BY KYLE HUTCHISON
In 1995, Gerard Richardson was imprisoned for 1st degree murder. Almost two decades later, Richardson has maintained his innocence and finally proved he never killed anyone. According to FoxNews.com, Richardson was released Tuesday on bail after the court ordered DNA testing showed he did not kill 19 year old Monica Reyes.
The court originally convicted Richardson based on bite marks left on Reyes’ body when they found her. An expert testified saying that the marks on Reyes’ body matched Richardson’s teeth. Her body was found in a ditch in Bernards Township, New Jersey.
Richardson has maintained his innocence since he was first jailed in 1995, and finally due to new technology and help from the Innocence, Project Richardson was given a DNA test. The test proved that his DNA did not match the DNA found on the bite marks that had condemned him 18 years before.
Gerard Richardson’s appeal of his conviction was lead by the Innocence Project. This group of lawyers has been working, throughout the country, to help bring new evidence to the courts as an attempt to free the wrongly accused.
Created in 1992 by Barry Scheck and Peter Neufield, The Innocence Project goal was to bring new evidence to courts to try and exonerate any person who was wrongly imprisoned. This non-profit organization has been a part of 244 DNA exonerations throughout the United States. Richardson’s case was the 311th case of DNA exoneration after being convicted.
The striking numbers of wrongly convicted people is staggering in the United States. With the new technology we have at our disposal helping to free wrongly convicted people has been much easier and helps to bring families back together. Even though Gerard Richardson lost 18 years of his life the now 48 year old has the rest of his life in front of him thanks to The Innocence Project.