(WGHP) — A prisoner granted clemency by Governor Cooper got to walk out of prison Thursday morning.
April Barber, who was granted clemency in early March, walked out of Anson Correctional Institute around 9:45 a.m. and was greeted by a handful of family and friends.
‘Freedom fighting missionaries’ gave April a check for $500 to help her get established as she begins her new life.
FOX8 wasn’t allowed to ask questions, but overheard April tell someone she felt “amazing.”
April Leigh Barber was sentenced to two consecutive life terms in 1992, when she was 16 years old, after being found responsible for the deaths of Aaron and Lillie Barber in North Wilkesboro. The Barbers had adopted April as an infant, and they had fought over her romance with a man more than twice her age. They died on Labor Day 1991.
In his commutation, Cooper cited the facts that Barber, now 46, has been employed and participated in significant programming at the prison and had earned her General Education Degree and a paralegal certification.
The commutation order includes specific requirements that Barber must meet and sets her release day for March 24.
Commutations are recommended to the governor by the Juvenile Sentence Review Board that he established by executive order last year. The applications were reviewed by the Office of Executive Clemency, the Office of the General Counsel and the governor, the release said.
“North Carolina law continues to change to recognize that science is even more clear about immature brain development and decision making in younger people,” Cooper said in the release. “As people become adults, they can change, turn their lives around, and engage as productive members of society.”