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The Innocence Project Requests New Trial for New Jersey Man Sentenced in 1995

On Behalf of | Sep 11, 2013 | Child Endangerment

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The Innocence Project

The now well-known nonprofit organization The Innocence Project has set its sights on a New Jersey man convicted in 1995 for murder. According to The Innocence Project, DNA evidence proves that Gerard Richardson could not have committed the crime for which a Somerset County jury convicted him.

The Innocence Project’s work highlights the importance of DNA evidence to both criminal defense attorneys and prosecutors. The Innocence Project examines old criminal cases decided before DNA evidence was available but in which DNA evidence remains on file. In the case of Gerard Richardson, he was originally convicted almost solely on testimony from a forensic dentist matching a bite mark on the victim with a cast taken of Mr. Richardson’s teeth. Swabs of the bite mark were taken in 1994 but never tested.

Mr. Richardson has petitioned for a new trial based on the results of a DNA test of an unopened swab containing DNA of the person who bit the murder victim. His attorney, Vanessa Potkin of The Innocence Project, states that the genetic profile of the person who bit the murder victim does not match Mr. Richardson’s generic profile.

We are waiting to hear the court’s decision on Mr. Richardson’s request for a new trial. Mr. Richardson may not have to go through another trial if the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office-after reviewing the DNA report prepared by Mr. Richardson’s legal team-decides to join the defense in filing a motion to vacate the conviction.

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