Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Harold Richardson

First Name Harold
Last NameRichardson
Year of Conviction1997
Year of Exoneration2012
Testing inculpated culpritCold Hit
State of ConvictionIllinois
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape and Murder
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeBlack
Types of evidence at trial
  • Confession
  • DNA excluded
  • Forensic Evidence
Were non-public facts alleged?Yes
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • DNA
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Excluded
  • Valid
Examples of Non-Public or Corroborated Facts and Inconsistencies

● Location of the murder ● Victim’s injuries ● Describes the shovel ● Clothing placed with body of victim in dumpster BUT DNA excluded defendants at the time of trial. Victim’s clothing not found inside sheet.

Quotes from law enforcement testimony

Q. Is any of that information there incorporated from what the detectives or assistant state’s attorney told you or is that what the defendant told you? A. That’s what he told me other than the words that I say after being advised, things like that, this statement is a summary of what he told me, Michael Saunders.”

Interrogation RecordedWritten and signed confession statement
Highest level reachedAppeal
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Sentencing — Noncapital
  • State Law Evidence Claim
Citations to judicial opinions

People v. Richardson, 724 N.E.2d 1273 (Ill., February 02, 2000)
People v. Richardson, 751 N.E.2d 1104 (Ill. 2001)