Perdue blocks prisoner release

October 29, 2009 6:01:28 PM PDT
Twenty-seven violent inmates were slated to be set free Thursday, but North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue is blocking the scheduled release.She said she is challenging the good behavior credits that would allow more than 20 men and one woman to be freed Thursday.

The issue is whether the credits were given correctly.

State officials began scrambling to try and block the release after a controversial NC Supreme Court ruling that limited the length of so-called life sentences handed down in the 1970s to a term of 80 years.

Click here for more information on each inmate (.pdf)

Thursday morning, Perdue told CNN that she's looking after North Carolinians' best interests.

"This is unsupervised release from prisons for men and women who were convicted and sentenced to life in prison in North Carolina," she said. "That doesn't mean they get a get out of jail free pass in North Carolina that can roam the streets it is wrong for our state and were working to keep these folks in jail."

Thursday, the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union urged Perdue and Attorney General Roy Cooper to allow the release of the inmates.

"We remind them of their oath and call upon them to respect the rule of law rather than sacrifice the constitution for political expediency," ACLU wrote in their statement.

Perdue said last week that until the legal issues are resolved, the prisoners will not be allowed to go free.

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