North Carolina's chief deputy attorney general says some prisoners have asked formally that their sentences be recalculated following a state Supreme Court decision.
Grayson Kelley told a legislative committee Tuesday that four or five prisoners have filed petitions with the courts seeking reduced sentences.
The Supreme Court ruled in October in favor of prisoner Bobby Bowden and determined a 1970s law defined a life sentence as 80 years. Prison officials said at least 27 violent criminals qualified for release when the ruling combined with good-conduct credits.
But Gov. Beverly Perdue stopped their release because she said those credits shouldn't apply to people with these life sentences.
Kelley said arguments for the first petition could be held next month, with Bowden's case to follow in January.