County of Conviction: Los Angeles
Convicted of: Armed Robbery (3rd Strike)
Sentence: 70 Years to Life
Years Served: 4 Years
Released: February 3, 2003
Cost of Wrongful Incarceration: $180,000
Jason Kindle was convicted for the 1999 armed robbery of a Los Angeles Office Depot. Kindle, who at the time was a janitor at the Office Depot, was accused of the robbery and convicted, mainly because of a laundry list of store cleaning instructions found in his home. Police and the district attorney believed it was a robbery to-do list, when in fact it contained notes Kindle took during a training course with Cover-All Cleaning, his employer.
Kindle’s conviction was also based on inaccurate voice recognition testimony. As the California Innocence Project, working with a local Los Angeles attorney, reexamined the evidence presented at trial, they discovered a videotape of the robbery that definitively proved that the actual perpetrator was 6 feet 6 inches-Kindle is a head shorter at 6 feet. The charges were ultimately dismissed because of this new evidence, and Jason Kindle was released.
Despite California passing a compensation statute, Jason Kindle was never awarded any money for his time in prison. As is often the case, the state has a compensation law but rarely do claims get paid out.