With the help of expertise from biology and criminal justice professor Greg Hampikian and Cybergenetics Chief Scientist Mark Perlin, the guilty verdicts of two men convicted of a 1985 murder were overturned on June 14, 2019. As of July 2, 2020, both men are free after more than 30 years in prison.
In 2011, lawyers for the two convicted men reached out to Hampikian, asking him to reexamine the evidence for any DNA that might prove their innocence. After several years of legal filings by the lawyers, Hampikian thought that a new form of DNA analysis that relies on advanced statistical analysis might solve the so-far unsolvable DNA results.
“Probabilistic genotyping is the best thing to happen to forensic DNA in decades,” Hampikian said recently. “It wasn’t available when the evidence was first collected, and by 2015 no one had used it to overturn a wrongful conviction. This was the very first case we tried it on, and we got great results.”