US man freed from prison after finding his criminal doppelgänger

Long Lunch 06/09/2018

An American man is asking for compensation from the state of Kansas after spending 17 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

In 2017, Richard Anthony Jones was released from a maximum security prison after Kansas police realised a 1999 aggravated robbery was committed by his criminal doppelgänger.

I pretty much did the time for him.

Mr Jones missed his children growing up, and also missed the birth of his grandchildren because of the case. He’s asking for US$1.1 million (NZ$1.66 million) in compensation, which works out to about US$65,000 (NZ$98,000) for every year he erroneously spent behind bars.

“I pretty much did the time for him,” Mr Jones told RadioLIVE.

When police finally realised their mistake, the state wasn’t able to press charges against the real criminal because the statute of limitations for the crime had expired.

“I can’t be angry about it anymore because it doesn’t change anything. I’m just a strong believe in karma and the laws of nature.”

“It took 17 years for my truth to come out, but it came out,” he said.

Mr Jones shared similar facial features and hairstyle to his doppelgänger, with the two men even sharing the same first name.

In 1999, his fingerprints and DNA were not found at the scene of the crime, but his face was picked out of a police database by a witness.

While in prison, Mr Jones was repeatedly told by other inmates he looked just like another inmate. After maintaining his innocence for years, Mr Jones’ case reached the Midwest Innocence Project.

He was released from prison in June 2017.

Mr Jones is still adjusting to freedom, and hopes to set up his own business in the future.

Listen to the full interview with Richard Anthony Jones above. 

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