GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
SESSION LAW 2008-133
HOUSE BILL 1624
AN ACT to limit the frequency of parole reviews for inmates convicted of murder.
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. G.S. 15A-1371(b), repealed by Section 22 of Chapter 538 of the 1993 Session Laws, but still applicable to sentences based on offenses occurring before October 1, 1994, under Section 56 of that act, reads as rewritten:
"(b) Consideration for Parole. - The Parole Commission must consider the desirability of parole for each person sentenced as a felon for a maximum term of 18 months or longer:
(1) Within the period of 90 days prior to his eligibility for parole, if he is ineligible for parole until he has served more than a year;
(2) Within the period of
90 days prior to the expiration of the first year of the sentence, if he is
eligible for parole at any time. Whenever the Parole Commission will be
considering for parole a prisoner who, if released, would have served less than
half of the maximum term of his sentence, the Commission must notify the
prisoner and the district attorney of the district where the prisoner was
convicted at least 30 days in advance of considering the parole. If the
district attorney makes a written request in such cases, the Commission must
publicly conduct its consideration of parole. Following its consideration, the
Commission must give the prisoner written notice of its decision. If parole is
denied, the Commission must consider its decision while the prisoner is
eligible for parole at least once a year until parole is granted and must give
the prisoner written notice of its decision at least once a
except as provided in subdivision (4) of this subsection, or
(3) Whenever the Parole Commission will be considering for parole a prisoner convicted of first- or second-degree murder, first-degree rape, or first-degree sexual offense, the Commission must notify, at least 30 days in advance of considering the parole, by first class mail at the last known address:
a. The prisoner;
b. The district attorney of the district where the prisoner was convicted;
c. The head of the law enforcement agency that arrested the prisoner, if the head of the agency has requested in writing that he be notified;
d. Any of the victim's immediate family members who have requested in writing to be notified; and
e. The victim, in cases of first-degree rape or first-degree sexual offense, if the victim has requested in writing to be notified.
The Parole Commission must consider any information provided by any such parties before consideration of parole. The Commission must also give the district attorney, the head of the law enforcement agency who has requested in writing to be notified, the victim, or any member of the victim's immediate family who has requested to be notified, written notice of its decision within 10 days of that decision.
Commission shall review cases where the prisoner was convicted of first or
second degree murder, and in its discretion, give consideration of parole and
written notice of its decision once every third year; except that the
Commission may give more frequent parole consideration if it finds that exigent
circumstances or the interests of justice demand it."
SECTION 2. This act becomes effective October 1, 2008, and applies to parole reviews conducted on and after that date.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 18th day of July, 2008.
s/ Marc Basnight
President Pro Tempore of the Senate
s/ Joe Hackney
Speaker of the House of Representatives
s/ Michael F. Easley
Approved 8:08 p.m. this 28th day of July, 2008