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Victims' Families Fight Parole

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RALEIGH — A murderer is up for parole after spending seven years in jail. His victim's relatives are trying to keep him behind bars, and they are getting support from an unusual source.

Between 1981 and 1994, the state operated under the Fair Sentencing Act -- meaning that some people only had to serve as little as one-eighth of their sentence. The families of victims support each other as they make their annual pilgrimage to the N.C. Parole Commission.

Despite her failing health, Myron Hanna, 76, makes the trip from Maryland to Raleigh every year. Her goal is to keep Michael Rogers, the man who beat her daughter to death in 1993, behind bars.

Due to the Fair Sentencing Act, Rogers is expected to serve less than nine years of a 20-year sentence.

Hanna does not come alone. Nola and William Gilmore, the parents of a Clayton police officer who was murdered in 1982, help other families coping with the ordeal of appearing before the parole board.

"It's an outrage to think that this man every be put back out on the streets again," Nora said.

It could be several weeks before the board makes its final decision. North Carolina now operates under the Truth in Sentencing Act, which requires people to serve 100 percent of their minimum sentence.