Does the blood on the kitchen knife not match that on the accused's clothes? That's exculpatory evidence: anything that clears someone or something of guilt or blame is exculpatory.

Exculpatory comes from the Latin word exculpat, meaning "freed from blame." The verb exculpate means to free from guilt or blame. Both words are used most often in a legal or technical sense rather than in everyday conversation — unless of course you're trying to show off.

Definitions of exculpatory

adj clearing of guilt or blame

absolvitory, exonerative, forgiving
providing absolution
partially excusing or justifying
justificative, justificatory, vindicatory
providing justification
clean-handed, guiltless, innocent
free from evil or guilt
inculpative, inculpatory
causing blame to be imputed to
accusative, accusatory, accusing, accusive
containing or expressing accusation
comminatory, denunciative, denunciatory
containing warning of punishment
condemnatory, condemning
containing or imposing condemnation or censure
criminative, criminatory, incriminating, incriminatory
charging or suggestive of guilt or blame
damnatory, damning
threatening with damnation
recriminative, recriminatory
countering one charge with another
responsible for or chargeable with a reprehensible act
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