The attorney general's office in North Carolina is petitioning the state Supreme Court to block the release of two convicted killers who had been serving life sentences.

Lawyers filed their petition Friday, a day after the state appeals court rejected a request to keep Alford Jones and Faye Brown behind bars. If the appeals court order stands, the inmates will go free at 5 p.m.

State courts previously sided with the inmates in determining their life sentences were actually defined in the 1970s as 80 years. The inmates say that with sentence-reduction credits, that means their terms are now complete.

The state disagrees and says the prisoners should not receive any sentence-reduction credits for good behavior.