RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Four former sailors who became known as the “Norfolk Four” as they fought rape and murder convictions, saying police intimidated them into falsely confessing to the crimes two decades ago have been pardoned by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

A spokesman for McAuliffe told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the governor has pardoned the four men of the 1997 rape and killing of Michelle Moore-Bosko.

Their case drew widespread attention when their innocence claims were backed by dozens of former FBI agents, ex-prosecutors and crime novelist John Grisham.

Prosecutors argued that the men raped Moore-Bosko while her husband was away at sea and then passed around a knife and took turns stabbing her. Their case relied solely on the men’s coerced confessions as no physical evidence connected them to the crime.