the NC parole board was established in 1955. prior to that, the Governor was the releasing authority on all matters. as it stands, only the Governor can release a lifer - albeit the parole board conducts the hearings and then makes recommendations. eligibility to have a parole hearing for a lifer is 1/2 of the sentence. this is based on life expectancy. so your husband certainly should have had hearings. when the members conduct hearings they take into consideration many factors - the nature of the crime, the inmates institutional behavior, the time served to date, etc.
you need to know that parole was never a right - it has always been a privilege. therefore, i find it difficult to believe that there would be any written law that says a lifer would only have to serve 40 and 1/4 of a sentence and must be paroled.
however, to be certain you will need to contact legislative services/library - they are a public service free of cost and they can give you the details and history of any legislation that might have been enacted after 1966 and how the prior law would apply to your husband.
here is the contact information for them - this link
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).