Friday, August 27, 2010

Supremes: Improvidently or not, inmates will remain locked up

The N.C. Supreme Court has ruled it does not have the authority to tell the NC Department of Correction that it has to apply controversial time off to the sentences of inmates sentenced to live in the 1970s -- and thus the state does not have to release them. It's a big victory for Gov. Bev Perdue, who made an issue of it last fall and forced the Supreme Court to reconsider the issue after it first decided a discretionary review it had agreed to had been "improvidently allowed."

The court ruled 5-2 today against releasing the inmates. Perdue's office released the following:

“We can all sleep a little sounder tonight knowing that violent prisoners will not be released into our communities without review or supervision.
"One hundred and thirty three violent criminals will remain behind bars because of today’s decision.
“I stood up for what I believed was right for North Carolina, and I thank the victims, their families, and law enforcement who stood up with me.”

Perdue's opposition to releasing the inmates came after three conservative judges of the NC Court of Appeals ruled that the time-off policies did apply to a number of inmates, and ordered their sentences recalculated by the courts.

The state appealed; the Supreme Court first agreed to hear the case, then issued a one-page statement saying it had improvidently allowed that appeal.

Judge Ripley Rand followed the dictates of the Court of Appeals and ordered two inmates released in December.

So Perdue's administration appealed again to the Supreme Court, and this time got a hearing on the issue in February. Today's decision came out of that hearing.  Justice Robert Edmunds wrote the decision for the majority.  Justices Patricia Timmons-Goodson and Robin Hudson dissented.

Providence this time, I guess.


Anonymous said...

Bev Perdue "tough on crime"? Hahahaha.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link, Anon -- I was one of the people who admired her stand on this, and I'm glad to know the TRUTH about this....and her. Funny how you'd never see that info in the Charlotte Observer....