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William Richards

Years served: 23

County of Conviction

San Bernadino

Convicted of

First Degree Murder


25 Years to Life


June 21, 2016

Bill Richards was convicted of murdering his wife Pamela, after four trials, based on junk science, even though the timeline of the case made it impossible for him to commit the crime.   The crime scene work done on the case was totally inadequate, and Bill’s conviction hinged on testimony by a forensic odontologist, who claimed at trial that Bill’s bitemark matched a mark on the victim’s body, but later recanted his testimony stating that it was not a match.  Furthermore, the California Innocence Project discovered DNA both under the victim’s fingernails and on the murder weapon that didn’t match the victim nor Bill.  

In 2009, a tough on crime, former prosecutor judge reversed Bill’s conviction.  However, the Court of Appeal reversed the reversal.  Then, in what California Lawyer Magazine called the worst decision of the year, the California Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal’s reversal. It would take changing a California law and another trip to the California Supreme Court before Bill was finally released after spending more than 20 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. For more information about Bill’s case go to:

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