The city of Norfolk has agreed to pay (from left to right) Eric Wilson, Danial Williams, Joseph Dick and Derek Tice $4.9million to the sailors and the state agreed to pay $3.5million. The four sailors were convicted in 1997 rape and killing of Michelle Moore-Bosko (inset). DNA evidence linked another man, Omar Ballard, to the crimes. Three of the men were granted conditional pardons in 2009 but their convictions remained on the books. Wilson had failed to get his conviction overturned in court because he had already completed his sentence when he brought the challenge. The men have long said they confessed only after being intimidated by police. Their case was championed by multi-million selling author John Grisham, (inset, bottom right).
Roger Stone was recently convicted in federal court on seven felony charges, stemming from the since-closed Russian collusion investigation. Stone's main crime was lying to Congress about who he had, or had not, spoken to about Russia. By the time Stone's trial began in Washington, nobody was talking about WikiLeaks anymore. Nobody cared. Yet prosecutors continued as if it were 2017. For lying about something now irrelevant, they argued that Roger Stone should spend up to 50 years in prison, the rest of his life. At the very moment prosecutors were making that case – that Stone's misstatements ought to be a death penalty offense – Congressman Adam Schiff was busy lying to the rest of us about new things, some that actually matter. Schiff didn't seem worried about lying. He knows he'll never be prosecuted for it. In Washington, dishonesty is strictly a one-way offense.
Yet despite the irony of all this, Stone was convicted. Official Washington cheered. "Rot in hell!" they screamed on Twitter. What's interesting about the response to Stone's case – both from federal prosecutors and the conventional media – is how much harsher it was than anything that greeted convicted child molester Jeffrey Epstein. When Epstein was released from his first prison term, he hosted a dinner at his home with ABC News host George Stephanopoulos, former NBC host Katie Couric, Chelsea Handler, Woody Allen, CBS's Charlie Rose, British Prince Andrew and many others. Do you think Stephanopoulos would consider having dinner at Stone's house? Of course not. That would be immoral. FBI officials, apparently, agree.
You'll remember what happened when Stone was arrested. Dozens of federal agents with automatic weapons, armored vehicles and a helicopter descended on his home in a middle-class part of Fort Lauderdale and rousted the 66-year-old and his wife from bed at rifle point. Just to make sure the event inflicted maximum humiliation, the feds tipped off CNN, which was there to capture the whole thing live. That's how our government treated a man facing perjury charges.