Group shocked about inmate decision

October 18, 2009 5:21:25 PM PDT
Members of the North Carolina Fraternal Order of Police say they are shocked and appalled at a state Supreme Court decision.The court has ruled for the early release of 20 inmates at the end of this month.

The president of the Fraternal Order of Police calls it a dangerous decision.

Terry Mangum worked for three decades as a Durham police officer. He says among the inmates getting out, 10 are convicted rapists and nine are convicted murderers including a woman linked to the shooting death of a state trooper.

"There was an armed robbery, and the lady who's going to be released was with a group including two men," Mangum said, "And one of the men actually shot and killed the state trooper."

Mangum and the governor say releasing those potentially dangerous criminals is not in the best interest of the state or citizens.

"We just buried an officer in Winston-Salem last weekend and that was another incident where a person actually shot and killed an officer," Mangum said.

He says he's worried about what might happen.

"Initially I felt that the court has let me down," Mangum said. "But then, they have to deal with what they have to work with. So the issue will fall back. It may not affect these individuals, but it will fall back on the legislators."

Mangum and the officers he represents are counting on those legislators to craft laws that could prevent the release of people the officers consider too dangerous to walk free.

"Statistically, out of this 20, eight will be back in," Mangum said."And which eight will it be? Will that be the murderers, will that be the rapists, a combination of both? And how many victims are there going to be?"

He says he hopes the answers to those questions won't come after more violent attacks.

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