Nearly 25 years after being convicted of sexually abusing children at their home day care facility, a Texas couple has been fully exonerated. The Travis County District Attorney filed papers to declare Dan and Fran Keller “actually innocent, which will allow them for collect payment from the state for their wrongful conviction.
Jordan Smith writes about the Keller’s case for the Intercept.
Contrary to what many people might think, you don’t have a right not to be convicted of a crime you did not commit. For the most part, the Constitution is silent on this point. Instead, the focus is on whether a person received a fair trial. Did you have at least minimally competent lawyers? Were you afforded the ability to cross-examine witnesses against you? If so, then your conviction — even for a crime that never happened — should stand. Once a person is convicted, the system works only to reinforce that outcome. That remains the reality for untold thousands who sit innocent behind bars today.
Read more here.