Norfolk Four


norfolk4In the early morning hours of July 8, 1997, Omar Ballard raped and murdered eighteen-year-old Michelle Bosko in her apartment in Norfolk, Virginia. Ballard has admitted, and continues to confirm, that he committed this horrific crime alone. Although there were multiple clues that should have led police directly to Omar Ballard, instead, less than four hours after Ms. Bosko's body was discovered, the police jumped to the conclusion that Danial, who lived in the apartment across the hall from the Boskos with his wife Nicole, had committed this heinous crime. The police's tunnel vision zeroed in on Danial and later focused on Joe, Eric, and Derek, despite glaring warning signs that these men could not have committed this crime, and long after the evidence conclusively proved that they were innocent of Michelle's rape and murder.

This misguided focus persisted even after DNA evidence and Ballard's detailed and uncoerced confession proved that Omar Ballard, and Omar Ballard alone, had raped and murdered Ms. Bosko.

Danial, Derek, and Joe have now spent over seven years in prison for a crime they did not commit and are serving life sentences with no possibility of parole. Eric has completed his sentence, but he also has a clemency petition pending. These innocent men were convicted solely on the basis of false confessions, which they gave in order to avoid the death penalty. They need executive exoneration now to put an end to this tragedy.