A federal court vacated Crosley Green’s 1990 murder conviction in 2018, and he was subsequently let out of prison, but Green is far from free.
He’s accused of shooting Chip Flynn in April 1989, for which he spent almost 32 years in prison. Eighteen of those years were on death row.
Green was let out of prison thanks to the overturned conviction and coronavirus concerns while the decision is being challenged in court. A decision from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals could be handed down any day, and Green could end up back behind bars.
In 2018, US District Judge Roy Dalton ruled that the original prosecutor on the case withheld evidence from Green’s defense, known as a Brady violation. His conviction was overturned, but the state reserved the right to retry him. In March 2020, the 11th Circuit heard oral arguments in the state’s appeal of the judge’s decision, and Green has been waiting for a ruling.
Green has maintained his innocence, and serious doubts have been raised regarding the integrity of his conviction. So far, four witnesses have recanted, multiple witnesses place Green at a party during the time the murder was committed, his fingerprints weren’t found at the scene, along with several other issues.
“Nothing adds up. Nothing fits together,” attorney Keith Harrison said. “There’s a lot of facts in this case, and most of the facts point to Crosley’s innocence.”
Harrison works for Crowell & Moring, an international law firm fighting on behalf of Green pro bono since 2008. His attorneys believe the evidence points more toward his innocence instead of his guilt.
For now, Green is more concerned with the squirrels in his brother-in-law’s yard. He cannot leave the yard, except for a 30-minute window in the morning, or his ankle monitor will alert the authorities. To Green, this is freedom.
“There’s a lot of other freedom out there, but listen, this little bit of freedom I got right here is a whole lot compared to no freedom at all,” he told CNN.