Idaho Innocence Project

Carol Dodge/Facebook

Eighteen-year-old Angie Dodge was raped and murdered in her Idaho Falls apartment in 1996. Chris Tapp was accused of the crime and imprisoned for 20 years before DNA evidence demonstrated he was not at the scene. His release was due in part to the work of the Idaho Innocence Project and on Thursday's Idaho Matters, we speak with Greg Hampikian from the project and Idaho Statesman reporter Cynthia Sewell about this case.

On The Thursday, May 23, 2019 Edition Of Idaho Matters

May 22, 2019

  • DNA evidence exonerates convicted murder suspect.
  • 4 million in federal funds finds five Idaho charter schools.
  • Rodeos celebrate Idaho's Western heritage.
  • Author Crystal King captures Vatican intrigue through the papal kitchen in The Chef's Secret.

Montana Department of Corrections via AP

Two Montana men had their murder convictions overturned thanks to the work of Boise State University Professor Greg Hampikian. He’s the director of the Idaho Innocence Project and has analyzed the DNA in several high profile crime cases, including the Amanda Knox case in Italy.

Hampikian
Boise State University

An Idaho program that uses DNA testing to help free wrongfully-convicted prisoners suffered a major setback recently when it had the majority of its funding cut.

The federal Department of Justice announced that the Idaho Innocence Project wouldn’t receive a $220,000 grant. Two previous DOJ grants have paid for most of the project’s operating costs over the last five years, says the project's director Greg Hampikian.

The Idaho Innocence Project has lost its primary source of funding and won't take on any new cases.

Director Greg Hampikian told Boise television station KBOI that the U.S. Department of Justice declined to renew the organization's two-year $220,000 grant.

Hampikian says he's now scrambling to raise money, and though the group has enough cash to finish working on two current cases it won't take on any new work.

The Idaho Innocence Project attempts to use DNA evidence to help free people that the group deems wrongfully convicted.

TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images / Flickr

Italy's highest criminal court Tuesday overturned Amanda Knox’s acquittal in the slaying of her British roommate and ordered a new trial.  An appeals court in Florence must re-hear the case against the American student and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaelle Sollecito for the murder of Meredith Kercher.