Jim Black's Friends Ask Government To End Sentence

A newspaper says a former Republican governor plans to be among those asking that former North Carolina House speaker Jim Black's prison sentence to commuted or that he be moved closer to home.

The Charlotte Observer reported Monday that 150 people have written federal officials on Black's behalf and that former Gov. Jim Martin plans to do so. The 74-year-old Black has been incarcerated since July 2007 at the federal prison in Lewisburg, Pa.

Black was sentenced for accepting thousands of dollars in illegal payments while speaker.

Black's attorney says his client is in poor health, as is his wife.

Supporters also say if Black's sentence isn't commuted he should be moved to a prison in North or South Carolina.

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