Supreme Court reverses appeals court, says life-termers must stay behind bars

It’s not looking like a bunch of life-termers hoping to get out of prison because of good behavior are going to get their wish granted.

The N.C. Supreme Court overturned a 2012 ruling by the N.C. Court of Appeals that sided with them. The split appeals court opinion had upheld a Superior Court ruling that said the older laws under which the life-termers were convicted, life sentences meant 80 years, and credits could reduce their years behind bars by decades.

However, Court of Appeals Judge Sam Ervin IV parted with that court’s majority and said the prisoners weren’t due their credits.

“I conclude that petitioners are not entitled to have their earned time credits applied against their sentences for purposes of calculating their unconditional release date and respectfully dissent from the Court’s decision to affirm the trial court’s order,” Ervin wrote.

The Supreme Court said Ervin was right.