Local News

Soon-to-be-freed inmates have 256 infractions

Posted October 16, 2009

— Twenty North Carolina criminals to be set free Oct. 29 because of a legal ruling and good conduct credits have racked up more than 250 infractions in prison for offenses such as fighting, weapon possession and theft.

Faye Brown Convicted murderer set to be freed on work release

Department of Correction records reviewed Friday by The Associated Press show the violations go as far back as the 1970s but also appear as recently as 2008, raising questions about whether the prisoners are reformed. Each one of the inmates has at least two infractions, and combined they have a total of 256.

They have repeatedly been denied parole.

The inmates are scheduled to be released Oct. 29 after state courts sided with one of the inmates, Bobby Bowden, that a 1970s law defined a life sentence as only 80 years.

State officials believe dozens more inmates convicted 30 years ago could soon be eligible for release.

The state's Fair Sentencing Act in 1981 included a retroactive provision essentially cutting all those sentences in half, and a variety of good conduct credits, meritorious credits and gain time credits have shortened the sentences to the point that they are now complete.

Bowden had argued before the Court of Appeals in 2008 that he had accumulated 210 days of good conduct credit, 753 days of meritorious credit, and 1,537 days of gain time credit.

But the 60-year-old has also racked up 17 infractions in prison, including two for weapon possession, one for damaging property and several for disobeying orders.

But others' cases are different, supporters say.

Faye Brown, one of four inmates on a work release program, was convicted 34 years ago of murder and sentenced to death after she and two acquaintances robbed a bank and one of the men fatally shot a Highway Patrol state trooper.

"There's a strong sense of remorse about what happened that day," said Wanda Short, who runs a local cosmetology school where Brown has worked for four years. "It is being portrayed that she is a cold-blooded murderer, but she's not."

Brown's sentence was commuted to a life sentence, and since then she has finished a college degree program. She has also been denied parole 22 times.

For the North Carolina Highway Patrol, it's disappointing, spokesman Capt. Everett Clendenin said.

"I'm glad she's rehabilitated. I'm glad she got the help she needed, but she was handed a sentence that said years ago she would serve life in prison. That's what we feel like she should do," he said.

"This person is a person that I would live next door to," Short said. "This person, I would trust my children with. This person, I don't think anyone would have any reason to fear in any way."


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  • teach4ever67 Oct 16, 2009

    I first read about this last night.... and then again tonight. Each time I feel as if I am walking around on April Fool's day.

    I do, however, have a wonderful solution to this problem. We need to all 20 of these released inmates and make them the next door neighbors of those that vote to put this law into play. I would be willing to bet that their vote would be quite different if there were a chance they would be living right beside them each day and evening....

  • delilahk2000 Oct 16, 2009

    A life sentence is a joke, there should not be any reduced sentence for good behavior. They can pretend to be good, just to be let out early, these are harden criminals, THE SUPREME COURT THAT IS LETTING THEM OUT SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE IF THEY GO AND MURDER SOMEONE ELSE, THEIR BLOOD WILL BE OWN THEIR HANDS, NOT THAT THEY CARE.

  • woodrowboyd2 Oct 16, 2009

    Where were all of you when this has been going on since the 80s
    wow surprise surprise did you just wake up.
    No wonder we elected Obama it will take you another year to find out what he campaigned on.

  • Adelinthe Oct 16, 2009

    turdferguson - "How can they have these good behavior credits if they've all had infractions and been denied parole time and time again?"


    How indeed???


    God bless.


  • Adelinthe Oct 16, 2009

    "A person who has been in prison for a violent crime, and has gotten infractions throughout their time incarcerated, that's the best predictor for their future activity," he said.


    If they've had a violent crime in the past five years, they shouldn't be considered for any type of release. PERIOD!!!

    So much for protecting the innocent.


    God bless.


  • Chasityj25 Oct 16, 2009

    Then they wonder what is wrong with our so called system! Really people what is the deal? My brother was murdered Raleigh, NC in 2006 (LeRoy Jernigan) and it would just send chills down my spine to know that they would release these individuals back on our streets. What are the consequences to there actions? Nothing just let them back on the streets to Rape & Murder again and again~! Can anyone really answer this question on a serious note? Why? They already have infractions, what is considered GOOD behavior in prison for raping and murdering someone?

  • lkanzig Oct 16, 2009

    gee and when they are released they can join their fellow crimminals in the nc government!

  • BigUNCFan Oct 16, 2009

    OCt 29 release.

    It is shaping up to be a mean halloween if these guys act up. No telling what this bunch of people will do when released. They sounds like a mean group.

  • turdferguson Oct 16, 2009

    How can they have these good behavior credits if they've all had infractions and been denied parole time and time again?

  • turdferguson Oct 16, 2009

    What a disaster...I'm losing all faith in humanity.