New Trial in Florida Case


A Florida judge today tossed out the conviction of Jimmy Ates, who has served 17 years in prison for the murder of his wife, a crime he says he didn’t commit. Ates was convicted based in part on evidence from FBI ballistics tests allegedly showing that the lead makeup of bullets used to kill his wife matched those he owned. In 2005, the FBI determined that these tests – called bullet lead analysis – weren’t valid. Gainesville prosecutor Geoffrey Fleck took the initiative to request that Ates’ conviction be overturned after learning that bullet lead evidence from the FBI was unreliable.

Ates is expected to be released tonight.

Read today’s story here

. (Miami Herald, 12/17/08)


more on this story in the St. Petersburg Times


The unreliability of bullet lead analysis and the FBI’s incomplete handling of the situation were revealed in a joint investigation from the Washington Post and CBS News’ “60 Minutes” last year.

Watch the “60 Minutes” report here


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