News 05.01.09

Houston Man Freed After 22 Years

Gary Alvin Richard was freed yesterday in Houston after DNA testing on evidence from a 1987 rape called his conviction into question. The Harris County District Attorney’s office said it would review the facts of Richard’s case and decide whether to retry him.

Richard was convicted of attacking a nursing student back in 1987 based heavily on blood evidence. However, a later investigation revealed some evidence that could have cleared Richard was not testified to by the crime lab technician.

"I have mixed feelings," said Robert Wicoff, Richard's attorney. "I'm grateful for Gary Richard. I'm glad we were able to find justice for Gary, but there are a lot of other cases, where I'm convinced innocent men are in prison."

If exonerated, Richard would be the fourth Harris County man cleared because of problems within HPD's crime lab. The lab has been under review since it was revealed tests of bodily fluids were faulty.

District attorney Pat Lykos believes Richard's case highlights the need for an independent crime lab run by scientists, not police.


Read the full story and watch a video of Richard’s release

. (KTRK, 04/30/09)

Read more about Richard’s case at

the Innocence Project of Texas blog

and the

Houston Chronicle

.

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