden has accrued time off for good behavior and time served, he has argued that his life sentence is complete.
The old law has Department of Correction officials worried about having to release some 120 inmates sentenced when the law was in place, according to the AP. Gov. Beverly Perdue has asked state lawyers to try to reverse or delay the release. Seven of those who could get released were originally sentenced to death.
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