Amanda Knox's Boise DNA expert weighs in on case

BOISE -- A long saga is coming to an end for a Pacific Northwest family.

Italy's highest court overturned the murder conviction of Amanda Knox.

Dr. Greg Hampikian has been working on the Knox case since 2009. Over the last six years, he's done forensics work for her defense team and raised the profile on the work he's doing at Boise State University.

"I didn't know how long it would last, but it's been an interesting six years," said Hampikian.

The case has brought attention to the work he is doing at Boise State and the Idaho Innocence Project.

"I think people recognize what we do a little bit more, and that's nice," Hampikian said. "We're involved with cases all over the world now. In some countries we're more known for other cases than Amanda Knox's case, but in most everywhere in the world I think that's one of the top cases people associate us with."

He helped her defense team with forensics that ultimate led to her guilty conviction being overturned in Italy's high court on Friday. The Knox case has captivated people because Hampikian said she is so much like them, or someone they know.

"I think people can relate to folks who seem similar to them, but this type of tragedy strikes everybody," he said. "False convictions are not restricted to one class of people. It's a systemic issue."

The case, he said, is opening people's eyes to the world of wrongful convictions.

"I think everybody has typical views of what they think a wrongfully convicted person looks like and maybe the fact that Amanda kind of shattered some of those views for people who were comfortable and thought it wouldn't happen to them, that's a good thing," said Hampikian.

For Dr. Hampikian, after many years, it's a huge victory.

"I was working on cases all morning, some of which are fairly hopeless, just very, very difficult cases," he said. "And then to suddenly be told good news, I mean honestly I just started screaming. I forgot what it was like. I forgot the pressure that we're under when you finally get an end of one of these things that works out."

Dr. Hampikian spoke with the Knox family after the court overturned Amanda's conviction. He said they are relieved and very happy.


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