William Richards

William Richards

Bill enjoying his first meal outside of prison.

County of Conviction: San Bernardino, California

Race: White

Wrongful Conviction: Murder

Exonerated Date: 2016

Years Served: 23

Bill found his wife’s dead body outside their home and immediately called 911. When police did not arrive immediately, he called twice more over the next half-hour. Finally, at 12:32 a.m., a police officer arrived, but detectives did not arrive until 3:15 a.m. Because it was dark, detectives decided not to process the scene right away. As a result, dogs roamed the property and obscured footprints and blood evidence. With the police unable to place anyone else at the crime scene, Bill was charged and convicted for his wife’s murder. DNA testing in 2001 revealed that the DNA on the murder weapons and the hairs under Pamela’s fingernails belonged to neither Bill nor Pamela. In 2013, in what California Lawyer Magazine called the worst decision of the year, the California Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal’s reversal of Judge McCarville’s decision. Finally, last May, the California Supreme Court finally reversed Bill’s conviction and he was released on June 21 this year.

Source: California Innocence Project

Read more about Bill’s story here.