Does Convicted Cop Equal Reasonable Doubt?

Norfolk, Virginia, Police Detective Robert Glenn Ford had a reputation as a hard-nosed cop who handled most of the City’s high profile criminal cases. Now he’s got another one but it’s his name “across the v” from the Government. Ford was convicted in federal court in Norfolk of extortion and lying to federal investigators. Specifically, the Government alleged that Ford took money from criminal defendants in exchange for helping them get lighter sentences. Ford maintains his innocence and vows to appeal.

Ford handled 200 homicide cases including the infamous “Norfolk 4” case which resulted in four convictions for the rape and murder of  an 18-year-old wife of a Norfolk sailor. Ford was accused by lawyers for the “Norfolk 4” of planting jailhouse snitches near in the men’s cell blocks to solicit confessions.

The “Norfolk 4,” are Danial Williams, Joseph Dick, Derek Tice, and Eric Wilson, who each served over 7 years in Virginia prisons — some for capital crimes. DNA evidence subsequently linked another man, Omar Ballard, to the crime, and exonerated the Norfolk 4. Ballard also later confessed. Governor Tim Kaine pardoned three of the four men, and another was granted habeas relief by Judge Williams of the federal district court. Now, following Ford’s conviction, three of the four have filed petitions to clear their names.

Other convictions are bound to be examined. Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Gregory Underwood said his office “would respond appropriately to post-conviction appeals,” but Regent Law Professor James Duane isn’t sure any of it will make much of a difference. The case will give prosecutors time for “for some severe and sobering introspection,” Duane said, but, “In the end, I doubt it’s going to have much effect.”

Should a convicted cop equal reasonable doubt without more proof of specific wrongdoing?

— Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

Source: PilotOnline Website

6 thoughts on “Does Convicted Cop Equal Reasonable Doubt?”

  1. Bravo Francisco!!! I agree completely and after watching the same show (Frontline) I was furious at the underhanded manner that was used to pry a false confession from these men. Am I alone in thinking that there should be some sort of measure taken against the prosecutor in this case as well since the true defendant said that they spared him the death penalty ONLY if he agreed to carry their lies into court concerning the 4 men after he TRIED to convince them that he had acted alone and since it was made clear that the only TRUTH these clowns were interested was the TRUTH that included the 4 original patsies?? It seems like prosecutorial misconduct in all its glory to me! Thoughts??
    Also, may these poor souls be able to move forward and have their lives (such as they are) returned to some happiness.
    Please say a prayer for them all and for all those people who have YET to be exonerated.

  2. I watched the frontline special and this frameup was shameless and should have been stopped with the 1st defendant. Virginia should be ashamed and made to pay. PAY BIG and the crooked cop should have ALL his confessions looked at by the feds. HE should get life. He ruined many people.

  3. He will likely win his appeal. Then he should sue the snot out of the state for wrongful criminal actions just as exemplified by the other cases.

  4. Absolutely…taint’s taint. The degree of the involvement and coordinated complexity of the case in question, not mention the money motive, suggests that such manipulative “skills” didn’t come out of the blue, but rather likely evolved over a series of corrupt situations.

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