Pro Bono Client Released After 30 Years of Wrongful Incarceration
Crosley Green, a pro bono client of Crowell & Moring LLP, walked out of prison last night into the open arms of his family after spending more than three decades incarcerated for a murder he did not commit.
U.S. District Court Judge Roy B. Dalton granted a motion on April 7 filed by Crowell & Moring's pro bono team to release Mr. Green from the Calhoun Correctional Institution in Florida, citing health risks stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that Mr. Green's conviction in the 1989 shooting death of Charles "Chip" Flynn was overturned nearly three years ago by the same court, a decision that the state appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2018.
In addition, Judge Dalton found that Mr. Green has been a "model prisoner" who would pose no danger to the public, based on a declaration from the prison's warden obtained by Crowell & Moring.
"The public has a strong interest in the release of a prisoner whom the Court has found to be incarcerated in violation of the Constitution. The Court finds that the public interest weighs in favor of granting release pending appeal," Judge Dalton wrote. "The Court determines that, because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the length of time to resolve Petitioner's appeal... Petitioner would be substantially injured since the Court has already reversed his conviction and ordered a new trial."
The ruling allows Mr. Green, now 63, to reside with family on conditional release until the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals rules on his case.
In 1990, an all-white jury convicted Mr. Green of first-degree murder of Mr. Flynn, a 22-year-old Titusville, Florida man, and sentenced him to death.