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The removal of a burden, charge, responsibility, duty, or blame imposed by law. The right of a party who is secondarily liable for a debt, such as a surety, to be reimbursed by the party with primary liability for payment of an obligation that should have been paid by the first party.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

EXONERATION. The taking off a burden or duty.
     2. It is a rule in the distribution of an intestate's estate that the debts which he himself contracted, and for which be mortgaged his land as security, shall be paid out of the personal estate in exoneration of the real.
     3. But when the real estate is charged with the payment of a mortgage at the time the intestate buys it, and the purchase is made subject to it, the personal. is not in that case to be applied, in exoneration of the real estate. 2 Pow. Mortg. 780; 5 Hayw. 57; 3 Johns. Ch. R. 229.
     4. But the rule for exonerating the real estate out of the personal, does not apply against specific or pecuniary legatees, nor the widow's right to paraphernalia, and with reason not against the interest of creditors. 2 Ves. jr. 64; 1 P. Wms. 693; Id. 729; 2 Id. 120,335; 3 Id. 367. Vide Pow. Mortg. Index, h.t.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
(10) The state of Texas had no DNA exonerations; however, set a record, 70, for the most Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) exonerations.
(124) The Innocence Project has documented compensation awards in some cases involving DNA exonerations and provided that data to me.
There have been 337 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the United States.
Unlike typical DNA exonerations, the exonerations in Rampart came about without the intervention of Innocence Projects or big-firm pro-bono advocacy.
(201) Each new DNA exoneration gives clarity to the harsh reality that individuals are wrongfully convicted.
It happened in about one-quarter of the first 225 DNA exonerations. Confessions are more common among suspects who are minors or are mentally handicapped, but they can happen in other contexts as well, particularly after intense or abusive police interrogations.
If justice reform has largely turned on innocence, what will happen to other worthy issues of reform in the criminal justice system if the number of DNA exonerations declines?
DNA exonerations have disclosed deliberate (and in some cases criminal) police and prosecutorial misconduct in obtaining the tainted convictions.
In Garrett's study of 250 DNA exonerations, sixteen, or 6%, pled guilty.
In 297 DNA exonerations across the nation, the Innocence Project reported, mistaken identifications contributed to 75 percent of the wrongful convictions.
The unique aspect of the DNA exoneration cases is that there is no particular feature or set of features to characterize the evidence that leads to an erroneous conviction.
In one DNA exoneration of a death row defendant, the original prosecutor asserted that "[i]t doesn't really change my opinion that much that [the defendant is] guilty," and another prosecutor, when dismissing charges against an innocent man who had spent more than eleven years in prison, insisted that "[t]he action I have taken today is neither a vindication nor an acquittal of the defendant." (157)