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