Convicted Durham rapist serving life sentence gets parole
Posted January 25, 2012
Durham, N.C. — A convicted rapist serving a life sentence has been granted parole and is expected to be released in 2013, the North Carolina parole commission said Wednesday.
Kenneth Desmond Howard, 56, was convicted of first-degree rape in Durham County in September 1986 and sentenced to life in prison. He is currently at Tillery Correctional Center, a minimum-security prison in Halifax County.
His parole release date is June 21, 2013.
Howard is being released through the Mutual Agreement Parole Program, a three-way agreement between an inmate, the Division of Prisons and the Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission. The program establishes a scheduled release date for inmates eligible for parole and prepares them for reentry into society through educational and vocational activities.
In 1994, state law changed to a structured sentencing system, which eliminates the possibility of parole on a life sentence. However, the parole commission is obligated to parole offenders who were sentenced under the previous guidelines.
During his incarceration, Howard was cited for four disciplinary infractions, including committing a sexual act in 1989 and fighting in 1990. His latest infraction – disobeying orders – was in 2006, according to the state Department of Correction website.