This past June, Dan and Fran Keller were exonerated of aggravated sexual abuse in Austin, Texas. The couple had been wrongfully convicted in 1992 of physically and sexually abusing children as part of alleged satanic practices. Yesterday, nearly four years after being released from prison, the Kellers were told that they’ll receive more than $3 million in compensation for the many years they spent wrongfully incarcerated.
According to Texas’ model compensation statute, the Kellers’ receive $80,000 per year of wrongful incarceration. The Kellers spent more than 20 years of a 48-year sentence in prison, bringing their compensation to a total of $3.4 million. They will also receive a matching annuity of five percent.
Like many people who are exonerated of wrongful convictions and released from prison, the Kellers, both in the sixties, were struggling to find employment and secure financial footing. The state compensation will allow them to truly rebuild their lives.
“This means we don’t have to worry about pinching pennies on Social Security, and late bills. It means we will actually be free. We can start living — and no more nightmares,” said Fran Keller, writes the American Statesman.
According to the Statesman, the Kellers will pick up their checks today from the state’s comptroller’s office.
Texas is one of 32 states that compensate people who’ve been exonerated of wrongful conviction. Learn more here about the various statues and what they entail and why the Innocence Project is working to ensure that all exonerees are eligible for robust compensation.