RICHMOND, Va. —
Judge James A. Wynn wrote in a dissenting opinion that the court had "a moral imperative" to grant Wilson a hearing.
The Norfolk Four drew national attention when their innocence claims were backed by dozens of former FBI agents, ex-prosecutors and novelist John Grisham.
DNA evidence excluded the four and implicated a fifth man, Omar Ballard, who admitted that he alone raped and killed 18-year-old Michelle Moore-Bosko in Norfolk.
Only one of the four, Derek Tice, has managed to be completely cleared by the courts. Efforts continue on behalf of the others.
Robert Glenn Ford, the detective who extracted confessions from the four, was later convicted in an unrelated case of extortion and lying to the FBI. He was sentenced to 12½ years in prison.