Convicted murderer awaits release ruling

© WTVD

December 11, 2009 9:47:43 AM PST
Another inmate caught between the governor and a high court ruling is asking a Wake County judge to set her free.

Convicted murderer Faye Brown, the only woman in a group of 27 prisoners whose pending release has sparked outrage, says she has earned more than 16,000 sentence reduction credits. That's enough to go free.

Brown took the stand Friday in the third hearing related to the inmate release debate.

Her attorneys argue she is being held unlawfully because of a recent court ruling that said under a 1970s law, a life sentence is 80 years.

Attorneys for the state say sentence reduction credits don't count toward a release date for the 27 inmates because they had life sentences. It's a debate some say has become more political than legal.

Brown's supporters packed the courtroom, confident the judge will rule in her favor.

"I respect the system that would take the time to make sure the rules and the laws are being followed for everyone at hand," supporter Wands Short told ABC11 Eyewitness News. "That's important that they're doing this."

Brown was convicted in the shooting death of a state trooper. The trooper's family was not in court but has said they would like Brown to serve out her full sentence.

The outcome of the case could have an impact on the futures of the other inmates.

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