Christopher Tapp, a man who spent almost 20 years in prison, gets $11.7 million after being wrongfully convicted

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After nearly two decades spent in prison for a crime that he didn’t commit, the Idaho Falls City Council agreed to pay $11.7 million to a man.

Christopher Tapp was wrongfully found guilty in 1997 of the rape, and murder, of Angie Dodge, 18, respectively. Tapp tried to appeal his conviction several times. Officials stated that his DNA was not found at the crime site.

Tapp was released in 2017 from prison and exonerated in 2019 based on DNA evidence. Tapp was released from prison in 2017 and exonerated based on DNA evidence in 2019. Dripps was sentenced 20 years to life in 2021.

Even though his DNA didn’t match and Tapp denied having any part in Dodge’s death, Tapp confessed to Dodge’s murder after more than 28 hours of interrogation over 23 days, according to Anne-Marie Green’s report on “48 Hours”2020. Tapp stated that his confession was a lie based upon a scenario given to him by police, which was later recorded on camera.

According to a report from, Tapp filed a suit against the city and the Idaho Falls Police Department. East Idaho NewsOctober 2020. The city asked for the dismissal of the lawsuit, but it was settled on Thursday. 

“No dollar amount could ever make up for the over 20 years of my life I spent in prison for crimes I did not commit,”According to East Idaho News, Tapp made the statement. “However, the settlement will help me move forward with my life.”

According to a news release from Tapp’s attorneys, Neufeld Scheck & Brustin, the settlement requires the city of Idaho Falls to consult with experts on proposing modifications to its interrogation procedures.

“Chris Tapp’s wrongful conviction never should have happened; DNA cleared him over 20 years ago,” said Anna Benvenutti Hoffmann of Neufeld, Scheck & Brustin. “We hope this settlement is a wake-up call to the many police departments still using the same practices of lying, deception, and coercion as Idaho Falls did — and that it still needs to reform — so that other innocents don’t suffer like Chris Tapp has.”

Tapp’s mother and Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper wrote a letter of apology to Casper and promised to review and revise their interrogation policies and procedures in order to prevent future incidents like the one Tapp experienced.

“Please accept this sincere apology to you and to your mother, Mrs. Tapp, for the city’s role in your wrongful conviction and subsequent incarceration, as well the harm and damages that you and your family have endured over these many years,”Casper wrote. “We at the city of Idaho Falls hope that the resolution of your civil case and this sincere expression of an apology help bring healing and closure to both Mrs. Tapp and to you.”