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Hampikian Lab Featured in ’48’ Hours Episode Saturday

By: Kathleen Tuck   Published 7:46 am / February 1, 2017

Darryl Pinkins with his daughter.

Darryl Pinkins with his daughter. Courtesy Greg Hampikian.

The CBS television crime show “48 Hours” will air a new episode on Saturday, Feb. 4, featuring DNA expert Greg Hampikian’s laboratory at Boise State and the Idaho innocence Project. In the Treasure Valley, the show airs at 9 p.m. on KBOI Channel 2.

Professor Hampikian has a dual appointment in the Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of Criminal Justice.

Hampikian’s lab is featured for its DNA work that led to the exoneration of Darryl Pinkins and Roosevelt Glenn. Using TrueAllele, a software based on a new DNA technique called probabilistic genotyping, the Idaho Innocence Project was able to provide the evidence needed to free Pinkins, who spent more than 25 years in an Indiana prison wrongly convicted of a multiple-assailant rape. Pinkins was released in April 2016. That evidence also cleared his codefendant, Glenn, who had been released on parole in 2009 as a sex-offender.

Greg Hampikian waits with Darryl Pinkins' mother, Mildred, for her son's release.

Greg Hampikian waits with Darryl Pinkins’ mother, Mildred, for her son’s release in April 2016.

“48 hours spent a lot of time covering and investigating the story, asking really tough questions and checking facts,” said Hampikian. “I have not seen what they will report, but it was gratifying to watch the investigative arm of the fourth estate work so hard.”

TrueAllele was developed by Mark Perlin, founder and chief executive of Cybergenetics. The technique allows for dissection of complex DNA mixtures. Lab analysis by Hampikian, founding director of the Idaho Innocence Project, and Perlin excluded Pinkins and Glenn from evidence collected in the rape case. Both men contributed untold pro bono hours to the case.

Professor Frances Watson at the Indiana University Law School’s McKinney Wrongful Conviction Clinic was legal counsel on the case.