NC Supreme Court to hear 'life' inmates case

AP News
Posted: Dec 22, 2009 2:13 PM

North Carolina's highest court plans to hear arguments in the case of two convicted murderers who contend their "life" sentences are now complete.

Supreme Court clerk Christie Cameron said Tuesday that justices have expedited the schedule for written filings and that oral arguments could be held in February.

Justices are keeping inmates Faye Brown and Alford Jones behind bars while the state appeals two rulings that said they should be freed. Meanwhile, a third lower court judge has said an inmate in a similar situation should stay in prison.

Several dozen inmates sentenced to life between 1974 and 1978 received terms defined as no more than 80 years long. Some of them contend sentence-reduction credits mean they've completed their time behind bars.