Kansas Inmate Freed After Doppelganger Found 17 Years Later
Richard Jones reconnects with family after being released from prison. Midwest Innocence Project
In the decision on Wednesday, Johnson County Judge Kevin Moriarty said that, “No reasonable juror would have convicted [Jones] in the light of the new evidence.”
The robbery victim, noted Moriarty, had not seen her attackers’ face. When she originally picked out the police photo of Jones, she “relied mostly upon skin tone” and has since said that “the person that most likely looks like the individual committing the robbery [is] Mr. Amos.”
The other witness, a Walmart security guard, did not see the crime itself but chased the car in order to identify its license number. The two other men in the car who identified “Rick” as the robber admitted to being high on drugs at the time.
After Jones reached out to lawyers and asked them to find his doppelganger, they were stunned by the likeness.
“When we pulled up the photos we were shocked,” said Craig. “We actually pulled it up in the middle of the law clinic class, with all the interns. Everyone was just floored.”
Jones said looking at the photos gave him a sense of resolution: “Either you re gonna think they re the same person, or you re gonna say these guys look so much alike. So when I saw that picture, it fell off me. I found that needle in the haystack.”
NBC News was not immediately able to reach Jones for comment.
online fundraiser for Jones has raised over $10,000 since being posted two days ago. Craig noted that Kansas has no law that stipulates compensation for people whose convictions are overturned. Jones can sue the state, but whether he plans to was not immediately clear.