Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

James Richardson

First NameJames
Last NameRichardson
Year of Conviction1989
Year of Exoneration1999
State of ConvictionWest Virginia
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape and Murder
Death SentenceNo
Life / LWOP sentenceLife
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeWhite
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Third Party Guilt
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Testimony of defendant describing whereabouts the evening of the crime.

Did the defendant testify at trial?Yes
Quotes from Exoneree Testimony

“Q: So, all of this time you’re thinking that you kind of saved the little girl’s life, right? A: Yes. Q: And you felt good about that? A: Yes, sir. Q: Did you think you were kind of a hero, sort of? A: No, not really. Q: Mr. Richardson, did you kill [the victim]? A: No, sir, I did not. Q: Did you burglarize her home? A: No, sir, I did not. Q: Did you sexually assault her without her consent? A: No, sir, I did not.”

Types of evidence at trial
  • Forensic Evidence
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Invalid
Reason why invalid(1), (3) Masking; false probability
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

Ignored masking where substances were consistent with victim, and divided statistic in half claiming to eliminate females. See Part II.A.1 for a description of the problem of masking and non-quantification and discussion of similar cases.

Highest level reachedNR

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