An editorial in Wednesday’s
called on Somerset County prosecutor Timothy Van Hise to drop the murder charges against Gerard Richardson now that DNA testing shows that another man committed the murder that landed him in prison for 19 years.
Richardson, who was convicted based largely on the strength of invalid bite mark evidence, was released Tuesday evening on $5,000 bail, one day after a Superior Court judge overturned his conviction. The
Yet even though Van Hise has agreed to vacate the conviction and doesn’t dispute the DNA science, he’s still refusing to drop the murder charges. Inexplicably, he continues to insist that Richardson must have bitten this woman, despite the fact that the saliva left behind belonged to someone else.
The prosecutor wants until mid-December to re-investigate the case, even though he’s had these new DNA test results since July.
Come on. Richardson shouldn’t have to live his life with the threat of a retrial hanging over his head. Van Hise should complete his investigation quickly, because his refusal to admit this mistake is sounding like yet another stage of denial.
Richardson isn’t alone. Since 2000, at least 24 innocent men whose convictions and/or arrests were based on evidence “matching” their teeth to a bite mark on human skin have been cleared.
cases were bite mark evidence lead to wrongful convictions