Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Rather than Indulging the Reparations Racket, Why Not Abolish Enslavement to the State?

Forty-five years have elapsed since the passing of Sylvester McGee, the last black American citizen who had been claimed by another American as property. Eighty-one years have elapsed since the death of Cudjoe Lewis, the last black American who had been born in Africa, captured by African slave traders, survived the often fatal middle passage in a slave ship, then vended to people who claimed him as property.

No living American for at least two generations has lived under the long-dead and universally reviled system of chattel slavery. No living American has ever been a slave owner, a title reflecting the abhorrent proposition that it is possible for one human being to own another. Notwithstanding all of these facts, the United Nations’ Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, which reports to Prince Zeid bid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the world body’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, has published a report contending that white Americans who have never participated in chattel slavery owe reparations to black Americans who have never experienced it. 
Sylvester McGee
“Past injustices and crimes against African Americans need to be addressed with reparatory justice,” the report asserts. This would supposedly require passage of HR 40, which calls for creation of a commission that would examine “Whether African-Americans still suffer from the lingering effects” of slavery, and whether “any form of compensation to the descendants of African slaves is warranted,” and, if so, “what should be the amount of compensation, what form of compensation should be awarded, and who should be eligible for such compensation.”

That august commission would be a shakedown soviet with the power to dictate how much the “who” is supposedly entitled to extract from the “whom” – with both parties in this redistribution scheme defined in purely racial terms. 

"The reparations could come in a variety of forms,” the UN panel pontificates, including "a formal apology, health initiatives, educational opportunities ... psychological rehabilitation, technology transfer and financial support, and debt cancellation."

The “legal framework” for this monumental program of plunder, the report contends, is provided by a series of UN treaties and conventions, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The UN panel demands that those agreements, and several that have not been ratified by the US Senate, be integrated in both federal and state policy. 

Nothing less than full implementation of the UN’s “human rights” framework would be sufficient, the panel asserts, because even if the elaborate federal “civil rights” program were “fully implemented,” this would be “insufficient to overcome and transform the institutional and structural racial discrimination and racism against people of African descent.”

Blue Berets' burden: UN "Peacekeepers" in Somalia.
It is bad enough that US tax victims pay for the United Nations; it is intolerable for us to be expected to pay attention to it, and indulge the preposterous pretense that it is our moral tutor.

Regarding the well-being of “people of African descent,” the UN’s most notable accomplishment in that continent was to facilitate genocide in Rwanda by disarming a targeted ethnic sub-group. For six decades the UN has been an aid conduit for African kleptocracies while organizing“peacekeeping” forces that have provided full employment – with benefits– for sexual predators.

Following its tour of the United States, the Working Group expressed entirely justified alarm over the “levels of police brutality” and the official impunity enjoyed by abusive police officers in the United States. In their visits to Washington, Baltimore, Chicago, New York, and Jackson, Mississippi, the panel heard many black Americans complain that “from an early age they are treated by the State as a dangerous criminal group and face a presumption of guilt rather than of innocence.”

Panel members were frequently told that “the `War on Drugs has had a devastating impact on African Americans and that mass incarceration was considered a system of racial control that operated in a similar way to howJim Crow laws once operated.”

In its recommendations, however, the panel didn’t call for an end to what was insistently described to it as system of “enslavement.”Rather than calling for an end to the War on Drugs – that is, abolishing the direct institutional heir to chattel slavery – this troupe of globe-trotting moralists emitted pious piffle to the effect that prosecutors, judges, and legislators should consider “the costs of mass incarceration practices” while perpetuating this system of human bondage.

Nowhere in the 22-page report is there even an oblique acknowledgement of the role played by the United Nations in cultivating the misery experienced by millions of Americans of African descent. While theframework of Prohibition was erected by American progressives a century ago,the contemporary War on Drugs is a UN-promoted enterprise.

The UN’s 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is the enabling document for the global anti-drug jihad. The U.S. government didn't fully embrace that campaign until ten years later, when Congress – at the urging of the Nixon administration – passed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, which was a literal declaration of war on the American people. That legislation conspicuously noted that the U.S. government “is a party to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs … and other conventions designed to establish effective control over international and domestic traffic in controlled substances.”
We have more to fear from the JBTs than from the Blue Helmets.
A few months later, Richard Nixon created the Office of Drug Abuse Law Enforcement (ODALE) through an executive order. This agency amalgamated several agencies – including the IRS, the ATF, and the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (the direct ancestor of the DEA) and was given permission to “bypass normal channels” to prosecute the war.
ODALE quickly drew up a thirty-city target list (which included every stop on the UN panel's recent tour), created multi-jurisdictional task forces with state and local police, and unleashed newly created SWAT teams to begin the blitzkrieg.  That UN-authorized domestic war, which has relentlessly escalated over the past 45 years, consciously targeted America’s black population.

“You want to know what this was really all about?” an exasperated John Ehlirchman admitted in a 1994 interview with investigative author Dan Baum. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news.”
Ehrlichman attempts a Spock eyebrow -raise.
“Did we know we were lying about the drugs?” concluded the Nixon confidante and co-conspirator. “Of course we did.”

The UN-facilitated drug war is largely responsible for the fact – noted in the UN panel’s report – that “one out of every three black American males born today can expect to go to prison in his lifetime.” At least half of those held in the federal gulag, and more than half of those in state-level rape cages, are being punished for drug-related offenses.

Once again, the UN panel’s report offers a satisfactory description of the irreparable economic and social harm resulting from a criminal conviction. A paroled convict, or one who has been given a term of probation, remains the property of the State, subject to the invasive supervision of a parole officer who can consign him to a cage again on a whim. As the UN’s “experts” were repeatedly told, this condition doesn’t differ dramatically from that of an antebellum slave.

Those who seek to destroy slavery root and branch must support an end to Prohibition in all its forms, as part of a larger campaign to reclaim the principle of self-ownership -- which, in an ultimate sense, would require abolition of the State. Of course, this wouldn’t occur to “experts” in the employ of an institution that sees the State in all its malignant variations as the center of human society.

This week's Freedom Zealot Podcast continues the series of exposes of pervasive corruption in Bonneville County, Idaho:

Dum spiro, pugno!

Friday, September 23, 2016

"Do You Know Who Killed My Baby?"

“Do you know who killed my baby?”

That anguished question was wrested from the anguished soul of Carol Dodge as she spoke with a young girl named Destiny Osborne shortly after Carol’s 18-year-old daughter Angie was murdered in Idaho Falls in June, 1996.

With the police unable to identify any viable suspects, Carol – driven by an irrepressible maternal impulse to find and punish the person who had killed her daughter – pursued her own investigation. Over the past twenty years she has accumulated a library of evidence, most of which has been ignored by the police and the Bonneville County Prosecutor’s Office. 

It is because of Carol’s indefatigable efforts that we know that Christopher Tapp, the man who was convicted of that murder in May, 1998, didn’t commit that crime

Carol’s inquiry was only a few weeks old when one of her contacts arranged a meeting with Osborne. The high school-age girl, who was addicted to methamphetamine, had become acquainted with Tapp, a 20-year-old dropout who also had a drug problem. Osborne would later testify in court that she had attended a party where Tapp – along with two friends named Ben Hobbs and Jeremy Sargis – spoke openly about raping and killing Angie. At one point Tapp supposedly said, referring to Angie, “The bitch got blood all over my shirt.”

If Tapp had murdered Angie at such intimate range that his shirt was covered in the victim’s blood, his DNA would have been found on the clothes of the victim, and most likely under her fingernails. Tapp provided a DNA sample to the police, but the IFPD didn’t display any particular urgency in examining the physical evidence.

“They put Chris Tapp’s DNA sample in a refrigerator,” Carol told me. Following the arrest of Tapp’s friend Ben Hobbs on rape charges in Ely, Nevada, the IFPD brought in both Tapp and another friend named Jeremy Sargis in the hope of getting one or both of them to implicate Hobbs as the murderer.

“The police took Chris and Jeremy in separate rooms and interrogated them, and tried to play them off against each other,” Carol recalled. Sargis’s parents were people of means, and they arranged for their son to have adequate legal representation. 

Tapp’s family was in more straitened circumstances financially. Tragically, Chris was also more psychologically vulnerable than his friend: During one interrogation, Sargis had the presence of mind not only to tell IFPD investigator Jared Fuhriman that he had nothing to do with the murder, but to ridicule his interrogation methods. This had the delightful effect of triggering a meltdown on Fuhriman’s part, which was captured on video (starting at about 35:29). 

Fuhriman found Tapp to be more pliant than Sargis. After all, the officer had been grooming his potential victim for years: He was a school resource officer at Eagle Rock Junior High School when he met Tapp, and during Tapp’s abbreviated time at Skyline High School Fuhriman was his DARE instructor. 

One measure of the effectiveness of that program is found in the fact that Tapp graduated from DARE – and wound up with a drug conviction that took him into a rehab program that he finished shortly after Angie Dodge was murdered. This was not an unusual outcome for DARE indoctrination. Former Idaho DARE Coordinator Larry McGhee saw his oldest daughter Tracy become a heroin addict, even as he was tutoring other peoples’ children about the dangers of drugs

Jared Fuhriman, who went on to become Mayor of Idaho Falls, had a similar failure on the home front: About ten years ago, his then-19-year-old son Peyton was arrested in possession of marijuana paraphernalia he had found among his father’s effects. The mayor insisted that his collection of drug accessories was left over from his time as a DARE tutor. 

The mayor’s son was spared the full impact of the carceral state: His charge was negotiated down to a trivial misdemeanor, and he was given 18 months of probation with 90 days of “discretionary” jail time (only to be imposed in the event of a subsequent arrest). 

Educating children about the harmful effects of narcotics addiction is a worthy undertaking that is entirely peripheral to the purpose of DARE, which is to subvert parental authority, while cultivating in schoolchildren an unhealthy reverence for the State and its 
representatives. It also allows uniformed predators like Jared Fuhriman to start grooming future victims.
Chris and Vera Tapp.
“Christopher would just keep saying, `Fuhriman is my friend, mom – he wouldn’t put my life in jeopardy, he wouldn’t lead me astray,” Vera Tapp told Pro Libertate. “He was just such a `good old boy’ with Christopher…. You can see it in the videos – `Oh, Christopher, we’re friends, we’re buddies,’ you know, laughing and joking around. And that’s just what he did when [Tapp]was in junior high. He [was] learning people’s trust and how to manipulate people. And that’s what he did – he manipulated Christopher.”

By early January 1997, Fuhriman and his superior, Detective Ken Brown, were aware that Tapp, along with his friends Hobbs and Sargis, had been eliminated as suspects by the DNA evidence. Hobbs was in custody in Ely, Nevada. Sargis had obtained legal representation and was thus protected from Fuhriman’s predatory intentions. Tapp was the one left without a chair when the music stopped.

The police didn’t have the competence to solve the murder; their skill-set was better suited to bullying a na├»ve and insecure young man into a false confession.

Following a particularly harrowing mind-rape session on January 16, 1997, Tapp arrived at his home “white as a sheet” and trembling.

“I said, `Christopher, this is a murder case; you don’t go down there without a lawyer,” Vera Tapp related to me. Still under the influence of his school-administered programming, Tapp remained convinced of Fuhriman’s benign intentions.

“He kept saying, `I know Mr. Fuhriman’ … and he was secure with him, because he’d known him since junior high,” Vera continued. “And he said, `We’re friends, mom.’”

Nearly 20 stolen birthdays: Tapp as a child.
Understandably frantic over what the police were doing to her son, Vera adamantly insisted that Tapp refrain from speaking with them again without a lawyer in the room.
The following morning, a Saturday, Fuhriman knocked on the door and demanded to know why Christopher hadn’t gone to the police station.

“He gave me his word,” the predator complained, cultivated insincerity suppurating from every syllable. Vera explained that under no circumstances would Chris be speaking to them again without a lawyer at his side.

An hour later, Chief Kent Livesey pounded on Vera’s door to demand that Chris accompany him to the station.

Vera told that things weren’t “going the way they were supposed to go, so we’re going to get a lawyer and we’ll see you Monday morning.”

“But Christopher gave me his word!” Livesey protested, as if the young man were morally required to surrender his rights. He also told Vera that “Christopher is up to his eyeballs in this” – which the Chief almost certainly knew was untrue. Unintimidated, Vera reiterated that her son would fulfill his promise to cooperate in the investigation – but only with a lawyer present.

Within a matter of hours, Chris was arrested on what the police knew was a spurious charge of “harboring a felon.” He has been in a cage ever since. A little more than a year later, Chris was found guilty of murder on the basis of his own spurious confession, supplemented by perjured testimony by Fuhriman and Destiny Osborne.

No responsible official in Bonneville County still believes that Tapp’s confession was valid. A report commissioned by the Bonneville County Prosecutor’s Office has conceded as much.
During the September 20 hearing on Tapp’s most recent appeal, Deputy Prosecutor John Dewey contended that the defense had been unacceptably tardy in raising issues related to evidence that had been deliberately withheld from the defendant by his predecessors nearly twenty years ago. The most important omissions were excerpts of videotaped polygraph examinations of Tapp by Detective Steven Finn in which the officer threatens the victim with the death penalty, then manipulates him into a confession that doesn’t comport with the physical evidence.
Dewey cheat justice, and how?
According to Dewey, the tapes were probably “in a defense file somewhere, in the original defense file.” In support of that claim he offered several affidavits from IFPD officers solemnly attesting that it the department carefully logged and tracked critical evidence. 
Presumably, this would include the confiscated drug paraphernalia that somehow wound up in a box in Jared Fuhriman’s home, and some of which was later found in the possession of his 19-year-old son.

By way of a riposte to Dewey’s claim, Tapp’s appellate attorney, John Thomas, offered “two words: Kimball Mason.”

At about the same time Peyton Fuhriman was playing with evidence that was improperly stored among his father’s effects, Mason, the former Idaho Falls city prosecutor, was being prosecuted for stealing 30 guns from the IFPD’s evidence room. Two of them materialized in the hands of former IFPD Officer Todd Ericsson, who had been a supervisor of detectives at the department prior to his retirement in 2003. He has since gone on to be a contractor for the State Department and Pentagon in the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, and the Balkans, helping to cultivate the next generation of future foreign adversaries.

The grotesque incompetence of the IFPD regarding the security of its evidence room prompted Chief Livesey to request an outside audit by Dan Bullock, a retired San Jose Police Chief. Contrary to the solemn assertions in the affidavits filed this week in the Chris Tapp case, Bullock found that Property Office Manager Zuella Nelson was not certified for her position, that the department did not have a complete manual on evidence handling, and was lackadaisical in conducting internal reviews and audits.

If the prosecution had turned over the critical video records to Chris Tapp’s defense team in 1998, this would be a matter of record in the court’s evidence registry. It isn’t. The argument offered by Deputy Prosecutor Dewey and the IFPD is self-nullifying. In essence, they are saying: “Why should we be held responsible for sloppy record-keeping? If the defense can’t prove we didn’t turn over the critical videotapes, that’s on them.” 

He's not in jail: Former IFPD Det. Ericsson (l.).
The only reason those critical recordings were discovered was the tenacity of Carol Dodge, who forced herself to sit through the interrogations of the man she had once believed to be responsible for murdering her baby. After immersing herself in this relentlessly unpleasant task, she realized that Tapp had been coerced and manipulated into a false confession – and reached out to the Innocence Project, Judges for Justice, and the media to share what she had found.

From the beginning, the IFPD has treated Carol with disdain and hostility.

“They initially focused on our immediate family as suspects in the murder,” Carol told Pro Libertate. “Every time I talked to the police, the lead detective would tell me, `Carol, you better brace yourself, because when the DNA results come back it’s going to be very bad.’”

Angie’s relatives were quickly disqualified by the tests, which left the police with no suspects – or, at least, without any they were willing to pursue. Hobbs went on to serve a prison term in Nevada for raping a woman at knife-point – but he had nothing to do with Angie’s murder. So the IFPD weaponized the confidence Fuhriman had cultivated in Chris Tapp and “closed” the case by framing an innocent man.

As mothers who have lost children to acts of violence – rape and murder in one case, mind-rape, kidnapping, and decades of unjust incarceration in another -- Carol Dodge and Vera have become friends.

“She’s lost her daughter, and they won’t do [anything] about it,” Vera told me, referring to Carol and the contemptuous disregard to her displayed by the IFPD and Bonneville County Prosecutor’s Office. “And they should bend over backwards for this lady because she’s done all the work for them. She’s beat the bushes.”

No glory accrues to the State or its agents when an innocent man is acquitted of a crime, or when an unjustly convicted man is set free. Everybody involved in the wrongful conviction of Chris Tapp knows he is innocent, and that they have committed a horrible – and ongoing – crime against the rule of law and human decency. 

At present, the only way some semblance of justice can occur would be for Judge Stephens to decide that truth, honor, and the rights of a deeply wronged individual are worthier than the prestige of the State and the reputation of its servants. Given the pervasive and formidably entrenched corruption that prevails in Bonneville County, that outcome is profoundly unlikely.

This week's Freedom Zealot Podcast takes a deep dive into the feculent ocean of corruption called the Bonneville County, Idaho "justice" system:

Dum spiro, pugno!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Make This Right, Jared: Help Free Chris Tapp

Put former Idaho Falls Mayor Jared Fuhriman in a room filled with people, wrote the Idaho Falls Post Register’s editorial board in an encomium to the retired politician, “and warmth radiates from him. His decency is genuine, not the fabricated kind that can be sniffed out a mile away.”

Christopher Tapp, who spent many hours in intimate proximity to Fuhriman in early 1997, wasn’t blessed by his radiant decency. Tapp remains confined to a prison cell in Kuna, where he has served nearly twenty years of a life sentence inflicted on him for a crime he didn’t commit, on the basis of a false confession that then-Detective Fuhriman extorted from him.

In May 1998, Tapp was found guilty of the sexual assault and murder of 18-year-old Angie Dodge. There is not a particle of physical evidence, or a syllable of direct testimony, connecting Tapp to that hideous crime. That his confession is false is now beyond dispute.

After fourteen months and the expenditure of $36,000 in funds plundered from tax victims in Bonneville County, retired Blackfoot Police Detective Stuart Robinson has published the results of his outside investigation into the methods employed to secure Tapp’s conviction. He concludes that the confession was irremediably “tainted” by the tactics used by Fuhriman and his accomplices, who fed him non-public details of the crime, threatened him with a life sentence or execution if he didn’t cooperate, bullied him into making falsely accusations against two friends, and then wrung the spurious confession out of him by insisting it was necessary in order to save his life.
“Tapp was told continually throughout the interviews of the possibility of a death sentence,” Robinson emphasizes. It is impermissible for a police interrogator to threaten “inevitable consequences” while questioning a suspect, and “the fact that [Tapp was told repeatedly] that he could end up with the death penalty …started to affect his credibility as to the truthfulness of his statements,” Robinson continues. 

As lead investigator, Fuhriman fed to Tapp “numerous details during his interrogation about the crime and the crime scene which should have been withheld by detectives,” Robinson observes. Fuhriman took Tapp to the crime scene, a visit that was not recorded or documented in any way. He and his colleagues told Tapp about the position of the victim’s body, the murder weapon, the approximate time of the murder, and that a stuffed animal was probably used to muffle her screams. They systematically contaminated the videotaped interrogations, brief excerpts of which were eventually shown to the jury. 

Robinson’s inquiry has largely duplicated the investigative efforts by Judges for Justice, and those carried out by Carol Dodge, Angie’s mother. The conclusions Robinson reluctantly reached are obvious to people who have been following the case. What distinguishes his report is the fact that it bears the imprimatur of Bonneville County Prosecutor Danny Clark. If he is any part of a man, Mr. Clark will immediately file a Rule 59 motion for a new trial on behalf of Tapp. But his intent in authorizing Robinson’s review was not to establish the truth of the matter.

“There’s been court after court that’s reviewed this case,” Clark declared as he announced the investigation. “The same questions that are being raised by these groups [such as Judges for Justice] have been reviewed by the courts over the last eighteen years.”

If the conviction is unassailably sound, why did Clark approve of an expensive outside inquiry? The objective, he explained, was “to instill in the public confidence in what’s been done.”
Predictably, Clark has displayed no zeal in acting to rectify the injustice documented in Robinson’s findings. He has blithely said that his office will “review and analyze the report and wait for feedback” from the IFPD, an agency whose institutional misconduct is amply documented in Robinson’s report. 
Defending the system, not pursuing justice: Clark (r.).
The official story is that Tapp “confessed” to holding Angie down while two others – frequently identified as Ben Hobbs and Jeremy Sargis, neither of whom was ever charged in connection to the crime – raped and then killed the young woman. Angie’s head had nearly been severed from her body, and her wounds attested to the desperate struggle she made against her assailant(s). Semen and hair samples were collected from the body of the victim. 

While held captive by Fuhriman and Detective Steve Finn – who was supposedly conducting a polygraph examination – Tapp made statements implicating Hobbs and Sargis in the murder. Yet several analyses of the DNA samples excluded Hobbs, Sargis, and Tapp. 

Under duress, Tapp “confessed” to slashing the victim’s breast after pulling up her t-shirt. Robinson notes that “The crime scene photographs show that the cut to Angie’s breast was through the shirt. The shirt was down when the cut to her breast was made.” 

In his “confession,” Tapp said that after the murder he cleaned his hands on the victim’s t-shirt. That article of clothing yielded Y-STR DNA traces from at least four male contributors. Tapp was not among them. 

Tapp was also manipulated into claiming that he had held down Angie by the arms and wrist. DNA swabs produced profiles from at least three different male donors. Once again, none of them was Chris Tapp. 

Exerting himself to placate the county prosecutor’s office – which, after all, had hired him – and to preserve his standing with the Blue Brotherhood, Robinson summons the temerity to claim that “Tapp at least witnessed the attack” because he correctly said the victim was wearing a t-shirt and sweats at the time of the assault, and in response to a leading question by his tormentors said that one side of the sweatpants had been pulled down lower than another.
These aren’t confessions; they are desperate guesses tossed out by a terrified young man who had been told that his life depended on pleasing the armed strangers who had detained him, and wouldn’t release him until he cooperated with them. 

As a school resource officer at Idaho Falls High School, Fuhriman had become acquainted with Tapp. A casual acquaintance of Angie Dodge, Tapp – who at the time was a 20-year-old high school drop-out -- had pleaded guilty to a minor drug paraphernalia charge a few weeks after Dodge’s murder. The implicit claim that a 20-year-old with no violent criminal history would take part in a lurid sexual assault and murder, despite a court date hovering in the near future, is one of countless imponderables in this case. 

When the IFPD rounded up Tapp for questioning the officers were looking for evidence against Hobbs, who had been arrested on suspicion of rape in Ely, Nevada.

Tapp knew Hobbs, and within a few hours of the latter’s arrest Tapp was being treated as an accomplice and facing pressure to incriminate his friend. Fuhriman and his comrades likewise began feeding Tapp non-public information about the crime – details that he would later recite back to them in his “confessions” and that would subsequently be used in court to convince a credulous jury that such things could only be known to the perpetrator.

The IFPD and Bonneville County Prosecutor Kip Manwaring threatened Tapp with prison – or the gas chamber – while offering him immunity if he testified against Hobbs. As the theory of the case expanded to include a second perpetrator, Fuhriman suggested that Tapp’s friend Jeremy Sargis was also involved. At one point, the detective blatantly lied to Tapp by telling him that Sargis had failed a lie detector test and the “jig is up.”

While this was happening, Detective Finn pretended to administer polygraph tests to Tapp, a charade intended to increase the hostage’s pliancy in the hands of his captors.

“It is evident that during the January 17, 1997 polygraph that Tapp doesn’t believe that Jeremy Sargis was in the room when Angie was killed,” observes Robinson’s report. It was Fuhriman who “introduced Sargis as a suspect even when Tapp denied this.” Yet following the test, Detective Finn “told Tapp he was 100% truthful. Tapp then believed that Sargis was in the room when Angie was killed.”

After it became clear that the story confected by Fuhriman wasn’t supported by the evidence, the prosecutor revoked Tapp’s immunity agreement because he had lied to investigators – by repeating back to them the lies they had told him.

When Tapp’s mother informed Fuhriman that her son would not consent to further interrogation without an attorney being present, Fuhriman unlawfully arrested him on a charge of being an “accessory to a felony,” then took him to the police station and unlawfully began another interrogation before the victim’s attorney arrived. With the cooperation of Detective Finn, Fuhriman carefully orchestrated Tapp’s “confession.”

Fuhriman settled on Chris Tapp because the young man’s history of minor drug offenses made him vulnerable. The same is true of the only prosecution witness who supposedly connected Tapp to the murder, a young woman named Destiny R. Osburne.

During the May 1998 trial, Miss Osburne claimed to have overheard Tapp, Hobbs, and Sargis discussing the murder at a party a few days after it occurred. Mirabile dictu, her account confirmed in precise detail the story that had been synthesized during the 20 hours of psychological torture to which Tapp was subjected: Hobbs and Sargis had raped and then killed Angie while Tapp held the victim down.

By this time, both Hobbs and Sargis had been eliminated as suspects. Under cross-examination, Osburne admitted that she was addicted to methamphetamines and was tweaked at the time she supposedly witnessed the astoundingly candid and detailed admissions.
Former IFPD detectives Fuhriman and Steve Roos (l.)

Prosecutor Kip Manwaring certainly knew that Osburne’s story was false, yet he presented it as evidence. He also knew that his case depended on a penetrably false confession, and needed to be buttressed by a witness who was willing to validate the prosecution’s story, even if this meant lying under oath. This was misprision of perjury.

For his part, Fuhriman perjured himself promiscuously when his turn came to testify. “Detective Fuhriman, during the trial of Tapp, testified extensively that Tapp was never provided specific information as to the murder of Angie,” relates Robinson’s report, citing copious footnoted examples from the trial transcripts – after documenting the relentless contamination of the interrogation that led to the ersatz confession.  

In summarizing the prosecution’s case, deputy DA Jon J. Shindurling presented an inventory of crime scene details culled from Tapp’s videotaped “confession.”

“No one makes up a story and gets all the details,” Shindurling told the jury, omitting mention of the fact that in composing the “story” Tapp was using details supplied to him by captors who threatened him with death.

Shindurling, who had participated in an interrogation session, was fully aware of the fact that the detectives had used Tapp as a ventriloquist’s dummy. He went on to become a district judge, a position from which he resigned two years ago – at about the same time that Tapp’s fraudulent conviction started to gain media exposure. In 2012, Fuhriman, who was elected Mayor of Idaho Falls in 2005 on the strength of his law enforcement record, also made an abrupt change of career plans shortly after being called to testify in an evidentiary hearing related to an earlier appeal.

On July 12, 2012, Seventh District Judge Joel E. Tingey dismissed Tapp’s appeal, making the remarkable – and now entirely discredited – claim that he was not in police custody at the time of his purported confession. Exactly two weeks later, Fuhriman – whose testimony a fortnight earlier was replete with confident descriptions of details from a decade and a half earlierreported that he had been diagnosed with “mild cognitive disorder.” Obviously, this would make him useless as a witness in future appeals.

It is true that a witness whose answer to a question is “I cannot recall” cannot be charged with perjury. Unfortunately for Fuhriman, his perjury is a matter of judicial record.  His diagnosis was apparently authentic – but it did demonstrate that the testimony he contributed during the evidentiary hearing was unreliable.

Last July, the Post-Register reported that Fuhriman has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, which is probably the worst of all the afflictions to which our mortal flesh is heir.

Fuhriman has barely completed his fifth decade among the living, and faces the soul-paralyzing prospect of seeing decades of active, productive life stolen from him. Chris Tapp could provide a detailed description of how that feels.

If Jared Fuhriman is the robustly decent man his admirers describe, he will offer an unqualified acknowledgement of the crimes he committed against both Chris Tapp and Angie Dodge’s long-suffering mother, Carol, who has tirelessly sought Tapp’s exoneration. His restitution would necessarily include helping to bring the actual killer to justice. 

A hearing on Tapp's most recent appeal is set for September 20.Fuhriman can’t restore to Tapp the decades that were deleted from his life, but he can repent of an offense that burdens his soul, or at least should, by helping set an innocent man free.

 This week's Freedom Zealot Podcast offers additional details regarding the Robinson report on Chris Tapp's wrongful conviction:

My friends, I'm in dire straits -- alas, not the admirable classic rock band of that name, which would be a much more lucrative enterprise than independent journalism. I greatly appreciate the kindness you have shown, and would really appreciate any help you could provide. God bless.

Dum spiro, pugno!