North Carolina's prison officials have opened the gates for some of the inmates sentenced to life in prison in the 1970s that state officials want to keep locked up.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Thursday that two of the 27 inmates caught in a political and legal battle over their release have been paroled and another two will be paroled in June. Four have permission to leave prison for work or worship.
Others had permission to work in the community or visit relatives, but lost those rights through prison transfers or work injuries.
The state Supreme Court is expected to rule soon whether laws in effect from 1974 to 1978 defined life sentences as 80 years. More than two dozen life sentence inmates argue their good behavior has earned them enough credits to go free.
Two of the inmates waiting to hear the Supreme Court's decision are Faye Brown and Alford Jones. Brown has been in prison for the 1975 murder of Trooper Tom Davis in Martin County. Jones was convicted for the death of William Turner Sr. of Kinston during an attempted robbery that also happened in 1975.
According to the News and Observer, Jones has been approved for parole in June.
Both have been involved in the work release prison.
We'll keep you posted on the court's decision.