Christopher Tapp

Christopher Tapp

Postby erasmus44 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:26 am

An unusual case in which the murder victim's mother is an advocate for Christopher Tapp who has been convicted of the murder. The only evidence against Tapp appears to be a confession which is arguably false. The victim's mother believes he is innocent. There are some Brady issues and there appears to be DNA pointing in another direction. There has been a recent Dateline episonde on the case and the Idaho Innocence Project is involved. The case has received some notoriety but there doesn't seem to be a website or central online site for information about the case and things people can do to help the accused. It is probably a case we should consider. Greg Hampinkian is involved in favor of Tapp.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby jane » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:07 am

Link to the petition:

http://www.localnews8.com/blob/view/-/1 ... cument.pdf

Petition claims police withheld evidence in Dodge murder

By Caleb James, Reporter

POSTED: 11:10 AM MDT Sep 06, 2012
UPDATED: 06:33 PM MDT Sep 06, 2012

Petition names another suspect in Dodge murder

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

Local News 8 has obtained a copy of a petition that could alter the case against Christopher Tapp, who was convicted 15 years ago for the 1996 murder of Idaho Falls woman Angie Dodge.

The Idaho Innocence Project has filed a Verified Petition for Post Conviction Relief Based on Due Process Violations Pursuiant to Brady v. Maryland, which accuses the state of failing to turn over evidence that may have exonerated Tapp. The petition, which asks that Tapp's conviction get thrown out, was delivered to Bonneville County and the county prosecutor's office.

The petition states that exculpatory evidence, or evidence in defendant's favor, was withheld in Tapp's case, citing Brady v. Maryland as a precedent.

The petition alleges that information known and controlled by the Idaho Falls Police Department was not turned over to the defense.

"The average Joe on the street should be concerned that the police are withholding evidence," said Tapp's attorney, public defender John Thomas.

The petition includes affidavits taken in July of this year from a couple living at an apartment on North Woodruff, near the place of the murder.

John Browning said at about 3 a.m. on June 13, a man knocked on his door. The man had blood on his clothes, gashes on his face and a rug burn on his chin.

Browning said in the affidavit that the man made him feel uncomfortable, and when he asked Browning if he could use the bathroom to wash up, Browning said he could use the hose but could not come inside.

Browning also said the man proceeded to explain the injuries and blood without any prompting from Browning or his wife, Gentri Nicole Morris Goff. In the affidavit, Browning recalled telling Goff that the man seemed to be looking for an alibi. Browning also said he gave an Idaho Falls detective the oral statement of what happened.

Goff gave a similar account, but said she was never contacted by police to corroborate her then-husband's story. Goff also said she remembered the man drove a motorcycle that had speakers bungee-corded to the back. According to the petition, in July, Tapp's legal team showed Goff a photograph of Jeff Smith, whom Goff identified as the man who came to their door.

Smith is mentioned as a suspect in Dodge's murder at least 10 times in detective Ken Brown's police report.

"He was in the police reports as a possible suspect," said Thomas.

The petition states that Smith's identity should at least have been turned over to the defense, but it was not. The petition asserts that the Idaho Supreme Court has ruled that the prosecution violates the defendant's rights to due process when exculpatory evidence is withheld.

Bonneville County prosecutor Bruce Pickett received the petition on Thursday morning.

"The fact that Chris Tapp can make multiple filings with the court, or submit new evidence... that goes to the strength of our court system, not to the weakness of it," said Pickett.

If there is, in fact, new evidence, Pickett said the court welcomes it.

Tapp was convicted after giving a confession in 1997 to the murder that he says he was pressured into by police.

Dodge's mother, Carol, has said that she does not believe Tapp killed her daughter.

http://www.localnews8.com/news/Petition ... index.html
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby jane » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:12 am

Guilty until proven innocent



Eric Fink




CREATED Apr. 30, 2013

On June 13, 1996, 18-year-old Angie Dodge was raped and murdered in her Idaho Falls apartment.

In 1998, Chris Tapp was sentenced to 25 years to life for the crime. But, for years, renowned DNA expert and Boise State Professor Greg Hampikian has championed Tapp's innocence.

"All of the DNA says just the victim and one unknown male definitely not Chris Tapp," Hampikian the director of the Idaho Innocence Project said.

Hampikian says the only evidence the state has against Tapp - his confession given to police after more than 40 hours of questioning. The scientist says the convicted killer gave a false confession.

"He [Tapp] was offered a deal," Hampikian said. If Chris said he was part of this and could name the other guy, the guy who left the DNA, then he could do no time in prison. He had a complete immunity deal and as a young man it seemed like a good deal to him. He thought he could name the perpetrator and he guessed."

Tapp guessed wrong. He later told police he was there the night Angie Dodge was killed. For 15 years he has sat behind bars.

The victim's mother, Carol Dodge, believes Tapp is not her daughter's killer.

She has worked with the Innocence Project and Tapp's public defender to overturn his conviction.

Hampikian says the state recently produced new DNA evidence and that evidence alone should be enough grant Chris Tapp a new trial.

"I don't think any of us can imagine what's it's like to spend so many years in prison for something you haven't done," Hampikian said.

"In theory, we have the best justice system in the world," Idaho Innocence Project assistant director Jared Hoskins said. "But just like any other system that's administered by human beings, it's subject to error."

An error, Dr. Hampikian argues must be corrected to spare an innocent man and Angie Dodge's family from continued grief and injustice.

"Science is truth and that's an unfair advantage," the local DNA expert said. "I'm sure that the truth is going to win out here."

Last summer, a judge denied Tapp's request to get out of jail early.

http://www.jrn.com/kivitv/news/205509841.html
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby erasmus44 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:14 am

I'd really like to see the opinion of some people experienced with the false confession phenomenon on this one since the only evidence of guilt appears to be the confession and the case looks kind of sketchy. This is also a case in which the actual perp may still be on the loose which is disquieting.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby jane » Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:39 am

The petition mentioned in the article above was denied.

The second article mentions 40 hours of interrogation. I wonder if the Reid technique was used. Apparently he had no representation during the interrogation.
**********

Judge dismisses Tapp motion
POSTED: 04:25 PM MDT Jul 11, 2012
UPDATED: 04:30 PM MDT Jul 11, 2012

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

Seventh District Judge Joel E. Tingey ruled Wednesday that a convicted Idaho Falls murderer failed to prove that he was in police custody during the interview when he incriminated himself in the 1996 Angie Dodge homicide.

The court dismissed Christopher Tapp's motion for post-conviction relief in its entirety.

Tingey's decision comes as a result of an evidentiary hearing held in February.

Tapp confessed to the murder of Dodge at her I Street apartment during a confession taped Jan. 29, 1997.

The defense wanted to establish Tapp was in custody at the time of the confession and without legal representation.

The evidentiary hearing involved a number of law enforcement officials, including Idaho Falls Mayor Jared Fuhriman, who was a detective at the time.

Tapp had repeatedly said in the evidentiary hearing that he believed he was going to jail during the interrogation.

"I was told right then and there I lied to police. They were going to pull the immunity agreement I had with police," Tapp said in the hearing.

He testified he was led to an interrogation room, where he, his lawyer, Fuhriman and former Prosecutor Kip Manwaring confirmed a previously-granted immunity deal was void. He then testified his lawyer left.

Tapp said he then believed he was going to jail unless he gave police what he calls "what they wanted," the name of another man believed present at the crime scene. In its place, he had said, he confessed to what police wanted to hear.

During the hearing, Bonneville County Prosecutor Bruce Pickett read several excerpts of testimony from an addendum to a sworn affidavit signed by Tapp in 2002, which appeared to contradict his current version of events.

“We’re satisfied with the judge’s ruling,” Pickett said in a news release from the Idaho Falls Police Department on Wednesday. “We hope this is able to close a chapter for the people affected by this tragedy.”

http://www.localnews8.com/news/Judge-di ... index.html
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby jane » Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:45 am

All 6 parts of the Dateline episode (The Confession) can be accessed from this link:

http://www.nbcnews.com/video/dateline/48786251#48786251
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby erasmus44 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:44 am

I still like this as a case for us to support. I am not sure what the next step is. Can we have Saul Kassin look at the circumstances of the confession and provide an opinion on how likely it was that it was a false confession? The nice thing about this case is that: 1. the victim's mother supports Tapp's innocence; 2. the Idaho Innocence Project is on board; and 3. as far as I can tell (and - please - someone correct me if I am wrong), the ONLY evidence of guilt is the confession. So analytically, it is easier than some of the other cases (and is - in a sense - like the Lobato case).
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby PhanuelB » Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:47 pm

Judge Michael Heavey, who was influential in the case of Amanda Knox, is interested in this case.

Does anyone know if the unknown semen DNA from the crime scene was run through the CODIS database? The crime was in 1996 right around the time that the database was being constructed. I'm also curious if standard protocols for important DNA samples from a serious unsolved crime include running the sample through CODIS. Is that what's meant by "examination of DNA"? I just don't know.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby erasmus44 » Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:00 pm

There is a recent article on Steve Moore's website referring to the Judges for Justice report supporting Christopher Tapp's innocence. I really think that this is a case we should support. One nice aspect of the case is that the victim's mother has made it clear she believes Tapp is innocent. The local police botched the investigation and virtually the only evidence of guilt is a confession which has all of the characteristics of a false confession.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby charlie_wilkes » Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:56 pm

I have gotten quite involved in this case and I have gone through most of the 20+ hours of interrogation/polygraph video. Ay-yi-yi. There's no doubt Tapp is innocent.

Tapp could have walked, scot-free, under an immunity deal, if he had been able to name the individual who left DNA at the crime scene. He could not name that person, his supposed accomplice. The official line is that Tapp is protecting the guy, to the tune of 30 years in prison. The reality is that Tapp wasn't involved and has no idea who did it.

Tapp has substantial support in Idaho Falls and I think he will eventually get his conviction overturned. Until that happens, people out there are gonna be dealing with Mike Heavey, a highly persistent man.

The unknown DNA profile is in the CODIS database with no matches.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby Clive Wismayer » Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:55 am

Man oh man, when will the US get with the programme and mandate across-the-board taped interrogations at which the suspect has an attorney present? We have had that since 1984 and the world has not come to an end yet.
Sample 36B: not blood, not human and not a sample (no cytology!!). Sample 36I: Amanda's LCN profile, ergo the knife is the murder weapon. :boggled:
When do we get the fibre analysis results?
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby erasmus44 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:58 am

charlie_wilkes wrote:I have gotten quite involved in this case and I have gone through most of the 20+ hours of interrogation/polygraph video. Ay-yi-yi. There's no doubt Tapp is innocent.

Tapp could have walked, scot-free, under an immunity deal, if he had been able to name the individual who left DNA at the crime scene. He could not name that person, his supposed accomplice. The official line is that Tapp is protecting the guy, to the tune of 30 years in prison. The reality is that Tapp wasn't involved and has no idea who did it.

Tapp has substantial support in Idaho Falls and I think he will eventually get his conviction overturned. Until that happens, people out there are gonna be dealing with Mike Heavey, a highly persistent man.

The unknown DNA profile is in the CODIS database with no matches.



This is definitely a case we should support aggressively - I have been agitating for this one and I think that it is one of the most compelling cases out there.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby roteoctober » Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:55 pm

The case was also discussed by Jim Clemente and Steve Moore on Lip TV's Crime Time:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhFdscHALnI

Strong indications of a botched (if not worse) investigation.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby charlie_wilkes » Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:59 pm

Clive Wismayer wrote:Man oh man, when will the US get with the programme and mandate across-the-board taped interrogations at which the suspect has an attorney present? We have had that since 1984 and the world has not come to an end yet.


Tapp's interrogations were taped, and he did have a lawyer, who allowed the process to continue, albeit mostly in his absence.

The starting premise of the police was that a friend of Tapp's, Ben Hobbs, did the murder. Hobbs was in jail in Nevada, on a rape charge, at that time. So the Idaho Falls cops wanted Tapp to accuse Hobbs, and they wanted him to say he was there when Hobbs did it. That is how this all started.

The tapes cover many hours over a three-week period. The lead police detective knew Tapp from when Tapp was a high school student. He acted as though he was trying to be helpful and protect Tapp.

He and others played the traumatic amnesia card in a big way, convincing Tapp his memory was playing tricks on him.

Meanwhile the polygraph examiner (Tapp went through seven polygraph sessions) was the voice of doom, warning Tapp that he might end up in the gas chamber. When Tapp would deny something or say he didn't remember, the polygraph guy would say the machine indicated deception. Whenever Tapp would say what the cops wanted to hear, the polygraph guy would say the machine indicated a truthful answer. At one point, he and the lead detective got Tapp to accuse another guy, Jeremy Sargis, who was never charged. There's nothing to suggest his involvement in the murder, no DNA match, and he has an alibi. But the cops were hot on Sargis as a suspect, after Tapp and Hobbs turned out not to match the crime scene DNA, and the polygraph examiner assured Tapp that he was being truthful when he accused this guy.

Tapp seemed to believe the polygraph machine was infallible and knew more than he did. He would emerge from these polygraph sessions tearful and shaken.

Tapp had an immunity agreement throughout much of the questioning. It was revoked when the DNA tests came back. By then, Tapp had made bogus statements placing himself at the crime scene. So the polygraph guy convinced Tapp his only hope was to confess to everything and say his accomplices forced him to participate in the murder. That's what Tapp did.

The crime scene points to a murder committed by one individual, acting from a perverted sexual motive that was centered on violence rather than rape. The perpetrator probably didn't know the victim well if at all, or he would have been a suspect, and his DNA would have been tested. From what I know of other cases, I would be looking for a transient, a dysfunctional 20-something living in the neighborhood, someone who was out on the street after a night of drinking, or possibly someone who had a connection to the apartment building as a maintenance worker or a former tenant. The people who commit these crimes are typically young men who have troubled lives, can't hold a job or maintain stable relationships, often have some form of mental instability that is apparent to those who know them, but don't necessarily stand out as violent or dangerous. People like Rudy Guede...

I'm hopeful that stirring the pot on this case might trigger some memories. In the year after this 1996 murder, the Idaho Falls public was encouraged to think the police had the case figured out. The public heard a phony narrative centered on Chris Tapp and Ben Hobbs. Back then, someone who had suspicions about a local weirdo might have thought, "oh, well, I guess it couldn't have been him, because the police know who did this..." and never said anything.

The victim's mother, Carol Dodge, realizes Tapp and his associates didn't do it. She wants the person who did brought to justice. She is active and committed to finding the truth. That is huge, because we're all used to cases where the victim's family believes whatever the police tell them.

Plus the new prosecutor in Idaho Falls, who just inherited this case, is going to get to know Judge Mike Heavey well. He won't even have to try. I don't know if he has any gray hair now, but he will.

I am doing what I can behind the scenes.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby Clive Wismayer » Wed Jun 17, 2015 3:20 pm

Is the polygraph guy by any chance married to an Italian interpreter?
Sample 36B: not blood, not human and not a sample (no cytology!!). Sample 36I: Amanda's LCN profile, ergo the knife is the murder weapon. :boggled:
When do we get the fibre analysis results?
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby charlie_wilkes » Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:34 pm

Clive Wismayer wrote:Is the polygraph guy by any chance married to an Italian interpreter?


Well... here's a clue. The video shows that Tapp initially recognized the guy as someone who moonlights as a clerk in a local store.

Or maybe he moonlights as a polygraph examiner, and his real expertise is in retail sales. He was not trying to figure out whether Tapp was being deceptive. He used the process and the technology to psyche Tapp out and terrify him.

The polygraph recordings take a lot of work to understand. They are VHS, with green fluorescent lighting and a constant, loud buzz on the audio track. I have been going through them to help Mike Heavey develop presentation materials. Here's a quote I have transcribed:

I’m a cop. I shouldn’t be saying this. But I am close to you. I've gotten to know you. You’re not an asshole, you’re not one of these crumbs that could go out and do that to someone. But you got to protect your, you’ve gotta save your life, period. You got to save your life. Surely, you got deeply involved; you got forced into doing something you did not want to do. And you're worried about going in for life. What your hope is right now... and your only hope is to get it out... get approved. Hey, I didn’t want to, my God I’m stuck here, and two guys are going to hurt me, they're going to kill me, that’s why I was afraid for my life, while she was dying. I did this.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby charlie_wilkes » Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:37 pm

Mike Heavey has spent the past few days in Idaho Falls, meeting with the prosecutor and with others in connection with the Angie Dodge case. He got excellent coverage in the local paper, the Post Register:

http://www.postregister.com/articles/fe ... -confessed

More reports suggest Tapp falsely confessed

Posted: June 24, 2015 7:30 p.m.
By BRYAN CLARK
bclark@postregister.com

Judges for Justice has presented more evidence that Chris Tapp, imprisoned for the 1996 murder of Angie Dodge, is not the killer.

It’s the latest of a slew of recent reports from national experts suggesting that Tapp, who has spent 6,716 days in jail and prison, falsely confessed to the crime.

Bonneville County Prosecutor Danny Clark said Wednesday that he expects to hire an outside expert to review the case within a week or two.

“I’m very interested in making sure that whoever I hire is looking at it eyes wide open with no ulterior motives looking into it,” Clark said. “And, frankly, that’s a big decision, but we’re about there.”

“We’re going to have them review all the information,” he said. “Judge Heavey is picking out particular parts of the case.”

Judges for Justice co-founder Mike Heavey, a former Washington judge and state senator, undertook an analysis of several videos of polygraph sessions Tapp underwent during the same period he was being interrogated — tapes that never were shown to Tapp’s attorney, the trial judge, jury or prosecutors, he said.

It’s clear from those tapes, Heavey said, that Idaho Falls police officers got Tapp to confess over time by using threats of dire consequences such as death for non-cooperation, along with promises of immunity if he cooperated.

“Tapp gave six separate and distinct statements during his interrogations,” Heavey wrote. “His first statement was that he had no knowledge of the crime and in the five subsequent statements his knowledge and involvement grew until he stated he stabbed the victim. Each of the five story changes was preceded by a polygraph examination conducted by IFPD officer Steve Finn..”

In particular, Heavey determined coercive tactics were used to extract a key confession from Tapp: that he slashed Dodge’s breast after being threatened by Ben Hobbs.

Hobbs, another suspect, is imprisoned in Nevada for an unrelated rape. He never was charged in the Dodge killing, and his DNA does not match that found at the crime scene.

Heavey said Tapp’s statement arose during a series of polygraph sessions conducted by Finn.

“You’re already looking at being charged with murder one,” Finn told the 20-year-old Tapp on Jan. 30, 1997. “Max penalty is death, or middling penalty is life in prison with no parole.”

A few minutes later, he suggested another alternative.

“If you were forced to do it for fear of your own life, that’s a different story,” Finn said. “Now we’re talking that you either did it or die. You were forced into it. So we could go with a different charge rather than life imprisonment or death.”

When Finn turned on the polygraph, Tapp denied that Hobbs had forced him to cut Dodge. Finn encouraged Tapp to change his story in order to “save his life.”

“You gotta save your life,” Finn said. If Hobbs and the third man threatened Tapp’s life to force him to slash Dodge’s breast, then he might not be subject to a first-degree murder charge.

“We can say Chris Tapp is reliable,” Finn said. “He told us everything.”

Finn outlined the consequences of either confessing or not confessing.

“One of them, I guarantee you, is life and the other one’s gonna be death,” Finn said.

Finally, Tapp said Hobbs did force him to slash Dodge’s breast. He then asked Finn if he had passed the polygraph. Finn shook his hand. Earlier, he had been told he failed when he denied it. But Heavey’s report said Finn in fact marked the answer as deceptive.

A subsequent review undertaken by former FBI agent Steve Moore found that Finn’s polygraphs correctly assessed truth and falsehood only slightly more than half of the time. The “lie detector,” in Finn’s hands at least, was little better than a coin toss, Moore found.

Charles Honts, a psychology professor at Boise State University, has expertise in the use of polygraphs. He has testified as an expert witness many times.

After reviewing video of the polygraph sessions, Honts said he does not think Finn was trying to determine whether Tapp was being truthful. Instead, he said, the polygraph was being used as a “psychological rubber hose.”

A proper polygraph session needs to last from an hour to an hour-and-a-half in order to be effective, Honts said, but some of the sessions where Tapp was questioned lasted only a few minutes.

If the judge had seen the videos of the polygraph sessions, Heavey said, he would have disallowed entering the confession into evidence.

Tapp filed a new motion for post conviction relief in May, seeking to have as much evidence from the crime scene as possible subjected to DNA testing in an effort to prove he never was at the crime scene. Clark said he supports more DNA testing.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby charlie_wilkes » Tue Jul 07, 2015 7:04 pm

The Idaho Falls paper has published another article about this case....

Report: Tapp polygraphs a ‘sham’
Posted: July 6, 2015 4:45 p.m.

By BRYAN CLARK
bclark@postregister.com

When Bonneville County Prosecutor Danny Clark selects the expert charged with reviewing the 1998 murder conviction of Chris Tapp, he’ll have a thick stack of paper to wade through.

Yet another report has been released calling into question the Idaho Falls Police Department’s investigation into the 1996 murder of 18-year-old Angie Dodge.

The report focuses on polygraph examinations of Tapp, who was subsequently convicted of the murder. The examinations were conducted by then-Det. Steve Finn. It blasts them as “sham polygraphs,” calling the techniques used in performing the tests “bizarre,” “haphazard” and “unprofessional” and saying they “dramatically biased this examination against any actually innocent subject.”

The report was written by Charles Honts, a psychology professor at Boise State University who has been a polygraph examiner since the mid-1970s. He has been instructing law enforcement officers from the Secret Service and FBI as well as polygraph examiners from the Department of Defense and other agencies since 1982, according to a provided résumé.

Honts was consulted by Tapp’s public defender in preparation for the 1997 trial. But when Tapp chose instead to hire an attorney, Honts was no longer part of the case. He said he has not followed the case since that time.

In a previous interview, conducted while the report was being written, Honts said the polygraph was used not to test Tapp’s truthfulness but as a “psychological rubber hose.”

In his report, Honts suggests that the polygraph was used in a false evidence ploy, an interrogation technique in which police lie to a suspect, telling him they have evidence of his guilt when no such evidence exists.

“In 1997, any polygraph examiner trained in an American Polygraph Association accredited school would have known that the methods used in the Tapp polygraphs were not legitimate as methods of assessing credibility and that they violated basic standards and ethics within the polygraph profession,” Honts said. “In the Tapp polygraphs, the use of sham polygraph testing appears to have been cynically created as an evidence ploy to further an interrogation of Chris Tapp.”

Former FBI supervisory special agent Steve Moore, in a former report, found that Finn’s polygraph examinations called truthfulness or deceptiveness correctly only 55 percent of the time — little better than a coin flip.

Honts’ report reviews numerous technical problems with the polygraphs. Finn improperly placed two of the three sets sensors on Tapp’s body, Honts found, compromising the data they fed to the polygraph machine. Finn did not ask the kind of carefully formulated comparison questions that would have been necessary to determine whether someone is lying about involvement in a crime, Honts wrote.

And Honts said it was “impossible” to conduct a valid polygraph without asking questions repeatedly and collecting multiple samples of sensor data, something police did not do.

Any innocent person being interrogated would have been more likely to falsely confess because of the way the polygraph was used, Honts said.

“The sham polygraphs and the behavior of the polygraph examiner that I observed in the Tapp polygraphs were psychologically coercive in the extreme and would have placed any actually innocent person under a highly increased risk of making a false confession,” he said.

Organizations including Judges for Justice and The Idaho Innocence Project recently released reports questioning the veracity of Tapp’s confession.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby erasmus44 » Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:36 am

We should definitely add this case to those which we officially support. Does anyone know whether they are periodically checking the DNA database to see if the perp's DNA shows up? This is clearly an unsolved case - even making the absurd assumption that the prosecution was right about Tapp. Somebody up there should get off his rear end and try to figure out who actually did this because he may still be at it.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby charlie_wilkes » Sat Jul 11, 2015 4:33 pm

Retired US Superior Court Judge Mike Heavey has formed an organization called Judges for Justice to investigate and attempt to overturn wrongful convictions. He is all over the Angie Dodge case and the unjust conviction of Chris Tapp. He is working with Steve Moore and a number of other people. I am playing a small support role behind the scenes.

The perp DNA is in the system. The authorities in Idaho Falls would very much like to find out who it is, to the point where they followed up on research that gives rise to civil liberties concerns, but with no easy answers because let's face it: society has a profoundly legitimate need to identify the person who committed this heinous murder. Here's where that led:

http://theadvocate.com/news/neworleans/ ... cleared-in

I would like to facilitate collaboration between the effort Mike is leading and what Bruce and his team here are doing. But I don't want to push it. I'm looking at people whom I greatly admire, with vastly different styles and working methods. Mike is most comfortable with traditional modes of communication, especially direct, face-to-face meetings. He doesn't get online a lot. I'm not sure that's a bad thing. But if I was locked up for a crime I did not commit, there is no one who I would rather have in my corner.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby charlie_wilkes » Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:37 am

More from the Idaho Falls Post Register...

House editorial: Get it right; get it done

Posted: July 19, 2015 1:54 a.m.

In October, the Bonneville County Commission took a significant step: It earmarked $25,000 to re-investigate the 1996 murder of Angie Dodge in Idaho Falls.

One man, Christopher Tapp, was convicted in that case. But Tapp’s DNA was not found at the crime scene. Somebody else’s was. And two national experts determined that Idaho Falls Police coerced Tapp’s confession.

Nine months after commissioners approved the money, Prosecutor Danny Clark found a way to spend it. A three-person committee recommended hiring a former police detective and current private investigator from Twin Falls to take a fresh look at this case.

Stuart Robinson appears to have the credentials. He was an officer in Burley, a detective in Blackfoot and spent nearly two decades as a state investigator. Robinson has worked for prosecutors and defense lawyers.

Clark has confidence in him. So does Michael Heavey, the CEO of Judges for Justice, a non-profit that has worked diligently to overturn Tapp’s conviction.

“The process that led to your selection appears to be eminently fair and rigorous,” Heavey wrote in a July 13 letter to Robinson. “Your broad experience will serve you well and I have the utmost confidence in your integrity.”

Nine months was a long time to wait. Let’s hope our new investigator was worth it. Robinson should know he’s stepping into the fire: a nearly two-decades-old unsolved murder that continues to divide the community.

Idaho Falls needs resolution.

It needs the truth.

It needs Stuart Robinson’s best effort.

And it needs it as soon as possible.

- Corey Taule
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby Bruce Fischer » Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:41 am

Thanks for the info Charlie.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby charlie_wilkes » Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:03 am

Mike Heavey is leading the charge on this. He's getting some media coverage in Idaho, most recently this clip on a local TV station:

http://m.localnews8.com/news/outside-gr ... p/34285128
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby Bruce Fischer » Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:43 pm

Judges for Justice featured cases will now be displayed on our board index. This is just a heads up that this thread has been moved to the new section. You will find links below our featured cases on the board index.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby erasmus44 » Fri Sep 04, 2015 5:46 pm

Glad to see this. This is a compelling case for reversal. There should also be a concerted effort to find the real culprit or culprits here.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby charlie_wilkes » Mon Sep 07, 2015 2:15 am

The authorities very much want to find the person who left DNA at the crime scene, to the point where they pursued a novel and aggressive approach. I posted this link above, but for those who may not have noticed it, it's an interesting story with broad implications:

http://theadvocate.com/news/neworleans/ ... cleared-in

I think there is a realistic chance that this crime may yet be solved, but Chris Tapp's release should not depend on that. I hope we'll have some new developments to discuss in the near future.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby charlie_wilkes » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:02 pm

Here's the video Mike Heavey put together about the Chris Tapp case:

Watch on youtube.com


Please take a few minutes to watch this and post the link everywhere!
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby Bruce Fischer » Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:06 am

Excellent video. I will post links.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby charlie_wilkes » Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:19 pm

Thank you Bruce. This video was a collaborative effort led by Mike Heavey. Mike has poured passionate energy and countless hours into this case. He has earned the support of key stakeholders, Carol Dodge and Vera Tapp. He has consulted experts, including Gregg McCrary, a seasoned FBI investigator and criminal profiler. I helped Mike frame the false confession story so it could be readily understood. Faraz Zarghami shot and edited the video.

Mike is travelling to Idaho Falls today and will hold a press reception tomorrow evening. Our goal is to ramp up public interest in this case, especially in Idaho Falls. Authorities need to abandon a nonsense theory of this crime, vacate Chris Tapp's conviction, and let him out of prison.

That is step one. What matters to Carol, rightly, is that police find the man who killed her daughter. It won't be easier after 19 years, but it may still be possible, if police consider the type of perpetrator Gregg McCrary has outlined. Who was in the area at the time of the murder who might have done it? No one needs to worry about getting railroaded with a proper investigation. One individual committed this sickening murder. His DNA alone will match the evidence he left behind.

I encourage everyone on this board to distribute this video link far and wide.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby Samson » Thu Sep 24, 2015 4:51 pm

I see today this course has been announced in Canterbury. I have sent the link to the video to Lyndon, and mentioned my father taught logic and philosophy there for many years in the 1960s, in the hope he will not dismiss me as some crank.

http://www.laws.canterbury.ac.nz/BCJ/bcj_index.shtml
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby Bruce Fischer » Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:26 pm

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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby charlie_wilkes » Thu Sep 24, 2015 6:19 pm

Thanks for spreading the word on this. Mike is charging ahead, and I think a lot of people in Idaho Falls are concerned about the obvious problems with this case.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby Chris_Halkides » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:31 am

There are some rough parallels with the Joseph Buffey case in West Virginia. The confession does not line up with the DNA evidence in both cases. Fortunately, DNA cannot be interrogated.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby Numbers » Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:08 pm

I've scanned through the posts here on this case, and I agree that Christopher Tapp appears to be innocent.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby Chris_Halkides » Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:52 pm

I just examined the Y chromosomal DNA results, and Tapp and Hobbs are excluded as donors to the evidentiary samples.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby charlie_wilkes » Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:46 pm

The authorities have never tried to claim that any DNA evidence (or other physical evidence) points to Chris Tapp or Ben Hobbs.

Their claim is that Tapp and Hobbs did this crime with an unidentified third person who left all the DNA. The entire case is based on statements made by Tapp over the course of a weeks-long interrogation/polygraph process.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby Chris_Halkides » Mon Oct 05, 2015 3:17 pm

It sounds as if we are back to the unindicted co-ejaculator theory. Oh, brother. Someone needs to write an article on why the absence of evidence is often evidence of absence, although its strength may vary with circumstances. My point is that if you looked at the DNA evidence first, you would know who your perp was and throw the idiotic confession into the circular file, where it belongs.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby charlie_wilkes » Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:07 am

Chris_Halkides wrote:It sounds as if we are back to the unindicted co-ejaculator theory. Oh, brother. Someone needs to write an article on why the absence of evidence is often evidence of absence, although its strength may vary with circumstances. My point is that if you looked at the DNA evidence first, you would know who your perp was and throw the idiotic confession into the circular file, where it belongs.


I was pleased that Mike was able to get Gregg McCrary on the record with this case. His terse comments juxtapose well with the fevered police coaching that led to an ever less plausible confession. In the end, the unidentified person, together with Hobbs, forced Tapp to stab the victim by threatening to kill him if he didn't. It's total bullshit, but a jury will believe it because it's a confession. Sign by the X, kiss your life goodbye, and we're done.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby Samson » Fri Nov 20, 2015 2:20 am

Charlie, is there anything happening at the moment? I presume you will keep updating. If only there was a Heavey for every ridiculous case, the world might change.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby Bruce Fischer » Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:02 pm

DETAILED EXPLANATION OF THE CHRIS TAPP FALSE CONFESSION

Watch on youtube.com
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby Bruce Fischer » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:12 pm

'Making A Murderer' attorney weighs in on Chris Tapp case

Watch on youtube.com
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby Bruce Fischer » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:15 pm

Retired FBI Agent Steve Moore discusses the Chris Tapp case.

Watch on youtube.com
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby charlie_wilkes » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:31 pm

I am so happy to see the bump from Making a Murderer. Indeed the tactics used on Tapp were very similar to those used with Dassey. Thanks for posting these links Bruce.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby Samson » Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:52 pm

I have posted the video to Peter Jackson's facebook making a murderer page with a few of your words Charlie. Jackson will surely find it.
Some people will be aware Jackson sponsored a movie on WM3, and saw the similarity in the Dassey confession, and took the unusual step of creating a page for Making a Murderer.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby charlie_wilkes » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:02 am

Samson wrote:I have posted the video to Peter Jackson's facebook making a murderer page with a few of your words Charlie. Jackson will surely find it.
Some people will be aware Jackson sponsored a movie on WM3, and saw the similarity in the Dassey confession, and took the unusual step of creating a page for Making a Murderer.


Good, thank you Samson. I think the Tapp case is getting quite a bump because of MaM and the similarity between Tapp's interrogation and Dassey's.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby millrene » Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:54 pm

Hello, I have an update on Chris's case. The story below was on the local news yesterday. There doing new DNA testing in Chris's case. At the time of the murder there were swabs taken of Angie's hands, but there wasn't technology available at that time to test the swabs. Now there is and it is being tested. Chris's confession was that he held down her hands down. They are hoping the DNA on her hands will be that of the killer and it will prove that Chris's confession was false. See the story at: http://www.localnews8.com/news/attorneys-give-judge-update-on-dna-testing-in-chris-tapp-case/38879220
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby millrene » Sun May 15, 2016 10:00 am

There has been a new appeal filed in the Chris Tapp case. Here is a link to the story.
http://m.localnews8.com/news/fourth-app ... U.facebook
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby Samson » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:21 pm

millrene wrote:There has been a new appeal filed in the Chris Tapp case. Here is a link to the story.
http://m.localnews8.com/news/fourth-app ... U.facebook

And the appeal is proceeding

IDAHO FALLS
Chris Tapp, who’s served almost 20 years in either jail or prison for a 1996 murder, can now proceed with an appeal of that conviction, an Idaho district judge ruled Thursday.

“It is a fantastic decision,” public defender John Thomas said. “We’ve survived to fight another day. And I think ultimately the truth will come forward and Chris will be exonerated of this crime.”

Tapp is serving 30 years to life for the murder of 18-year-old Angie Dodge. But in recent years, a slew of experts have produced reports suggesting that he falsely confessed to participating in the murder. His DNA does not match any of the many DNA samples that were left at the scene.

Tapp’s appeal (technically called a “motion for post-conviction relief”) is based on the claim that prosecutors didn’t turn over video tapes of three polygraph sessions at the time of his original trial. During those sessions experts say Tapp was fed specific details about the crime that later turned up in his confession. The appeal also claims that a fourth polygraph video was never turned over and was likely lost or destroyed.

http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/stat ... 81931.html

Like Teina Pora, Brendan Dassey, Jessy Miskelley before him, release must eventually happen.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby Bruce Fischer » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:09 pm

From Greg Hampikian:

CHRIS TAPP TO BE FREED WEDNESDAY!

Idaho Innocence Project Client Chris Tapp will be freed on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 after more than 15 years in prison. Tapp was convicted in the rape and murder of 18 year-old Angie Dodge on June 13, 1996.

The Idaho Innocence Project has worked on Tapp's case for more than 10 years, and over those years secured DNA testing of evidence in the crime, including a pubic hair recovered from the victim's body, stains on her clothing, and foreign DNA from her fingers. All of it pointed to only one person--the mysterious man who left semen on her body. New DNA results performed this month affirmed that Tapp is excluded from ALL the DNA evidence.

The Idaho Innocence Project and Judges for Justice also gathered evidence that shows Tapp falsely confessed after more than 40 hours of questioning and polygraphs--in exchange for an immunity deal. He was told that by admitting a small part in the crime and identifying the police's major suspect, he would serve no prison time. However, when DNA from the semen that was recovered from the victim's body did not match either the police suspect or Tapp, the police then accused Tapp of both rape and murder. He recanted his confession, but was tried anyway and convicted.

The Idaho Innocence Project stands behind Chris Tapp's innocence, and hopes to help police find the man whose DNA matches the evidence. While we celebrate Chris's freedom, we know that a true killer and rapist is still on the loose. Our hearts go out to all those who have been hurt in this tragedy, to the victim's family, especially Carol Dodge who has worked with us to free Chris, and to Chris's family--especially his mom Vera who has stood by her son through years of anguish.

Bonneville County Public defender, John Thomas--Chris's main lawyer through this latest phase of his struggle--has done a heroic job. Over the last decade several Idaho Innocence Project (IIP) lawyers have also worked hard to free Chris, including Richard Visser, Jared Hoskins, Greg Silvey, and currently Jennifer Cummins. IIP volunteer detective Mike Stilton also put in countless hours, along with volunteer legal assistant Priscilla "Polly" Glynn and Boise State University student intern Lauren Radding. We also wish to thank the Innocence Project for some of the DNA testing and consulting on the case (Peter Neufeld, Vanessa Potkin). Charles Honts reviewed the polygraphs (calling them a virtual rubber hose), and Steve Drizin, legal director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions, analyzed the confession tapes, saying it was the “most contaminated and least corroborated” confession he had ever seen.

See http://www.kivitv.com/news/new-dna-test ... utm_source

See also Dateline show, The Confession, The Confession, Part 1

Contact: Greg Hampkian, Executive Director of the Idaho Innocence Project greghampikian@boisestate.eduCHRISCHR
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby erasmus44 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:23 pm

Great news! This was another obvious miscarriage of justice and as a result the true killer is still out there.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby Bruce Fischer » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:04 am

erasmus44 wrote:Great news! This was another obvious miscarriage of justice and as a result the true killer is still out there.


This news made my day! As you know, we discussed this case extensively with Judge Michael Heavey in Seattle a couple of summers ago. Judges for Justice did an outstanding job on this case, along with the Idaho Innocence Project. Injustice Anywhere is happy to have been able to play a very tiny role, by helping to raise awareness of the work that Judges for Justice was doing on the case. As Ryan Ferguson once said; "I takes an army to overturn a wrongful conviction".
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby Chris_Halkides » Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:09 am

From what I can gather, a second degree conviction for murder still stands. What I don't know is whether or not Mr. Tapp was able to take an Alford plea.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby charlie_wilkes » Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:48 am

I have been leery of posting about this case because a lot has been happening behind the scenes and I only know part of it. Basically the authorities swapped his conviction for a 2d degree murder plea with time served, so he can get out.

Last year the prosecutor in Idaho Falls commissioned an "independent" review of the case, which was undertaken by a retired cop and was a farce. The guy concluded that Chris did not participate in the murder, but he was present when the murder took place. I could see where they were going, and sure enough...

Mike Heavey poured his heart and soul into this case for several years. Chris would not have gotten out if not for Mike's perseverance. I think Chris may have been wise to take this deal, but it is an ugly compromise at best. It leaves the murder unsolved, and it allows the system to avoid any consequences for railroading an innocent person.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby Bruce Fischer » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:31 am

charlie_wilkes wrote:I have been leery of posting about this case because a lot has been happening behind the scenes and I only know part of it. Basically the authorities swapped his conviction for a 2d degree murder plea with time served, so he can get out.

Last year the prosecutor in Idaho Falls commissioned an "independent" review of the case, which was undertaken by a retired cop and was a farce. The guy concluded that Chris did not participate in the murder, but he was present when the murder took place. I could see where they were going, and sure enough...

Mike Heavey poured his heart and soul into this case for several years. Chris would not have gotten out if not for Mike's perseverance. I think Chris may have been wise to take this deal, but it is an ugly compromise at best. It leaves the murder unsolved, and it allows the system to avoid any consequences for railroading an innocent person.


There has been a bit of confusion about the details. One news report stated that Tapp would not have to admit any guilt as part of the deal. That was confirmed to me by one other person as well. But Judge Heavey relayed the message that the 2nd degree murder charge was the result of the deal. If he got out on time served for a murder charge, that is an admission of guilt.

Either way, I am happy he is free. I don't think anyone who is not in that position can say what they would or wouldn't do. I hope Chris has a support system now that he is free. I am afraid that he has many battles ahead. Being released is only the first step.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby erasmus44 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:07 pm

Bruce Fischer wrote:
charlie_wilkes wrote:I have been leery of posting about this case because a lot has been happening behind the scenes and I only know part of it. Basically the authorities swapped his conviction for a 2d degree murder plea with time served, so he can get out.

Last year the prosecutor in Idaho Falls commissioned an "independent" review of the case, which was undertaken by a retired cop and was a farce. The guy concluded that Chris did not participate in the murder, but he was present when the murder took place. I could see where they were going, and sure enough...

Mike Heavey poured his heart and soul into this case for several years. Chris would not have gotten out if not for Mike's perseverance. I think Chris may have been wise to take this deal, but it is an ugly compromise at best. It leaves the murder unsolved, and it allows the system to avoid any consequences for railroading an innocent person.


There has been a bit of confusion about the details. One news report stated that Tapp would not have to admit any guilt as part of the deal. That was confirmed to me by one other person as well. But Judge Heavey relayed the message that the 2nd degree murder charge was the result of the deal. If he got out on time served for a murder charge, that is an admission of guilt.

Either way, I am happy he is free. I don't think anyone who is not in that position can say what they would or wouldn't do. I hope Chris has a support system now that he is free. I am afraid that he has many battles ahead. Being released is only the first step.



I am so happy he is out but I am disgusted at the CYA approach being taken by the authorities. This underlines the need for a total overhaul of the system.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby erasmus44 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:07 pm

Bruce Fischer wrote:
charlie_wilkes wrote:I have been leery of posting about this case because a lot has been happening behind the scenes and I only know part of it. Basically the authorities swapped his conviction for a 2d degree murder plea with time served, so he can get out.

Last year the prosecutor in Idaho Falls commissioned an "independent" review of the case, which was undertaken by a retired cop and was a farce. The guy concluded that Chris did not participate in the murder, but he was present when the murder took place. I could see where they were going, and sure enough...

Mike Heavey poured his heart and soul into this case for several years. Chris would not have gotten out if not for Mike's perseverance. I think Chris may have been wise to take this deal, but it is an ugly compromise at best. It leaves the murder unsolved, and it allows the system to avoid any consequences for railroading an innocent person.


There has been a bit of confusion about the details. One news report stated that Tapp would not have to admit any guilt as part of the deal. That was confirmed to me by one other person as well. But Judge Heavey relayed the message that the 2nd degree murder charge was the result of the deal. If he got out on time served for a murder charge, that is an admission of guilt.

Either way, I am happy he is free. I don't think anyone who is not in that position can say what they would or wouldn't do. I hope Chris has a support system now that he is free. I am afraid that he has many battles ahead. Being released is only the first step.



I am so happy he is out but I am disgusted at the CYA approach being taken by the authorities. This underlines the need for a total overhaul of the system.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby erasmus44 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:10 pm

This approach seems to be becoming popular. In the Noura Jackson case in Memphis an Alford plea was accepted after the state supreme court reversed the conviction. This is also how the West Memphis 3 case was resolved. I wonder how these cases are treated in the calculation of "wrongful conviction exonerations" each year.
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Re: Christopher Tapp

Postby Mediocrates » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:34 pm

I saw this on 48 Hours this week. They sure made it look like he was backed into a confession but didn't he have a lawyer with him during the interrogation? Why did the lawyer let him answer any questions at all?
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