A cover story in The Atlantic by CNN anchor Jake Tapper raises questions about the case of C.J. Rice, a South Philadelphia man convicted of four counts of attempted murder in 2013. Rice had injuries from a prior shooting that Tapper’s physician father says would have likely made him physically unable to commit the crime. Tapper says a “dangerously incompetent” attorney contributed to his conviction, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. On Sept. 3, 2011, Rice, then 17, was seriously injured after being shot three times, fracturing his pelvis, in a case of mistaken identity. While in the hospital, he contracted pneumonia. He was convicted of a shooting in which four people, including a 6-year-old, were injured. Rice was not initially identified by victims or witnesses, and no physical evidence tied him to the scene.
After police announced him as a suspect, Rice turned himself in to authorities “thinking the matter would be cleared up quickly." Instead, he was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison. Tapper’s father, Theodore Tapper, who was Rice’s doctor, believes that Rice couldn’t have committed the crime because of the injuries he suffered in the earlier shooting. Theodore Tapper examined Rice’s wounds in the days after he was shot, and testified at Rice’s trial. “The amount of pain that I saw him with and the inability to stand and get onto and off the table in my office ... makes me very dubious as to whether he could walk standing up straight, let along run with any degree of speed, five days after I saw him,” Theodore Tapper said.