Perdue Blocks Inmate Release

Gov. Beverly Perdue says she will block scheduled release of 20 violent inmates. Three of those convicts committed crimes here in Eastern Carolina.

A state law and court rulings that limited the length of so-called life sentences handed down in the 1970s had cleared the way for their release.

Perdue says what's in dispute is how good behavior credits have been given to the 20 prisoners. The governor says there are questions whether the General Assembly intended for the Correction Department to give day-for-day credits to the inmates.

The governor says until that legal question is resolved by the courts she has blocked the release of the inmates.

Attorney General Roy Cooper says he's advised the Department of Correction not to release any of the prisoners until directed to by the courts.

"We continue to believe that these prisoners need to remain behind bars as we have argued for more than two years to the courts,” said Cooper.

Statement from the Governor Regarding Prisoner Release

Governor Says Offenders Will Not Be Turned Loose

When I learned that the Supreme Court had issued a ruling that meant offenders serving life in prison would be released after a mere 35 years, I was appalled. Like most of my fellow North Carolinians, I believe life should mean life, and even if a life sentence is defined as 80 years, getting out after only 35 is simply unacceptable.

Since that ruling, my staff and I have been doing everything we can to stop the release of these rapists and murderers. These are people who have been denied parole repeatedly, and many who have numerous infractions during their prison stay. I do not believe they are ready for release onto the streets of our communities.

While I understand the decision of the Supreme Court, I believe there remain unresolved legal issues that were not addressed. Before Mr. Bowden or any other offender affected by the Court’s decision is turned loose, these issues must be heard.

At issue is the application of good behavior credits to these violent offenders serving life sentences since the 1970s. Since last week, we have been scrutinizing the good behavior credits applied to the 20 inmates eligible for immediate release. This morning, legal counsel and Department of Correction staff met with officials who oversaw the application of those behavior credits during the 1980s. At the time, the DOC gave inmates day-for-day credits under the authority of the then-secretary. There is a real question whether the General Assembly intended for the DOC to have that kind of authority. I do not believe they did, and my legal counsel agrees. This raises the very real question that these inmates should not be eligible for early release.

Mr. Bowden’s case is in the process of being sent back to the trial court to recalculate his sentence. These issues can be resolved by the courts.

Until these new legal issues have been resolved by the courts, Mr. Bowden and the other violent offenders will not be released.

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  • by Wanda Location: Kenansville on Oct 29, 2009 at 07:24 AM
    Bev. what happened? Bev is it...TRUE? All 20...FREED.
  • by to OUTSIDELOOKINGIN on Oct 28, 2009 at 02:19 PM
    What have you done? You just cannot sit there and say you have never did anything. Nobody is perfect so when did you become perfect. I know this lady the sweetest lady I have ever known. Would give you the shirt off her back. You never think that should would do anything. My grandmother's friend who slept with her husband(my grandfather). And my grandmother was not perfect either. She is sweet, but not perfect. So Outsidelookingin what have you and your friends done. Smoke pot, lied, cheated, judging etc. Everything you do is a sin and guess what in your eyes and even mines murder is the worst, but in GOD's eyes all sin is the same.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 28, 2009 at 02:09 PM
    People are complaining about a woman who did not even pull the trigger while there are so many murderers walking around now. Some of them have gotten away with murder. The guy that use the hammer to beat his wife would have gotten away with it if the woman would have died. Scott Peterson lied and said he did not know where he wife was. He would have gotten away with it if he would have been smart. Susan Smith killed her own kids and lied on a fictious black man and would have gotten away with it if the chief of police would not have been smart. And the list goes on and on. I know a man walking around today only spent 18 years in prison who brutally murdered his girlfriend. He was on work release before he actually got out. There alot of child molestors, rapist, and murderers walking around and you do not even know it simply because they have gotten away with it. Yet you complain about a woman who is not even a murderer just a bank robber.
  • by girl Location: williamston on Oct 28, 2009 at 01:01 PM
    If these people are being released because of overcrowding, then STOP locking people up for minor infractions. Example: some people just like to smoke weed, yeah its illegal, but theyre not out hurting anybody. Selling it is crossing the line, thats understandable. Another example: people who get locked up for threatening somebody, OMG, seriously? I didnt know that was illegal. Now, if i was to go and slap somebody, getting arrested would be understandable. But there should be restrictions on that, don't slap kids and old people. But, if your my "peer", im gonna slap you, and if i get arrested, im gonna slap you harder next time. Anyway, these people have it made in prison anyway, their life aint that bad, and you can bet if they are released theyll be a debt to society cuz the first thing they would get upon release would be government housing and EBT cards. Yeah, yall know im right. I personally think they deserve to stay put, but either way, theyve got it made....
  • by Wanda Location: Kenansville on Oct 28, 2009 at 05:00 AM
    To the son's wife, my heart goes out to ANY victim. I see evil EVERYDAY, and I also see "good people" who wish to "turn back the hands of time." I am not advocating for evil, but I am advocating for those who may need a "second chance." When good people make a "bad decision" it's hard to say,"wouldna, shouldna, couldna." As with your family, noone can justify your loss, but forgiveness can heal many and help alot. My prayers are locked into this decision that our elect officials will make the right decision for ALL involved. I am a Christian, and I know that God gives "second chances." All offenders involved should NOT be released, but some should as well as some should have been put to DEATH. The Bible defines this clearly. By the way, law makers need to read the Bible when making these "life and death" decisions, so this problem can be elimated. God speed, friend.
  • by Lee Location: New Bern on Oct 25, 2009 at 02:07 PM
    Thank you to Beverly Perdue for keeping these dangerous criminals locked away. We do not want them in our communities. For serious crimes such as this, people need to be in jail for life.
  • by Nathan Location: Eastern NC on Oct 25, 2009 at 02:22 AM
    Another point -- don't let a politician's easy choice sway your opinion of them. If you didn't like Gov. Perdue, don't let this change your mind. I don't dislike her, but think about it. Pat McCrory and Mike Easley would have done the same thing. It isn't the easy choices and obvious moves that define a public servant, it's the tough calls. This was a no-brainer. That said, I'm glad these folks aren't going to escape justice as easily as they'd hoped.
  • by Bill Location: Greenville on Oct 24, 2009 at 08:05 PM
    To anonymous at 7:18; Faye Brown was given the death penalty, she should be grateful it was changed to life behind bars. I don't understand how it is that she has a job outside of prison that she's able to go to , when there are so many people more deserving than her that need one. Also I hope this works out in the courts that they all get to stay behind bars where they belong! Sorry if this seems harsh but life should mean life, no threat no more!
  • by tina Location: gville on Oct 24, 2009 at 07:53 AM
    I have not liked most of what Perdue has done in her course as Governor but I am very happy that she has in this case used her office to investigate and block the release of these violent criminals. It disgusted me that they could use an old law AND use good behavior to circumvent the 80 year life law. I felt it should be one or the other not the both. They should stay in prison since they obviously in some cases can't behave in prison I doubt they will behave in society and I do not want another person murdered or another child raped just so they can be put back in prison I don't want them to get out to have that chance. Those victims and their families should not have to endure the thought that the person who ruined their life is out free when they are scarred forever and those that died do not get a second chance at life and neither should these criminals. A jury of their peers found them guilty and they were sentenced to life and that is what they should serve.
  • by TO B Location: ENC on Oct 23, 2009 at 08:06 PM
    We ""want"" get over it, we will roll over it! ..Can you put this in at least good "southern English?"Have YOU EVER VOTED BEFORE? That's okay no need to answer.

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