Four innocent men, Danial Williams, Joseph Dick, Derek Tice, and Eric Wilson, all veterans of the U.S. Navy, were convicted of crimes they did not commit. An objective, comprehensive review of this case by the nation’s leading experts in the fields of forensic pathology, forensic DNA analysis, crime scene reconstruction, and false confessions leaves no doubt that Danial, Joe, Derek, and Eric were wrongly accused, falsely confessed, and are all innocent. They were convicted based on false confessions extracted by a detective who has a documented history of eliciting false confessions and has recently been indicted by a federal grand jury on extortion charges. (Read more about the detective here.)
On August 6, 2009, three of the Norfolk Four received conditional pardons from Governor Tim Kaine. Derek Tice, Danial Williams, and Joseph Dick, Jr. have been released from prison and rejoined their families after more than 11 harsh years in prison. Please click here for the Norfolk Four press release.
On September 14, 2009, Judge Richard L. Williams of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted Derek Tice’s federal habeas petition and overturned Mr. Tice’s conviction. In the opinion, Judge Williams finds that the state trial court’s grant of Mr. Tice’s habeas petition based on the violation of his constitutional rights was correct, and that the Virginia Supreme Court’s reversal of that decision was an “objectively unreasonable” application of federal law. Click here to read the opinion in its entirety.