Chris Tapp - Convicted 1996

"Judges for Justice" became involved in Christopher Tapp's case in 2012 when Judge Heavey contacted the victim's mother Carol Dodge. Three DNA tests have been performed in the case. The sperm DNA left at the 1996 murder scene does not match Tapp. In 2009 hairs left at the murder scene by the perpetrator did not match Tapp and January 2013 "touch" DNA tests performed on key pieces of evidence were negative for Tapp.

Carol Dodge, the victim's mother, desperately wants to find her daughter's killer. To that end Carol compiled all of the case's interrogation videos to see what she could learn, maybe, see a clue in the videos the police had missed. What she learned, when all was said and done, is that Tapp's confession was dubious. She saw, time after time, the police planting crime scene information in Tapp's mind, the police coercing Tapp, and encouraging him to lie.

The corpus delecti rule is a long recognized rule in English and American jurisprudence. It recognizes that sometimes police coerce confessions and/or some people are mentally unstable and may confess to a crime they did not commit. Circa two hundred years ago the police would notice a man missing and they presumed him dead. They would obtain a confession (coercion or mentally unstable), convict, and hang/execute the defendant. One year later the supposed victim walked into town, obviously not murdered. The corpus delecti rule requires the prosecution to show the "body of the crime." Obviously in the Tapp case there is a horrendous murder, but the fact is the police may have coerced Tapp and/or Tapp may have been mentally unstable, resulting in a false confession.

This case appears to have all the psychological hallmarks of a wrongful conviction:

  1. An horrific crime that shocks the consciousness of the community;
  2. An inordinate amount of pressure on the police and prosecution to get this sexually violent killer locked up and make the community safe;
  3. Tunnel vision (confirmation bias) of the police; i.e. that Ben Hobbs, a friend of Tapp's was the killer;
  4. Protecting reputation and the digging in of those involved in the prosecution;
  5. Protecting the system, appellate courts denying appeals because they believe Tapp was involved, a continuation of the tunnel vision.

These aspects of a wrongful conviction are subconscious. The actors do not recognize that they are playing at these.

Judges for Justice is investigating this case and it appears that it may well be a wrongful conviction based upon a false confession.

Chris Tapp Case -- Expert Reports

Gregg McCrary Report

Gregg McCrary, a retired FBI agent. Mr. McCrary's report is viewable Here.

OCTOBER 7, 2014 -- Steve Moore Report

Steve Moore, a retired FBI agent. Mr. Moore's report is viewable Here.

OCTOBER 2014 -- Steven Drizin Report

Steven A. Drizin, a Clinical Professor of Law at Northwestern University School of Law and former Legal Director of the Law School's Center on Wrongful Convictions, submitted his report to the Bonneville County Prosecutor in Idaho Falls, Idaho on the wrongful conviction of Chris Tapp. Professor Drizin's investigation and expertise involves the study of false confessions. This is the third report provided to the Prosecutor on the Chris Tapp case. The Prosecutor announced a decision to hire an independent expert to review the investigation into Angie Dodge’s murder and the conviction of Mr. Tapp following the investigative reports provided by Judges for Justice. Mr. Drizin's report is viewable Here.

JULY 2, 2015 -- Dr. Charles Honts Report

Dr. Charles Honts, a Boise State University psychology expert and polygraph expert provides an analysis of the polygraphs on Chris Tapp conducted in 1997 in. Dr. Honts' report is viewable Here. In addition, Chris Tapp Polygraph Videos and Background Interpretation are viewable  Here

Chris Tapp Case -- News

5/11/2016 Video (1h22m46s) AFFIDAVIT OF MICHAEL HEAVEY in Support of Tapp PCR Petition - Video (1h22m46s) [View]

1/29/2016 Tapp confronts “lies” he told that put him behind bars   [View]

1/29/2016 Video (1h51m7s): Detailed Explanation of the Chris Tapp False Confession [View]

10/28/2015 Overview Video (15m35s): A Plea For Justice: Angie Dodge and Chris Tapp [View]

9/24/2015 Video (2m20s): Judges for Justice Launches Campaign (Local8 News Coverage) [View]

JUL 21, 2015 -- "Coercive Polygraph" - Idaho Falls Local News 8 -- 3 minutes, 37 seconds

Watch the video Here.

MAY 1, 2015 -- Post Register Reports - "Tapp Seeks more DNA testing"

Read the article Here.

MARCH 12, 2015 -- New Orleans Advocate Reports - "New Orleans filmmaker cleared in cold-case murder; false positive highlights limitations of familial DNA searching"

Documents how a new suspect in the Angie Dodge murder was recently cleared.

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View the Dateline video from AUG 24, 2012 mentioned in the above article Here

Idaho Falls Local News - Report Exonerates Convicted Man

Idaho Falls Local News 8

October 2014

By Luke Jones

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - An innocent man may be in prison for a crime he didn't commit, according to a new report by a group called Judges For Justice. The report, released Tuesday, examines the murder case of Angie Dodge, who was raped and murdered in her Idaho Falls apartment 18 years ago. Christopher Tapp is currently serving a 25-year-to-life prison sentence after confessing to being involved in the murder. But the report alleges the confession was coerced and meritless. Tapp's public defender, John Thomas, said he's never doubted his client's innocence.

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OCTOBER 8, 2014 -- Post Register Reports - "Experts: Tapp confession false"

Idaho Post Register

October 8, 2014


A decades-old Idaho Falls murder investigation resulted in a grave injustice — sending an innocent man to prison and allowing a murderer to roam free.

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