Meet the Exonerees

Richard Danziger

State: Texas
Date of Birth:
Incident Date: 24-Oct-88
Age at Arrest: 18
Conviction Date: 1990
Age When Exonerated: 32
Exonerated Date: 2002
Time Served: 11
Conviction: Aggravated sexual assault

Case Details

Richard Danziger was eighteen years old when he was arrested for the 1995 rape and murder of Nancy DePriest in Austin, Texas. Codefendant Chris Ochoa falsely confessed to the rape, and blamed the murder on Danziger, his friend, coworker, and roommate, under threat of the death penalty. Ochoa agreed to plead guilty and testify against Danziger at trial. At trial, however, Ochoa changed his story, testifying that he had shot the victim, not Danziger. Danziger was subsequently charged with and convicted of rape, although he continuously maintained his innocence. Years later, police received a confession from a prison inmate who had undergone a religious conversion while in prison. The case was re-opened, and DNA testing revealed that neither Ochoa nor Danziger had been parties to the crime. Both were exonerated in 2002. While in prison, Richard was beaten by another prisoner, giving him brain damage for life. Richard received about $10 million in compensation in 2003.