Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
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