OLATHE – (December 18, 2018) – The attorney general’s office has resolved the first lawsuit filed under a new mistaken-conviction statute enacted by the legislature earlier this year, Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today.
The attorney general reached an agreed resolution of a lawsuit filed in August by Richard Jones. In 2000, Jones was convicted in Johnson County and imprisoned for an aggravated robbery he did not commit. His conviction was vacated and charges against him dismissed in 2017. The agreed resolution was approved yesterday in Johnson County District Court by Judge Kevin P. Moriarty.
“We are committed to faithfully administering the new mistaken-conviction statute the legislature enacted,” Schmidt said. “In this case, it was possible on the existing record to resolve all issues quickly, satisfy all of the statute’s requirements, and agree to this outcome so Mr. Jones can receive the benefits to which he is entitled by law because he was mistakenly convicted.”
In the agreed order, the court determined that Jones did not commit the crime or crimes for which he was convicted, nor was he an accessory or accomplice to that crime or crimes, nor did he suborn perjury, fabricate evidence or cause or bring about the conviction. Between June 2000 and June 2017, Jones served 6,035 days in prison and 164 days confined by bond and court supervision.
Accordingly, the court ordered the following relief for Jones, as provided by the mistaken-conviction statute:
- Jones was granted a Certificate of Innocence.
- Records of his arrest and conviction were ordered expunged and any biological samples associated with his mistaken conviction are ordered destroyed.
- He was granted total compensation of $1,103,945.16.
- He was granted counseling.
- He was granted permission to participate in the state health care benefits program for plan years 2019 and 2020.
By law, payment on the judgment is subject to review by the State Finance Council. Schmidt has formally asked the Finance Council to review the matter promptly so payment can begin.
Two other lawsuits under the new mistaken-conviction statute have been filed by other individuals. Those lawsuits remain pending in Sedgwick County and Shawnee County.
Copies of the orders entered yesterday In the matter of the wrongful conviction of Richard Jones, Johnson County Case No. 2018-CV-4856, are available at http://bit.ly/2R8SFB2.