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And Overturned

Genetic genealogy has helped exonerate a man who has spent the last 20 years in jail for rape and murder, Agence France Presse reports.

Genetic genealogy has recently help identify suspects in cold cases, including the decades-old Golden State Killer case, but The Marshall Project notes this appears to be the first time the approach has been applied to overturn a conviction.

Christopher Tapp was convicted in of the 1996 rape and murder of 18-year-old Angie Dodge in Idaho, The Marshall Project says. Tapp's conviction hinged on a confession he gave police, despite his DNA not matching any crime scene samples, it adds.

According to The Marshall Project, overturning Tapp's conviction was the work of legal advocacy groups in the region, who it says believed Tapp's confession was coerced, as well as Angie Dodge's mother, Carol, who it says insisted the DNA evidence be analyzed by a genetic genealogist. That analysis, AFP reports, led police to another man, Brian Dripps, who lived a block away from Dodge in the 90s and who confessed following a DNA match been a sample from him and the crime scene.

"It's a new life, a new beginning, a new world for me, and I'm just gonna enjoy every day," Tapp said at the end of the hearing during which his conviction was overturned, according to AFP.

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