Geez folks, I was convinced the Department of Correction’s insane proposal to release “20 sentenced to life felons” would actually take place on October 29th 2009. But Governor Perdue, today decided to block the inmate’s release and this time Perdue’s epiphany was bi-partisan, everyone’s breathing a sigh of relief.

 “I think it’s one of the most appalling things I’ve ever heard,” she said. “I cannot imagine that our system of laws works in such a way that people who are in prison for a life sentence for rape or murder, now we’re being told there’s nothing we can do and I have to let them out. I refuse that kind of discussion.”

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper agreed. In a news release Thursday evening, he said, “In the interest of public safety and to ensure that sentences and release dates are properly calculated according to law, we have advised the Department of Correction that no prisoners have to be released until further direction from the courts.”

Can I get an Amen? Oh, but wait there’s more to the story. Next comes the guy with the long professional title, who plays devil’s advocate, defends the criminal and quotes the Constitution.

Former state Supreme Court Judge Bob Orr says state leaders can examine how the Department of Corrections calculated time off for good behavior for the inmates, but the state can’t keep them behind bars just because they were once violent criminals.

“If the issue is about how the rules determined by her Department of Corrections applies in these cases, then she certainly does have some authority over those employees to make sure the rules are properly carried out. And if they’re being misinterpreted so as to let these guys out early, it would be her responsibility to make sure that is stopped,” Orr, the executive director for the N.C. Institute for Constitutional  Law, said.

“If the laws that the General Assembly passed mandate that these individuals be released, whether she likes it or not, she has a constitutional responsibility to follow the law,” he said.

I warned you didn’t I?  But seriously, I have the utmost respect for former state Supreme Court Judge Bob Orr and like-minded  individuals; without them who would protect the fundamental rights of the underdog from the court’s arbitrary application of our laws? My frustration with a precedent setting public safety issue of this magnitude has many facets, blanket legal mumbo-jumbo regarding Perdue’s authority and constitutional responsibility takes a backseat to the Department of Correction (DOC) potentially releasing  violent convicted felons back into our communities; citing “time served for good behavior”. Just remember 256, that’s the number of  infractions racked up by these “model prisoners” and if that wasn’t reason enough to question DOC’s methodology behind the alleged inmate “good behavior”. Each of the inmate’s scheduled for release have  repeatedly been denied parole by the North Carolina Parole Board.

One look at their heinous violent crimes and one would have no choice but side with the Parole board’s decision. The following is a comprehensive list of their crimes. [Warning! the material provided is graphic in nature and may be disturbing to some individual’s]

Dewey Gray, 62, was sentenced in Mecklenburg County in 1977 for rape and assault with a deadly weapon. He was accused of forcing his way inside his victim’s home and dragging her outside, where he raped, beat and stabbed her.

John Montgomery, 58, was sent to prison in 1973 for raping a 15-year old girl while escaped from Guilford Correctional Center.

Faye Brown, 56, Brown and two co-defendants robbed bank in Williamston on 9/2/1975. Suspects shot and killed state trooper Guy Davis while fleeing from bank robbery scene. Faye Brown has 20 years of federal parole to serve after release from prison. Was convicted on a first-degree murder charge for the 1975 killing of a state trooper during a bank robbery.

Steven Wilson, 52, went to prison in 1978 for abducting and raping a 9-year-old girl.

Charles Lynch, 52, Lynch broke into the victim’s home while she was away, waited for her to arrive,and assaulted her. He also broke into another victim’s home and stole a necklace. He wassuspected in nine other assaults.Was convicted of two counts of second-degree burglary and assault with intent to commit rape.

Alford Jones, 55 , shot William B. Turner Sr., in the chest with a shotgun in an attempted robbery. Mr. Turner died 01/27/1975 three weeks after the shooting.

Andrew T. Carter, 62, committed a murder (by strangulation) the crime took place at the home of the victim. The victim was sexually molested.

Omega Perry, 52,  The victim and her children were asleep when she was awakened by someone standing over her. The victim tried to get away, she was knocked down and raped. She was raped multiple times. A knife was also used to threaten/assault the victim.

Neil Pone, 48 , Murder of Neil Purdie on 01/20/1978 Purdie was found beside his taxi dead from a blow to the head and a gunshot wound to his chest.

Willie Womble, 55, On November 18, 1975, Roy Brent Bullock was shot twice in the mouth and once in the chest. Mr. Bullock died enroute to the hospital. The crime took place during the commission of a robbery. Crime occurred in Granville County.

William Baggett, 60, Murdered James Williams on Oct. 24, 1976, in Sampson County

Willard Warren, 61, Murdered Leo Jack Clark on Feb. 27, 1975, in Haywood County

John H. Alford, 61, Victim raped during robbery on Jan. 28, 1978, in Winston-Salem

James C. Johnson, 68, Murdered John Farley Hall near Troy on Feb. 19, 1975

Manley Porter,68, Victim raped during robbery on Sept. 1, 1976, in Winston-Salem

Kenneth Mathis, 55, On Februry 14, 1976 the victim was walking home from her job when she was forced into a wooded area and assaulted.

John Martin, 56, Female victim raped on March 31, 1977, in Guilford County

Dull, William, 56, Dull abducted his victim at knifepoint, forced her to drive him to a location where she was raped, and returned her to the location of the abduction.

Cecil Morrison, 49, Crime event brief: Morrison abducted his victim, a minor girl under age 12, while she walked home from school, forced her into a wooded area and raped her at knifepoint. ( Given the fact each inmate was required to serve 40 years wouldn’t that make Morrison 9 when he committed his crime?)

Bobby Bowden, 60, Larry Lovett and Normal Christman Ehrhart murdered on Aug. 7, 1975, in Fayetteville

Thankfully the controversial law adopted in 1974, enabling this debacle was changed but now a  total of 120 cases hang in the balance based on a Judge’s interpretation of a law. But that doesn’t change the fact that these convicted rapist and murderers were days away for being released into the community. I find it insane our prisons are full of petty drug offenders and yet some how the murderers and rapist find a loophole to freedom (almost).

[Source of quoted excerpts:  Heather Moore | News 14 Carolina ]

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