A group of more than two dozen retired FBI agents called on Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine this week to pardon four men who say they were wrongfully convicted of a murder in Norfolk in 1997. The men, known as the “Norfolk Four” say they falsely confessed to involvement in the rape and murder of a 19-year-old woman. Three of them are still behind bars today, thr fourth was released after serving his full sentence but he also seeks a pardon to clear his name. Another fifth man, whose DNA matches evidence from the crime scene, has since confessed to committing the crime alone. He is also in prison for the crime.
The group of FBI agents sent a letter to Kaine in July, but they haven’t received a reply. They held a press conference on Monday to announce their position. Jay Cochran, Jr, a 29-year FBI veteran and former commissioner of the Virginia State Police, is a leader of the group.
"They stand falsely convicted and imprisoned for a crime they did not commit," Cochran said. "Our members are not bleeding hearts. We do not have an interest in the outcome. Our only interest is in serving the interests of justice." …
Delacey Skinner, a Kaine spokeswoman, said Monday that the governor is "committed to giving the case thorough and thoughtful consideration" but has made no decision and has not established a deadline for doing so. Lawyers for three of the Norfolk Four, working for free on behalf of the Virginia Innocence Project, first filed clemency petitions … when Mark Warner (D) was governor.
Read the full story here
. (Washington Post, 11/11/08)
The Disturbing Case of the Norfolk Four
(Time Magazine, 11/11/08)
the Norfolk Four website
for a complete background on the case.