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New Jersey Man Exonerated after Spending 19 Years in Jail

February 20, 2014

In December 2013, the Somerset County prosecutor filed a motion dismissing the indictment against Gerard Richardson, an individual who had spent 19 years in jail for a murder he did not commit. The dismissal of the indictment followed a ruling by a New Jersey Superior Court judge overturning Richardson’s conviction and ordering his release from prison.

Richardson was convicted of the February 1994 murder of Monica Reyes based primarily on the testimony of a forensic dentist who claimed that a bite mark on the victim’s body matched Richardson. Gerard Richardson always proclaimed his innocence. Eventually, he was allowed to submit a swab recovered from the bite mark for DNA testing, but the testing was inconclusive. Thereafter, additional testing was conducted and a lab was able to detect a complete male DNA profile from the evidence that excluded Richardson.


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