exculpate sounds like ex-culprit = culprit...but now he has been cleared of the charges.
ex(expert)+culpate(culprit) expert culprit are always clear from blame ,,
Honor the culprit by exonerating and exculpating
When the accused is deemed an ex-culprit / Once a jury of peers votes to exculpate, / The court of law issues a formal writ, / Evidence of the verdict to vindicate.
culpable is blame.exculpate is removing the blame