Richard A. Jones, the man falsely convicted of aggravated robbery and spent nearly 17 years in prison behind it has filed a lawsuit seeking $1.1 million in compensation. That works out to roughly $65K for each year Jones spent locked up. Jones' case made news last year after the 42-year-old has his conviction tossed out after ironically finding his doppelgänger in prison who actually committed the crime.
After two years of appeal, a Kansas City convict who had served nearly 17 years for a crime he has maintained he did not commit, was let out of prison on Thursday, June 8. Richard Anthony Jones' release comes as the result of a chance encounter he had with an inmate who bears a splitting resemblance to him. Ultimately, presenting the argument that his arrest could have very well been a case of mistaken identity would work in Jones' favor.
Jones was nabbed as a suspect in a Roeland Park robbery that took place in 1999. At the time he denied involvement, contending that he had been in the company of family on the day the crime took place. Although he was identified from a lineup the testimony of the eyewitnesses constituted the entirety of the evidence against Jones in the case. There was otherwise no physical, DNA or fingerprint evidence.
When years later Jones alerted his lawyer that he had run into a man with his same name and eerily similar features, it was determined that he might be able to fight his conviction. During hearings that began in 2015 his attorney would call the victim and witnesses back to testify on whether they were absolutely sure it was Jones and couldn't have been his look alike. They were unable to make a distinction beyond a reasonable doubt. His lawyers would also argue that the line up in the original trial placed Jones among suspects whose appearances were way off the mark of the description of the culprit, leaving him as the only probable selection for the witnesses to point out.
Jones' conviction was overturned more than two years shy of the length he would have served out had he never met such good fortune. Jones' family has since created a GoFundMe page to help him get on his feet as he readapts to live beyond prison walls.