Christopher Tapp, who spent 20 years behind bars for the 1996 rape and homicide of Idaho Falls resident, Angie Dodge, is anticipated to be exonerated this week. As reported within the Post Register, unreliable proof — a coerced confession and testimony from a witness who later recanted and claimed police pressured her — prompted the jury’s responsible verdict in 1997. However Tapp’s nightmare is anticipated to finish in a listening to earlier than Seventh District Decide Alan Stephens on Wednesday, July 17, because of a more moderen use of DNA, genetic DNA evaluation.
In jail Tapp maintained his innocence — the crime scene DNA didn’t match him — and unsuccessfully petitioned the courts 5 instances for post-conviction aid. His current sixth petition is supported by a submitting from Bonneville County Prosecuting Legal professional Daniel Clark, who has requested that Tapp’s conviction be vacated, opining, “There exists clear and convincing proof that (Tapp) was convicted of against the law he didn’t commit.”
What precipitated this reversal of official response to Tapp’s petitions for aid? Genetic DNA evaluation led to the identification of Angie Dodge’s across-the-street neighbor, Brian Leigh Dripps, who admitted he dedicated the crime, acted alone, and had by no means met Christopher Tapp.
A associated information report by Native Information 8 ABC reported that Idaho Falls Police Chief Bryce Johnson mentioned genetic investigation led to somebody within the Dripps household tree. Using crime scene DNA, a genealogist recognized three folks within the Dripps household associated to the suspect on a family tree web site. Police surveillance enabled retrieval and evaluation of a discarded cigarette butt to verify the DNA match with Brian Dripps. He has been charged with the crime.
Expanded use of DNA in genetic evaluation ensuing within the identification of the perpetrator is noteworthy on this tragic wrongful conviction case. Moreover, Tapp had agreed in 2017 to a take care of prosecutors by which he could be launched from jail on time served with the rape cost dropped, however with the onerous homicide conviction remaining on his file. On Wednesday together with Tapp’s anticipated exoneration, this later travesty of justice may also be rectified.
The Idaho Innocence Challenge is to be recommended for pursuing justice on this case for a decade.