Man jailed for 20 years for murder he did not commit becomes first inmate to be exonerated by controversial 'genetic genealogy' technology

A prisoner who spent 20 years behind bars for the rape and murder of a woman has been cleared after pioneering DNA technology led police to the victim's real killer.

Christopher Tapp, 43, served 20 of a 30-year sentence for the 1996 slaying of Angie Dodge. His conviction was overturned using evidence obtained through a technique called 'genetic genealogy' - the same used to identify the 'Golden State Killer.'
The technique requires making DNA matches with distant relatives, which in Tapp's case, led police to another suspect, the victim's neighbor Brian Dripps, who was arrested in May and later confessed to the crime.   
Police used a database of genetic profiles collected from websites such as 23 and Me and Ancestry, where people send samples of their DNA to discover their roots.
While the technique has been used to implicate suspects in crimes previously, this is the first time it has been used to exonerate someone who has already been jailed. 
'It's a new life, a new beginning, a new world for me, and I'm just gonna enjoy every day,' Tapp said after he was freed. 
Tapp was sentenced in 1998, based only a confession which he later retracted. The court agreed to release him from prison in 2017, but the charges were not dropped.
'It's just such an incredible feeling to be a part of clearing an innocent man's name,' CeCe Moore, the genetic genealogist who worked on the case told local media. 
'I'm thankful I've been given this second chance at life. I've wasted 20 years of my life for something I never did. But I grew up in those 20 years,' Tapp said during the hearing. 

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