Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

National Briefing / North Carolina

20 serving life terms to be freed

October 16, 2009|Times Wire Reports

A cadre of murderers and rapists, several of whom victimized young girls, will be set free from state prisons this month after state courts agreed that a decades-old law defined life sentences as only 80 years long.

Dozens more inmates could be released in coming months unless the state can figure out a legal recourse to keep them behind bars, officials said. Gov. Bev Perdue, a Democrat, called them "dangerous criminals" who have repeatedly been denied parole.

One of the 20 inmates set for release, Bobby Bowden, had argued that a law adopted in 1974 defined life sentences as just 80 years. The convicted murderer, 60, believed that the statute, combined with good conduct credits, means his life sentence is complete. The courts agreed.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|