‘Norfolk Four’ seek pardons from Gov. McAuliffe

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Four former sailors who have long claimed that police coerced them into falsely confessing to a 1997 rape and murder have asked Virginia’s governor to declare them innocent.

Attorneys for the ex-sailors known as the “Norfolk Four” told The Associated Press that the men filed a request for absolute pardons this week with Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

A spokesman for McAuliffe said he has received the requests and will review them carefully.

The Norfolk Four drew national attention when their innocence claims were backed by dozens of former FBI agents, ex-prosecutors and novelist John Grisham.

Three of the men have already had their convictions overturned. The fourth man, Eric Wilson, has been unable to persuade courts to do the same because he already completed his sentence.