Press conference (live streaming): Innocent man may be ordered to return to prison after serving 32 years behind bars for a murder he did not commit
Join 1:30 pm ET, Feb. 27 in Titusville or on Facebook Live
The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will not hear the case of Crosley Green, a 65-year-old Florida man who has steadfastly fought for more than three decades to prove his innocence following his wrongful conviction by an all-white jury for a 1989 murder in Titusville, Florida. Green will be joined by his family and legal team at a press conference at 1:30 pm Monday, Feb. 27, at the Holiday Inn – Kennedy Space Center in Titusville (details below). Also speaking will be Kenneth Nunn, law professor at University of Florida, and two men who were also wrongfully convicted by Brevard County, Fla. prosecutors in the 1980s.
With no physical evidence linking him to the crime and key witness notes withheld by prosecutors pointing to another suspect, Green may now be ordered to return to state prison despite having spent the past two years working and living as a model citizen surrounded by family in a Florida community. The case has been widely covered by CBS News, Florida Today, and other media.
“Mr. Green and his family were devastated by the news today. Yet, they are a family of remarkable faith, and they are clinging to one remaining hope—that the State of Florida will grant clemency or parole. There is still time for the State to do the right thing,” said Keith J. Harrison, Crowell & Moring partner and attorney for Green.
“My faith is in Jesus, and that is a faith that does not disappoint. I came to believe in him in prison. I believe he is with me now—and not only with me but with my family, my children and my grandchildren. I want what is best for them and want to continue to contribute to my community in Titusville. I want to spend whatever time I have left with them. I want to be a part of their lives. I am praying that the decision-makers within the State of Florida hear us,” Green said.
“I want to thank everyone who has supported me. I want to thank my employer for giving me a chance to work. I want to thank the judges for considering my case. I want to thank everyone who signed the amicus briefs to support me. It meant a great deal to see the respect and courtesy coming from people that I don’t know. To see what they’ve written shows me that America is on its way to mending. It’s getting there. I see a small group getting together to make this justice system really what it’s supposed to be. Fairness for all—not just one but all. I want to thank my legal team. I want to thank those in the justice system who are working to see the right thing happen, and also to all of the many people who are in this country praying and hoping that I get my freedom and see justice prevail,” Green said.
Green served 32 years in prison and has been on conditional release since April 2021 after his conviction was overturned by a federal court in Orlando. The court found that Brevard County prosecutors withheld witness interview notes that said the first two responding law enforcement officers told the prosecutor that they concluded the victim’s ex-girlfriend—not Green—committed the crime. No evidence ties Green to the crime scene. The State of Florida appealed his victory, and Green lost at the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and recently petitioned the Supreme Court to reverse that decision. This morning, the Supreme Court announced it would not hear his case. Green has consistently maintained his innocence.
Green Is Not Alone
Also speaking at the press conference will be two men who were also wrongfully convicted by Brevard County, Florida prosecutors in the 1980s—William Dillon and Walter Dedge.
“Mr. Green is not the only victim of a wrongful conviction in Brevard County. William Dillon and Walter Dedge will be present to show they stand with Mr. Green, and to remind Floridians that there was a pattern of prosecutorial misconduct in the county at that time,” Harrison said.
Florida Law Professors Express Concerns
In the lead up to the Green’s petition to the Supreme Court, more than 100 prominent law school professors, former state-court judges, current and former prosecutors, and others filed “friend of the court,” or “amicus” briefs, asking the Supreme Court to hear Green’s case due to the very significant constitutional issues at stake. They included Kenneth Nunn, professor of law at University of Florida Levin College of Law; Leroy Parnell, professor of law at Florida A&M University College of Law; Susan Rozelle, professor of law at Stetson University College of Law; Donna Coker, professor of law at University of Miami School of Law; and others.
Implications for the Deep South
The Supreme Court’s decision to reject Green’s petition could have far-reaching repercussions for all criminal defendants in the United States. At issue is the 60-year-old Brady doctrine, a law that requires prosecutors to turn over material exculpatory evidence to the defense before trial. In Green’s case, prosecutors withheld key evidence pointing to another suspect—the ex-girlfriend of Charles “Chip” Flynn, Jr. who was with him the evening of his murder and was the state’s chief witness at trial. The Eleventh Circuit ruled that prosecutors did not need to turn over the evidence to Green’s defense counsel because the notes themselves were inadmissible at trial or otherwise cumulative. Green’s lawyers argued that knowing the two first-responding officers thought someone else did it and reported that to the lead prosecutor would have transformed defense counsel’s investigation and trial strategy.
“It’s a fight for freedom, and the fight isn’t over until freedom is achieved,” said Harrison. “We intend to approach Governor DeSantis and the parole board. We hope to have a conversation about why Mr. Green deserves to be free. We know Governor DeSantis is a law and order governor who is passionate about justice. We believe he will see that Crosley deserves to be free.”
Press Conference (in-person):
1:30 pm ET, Feb. 27
Holiday Inn – Kennedy Space Center
4715 Helen Hauser Blvd, Titusville, FL 32780
On Facebook Live:
- Keith J. Harrison, Crowell & Moring partner, counsel for Crosley Green
- Vincent J. Galluzzo, Crowell & Moring partner, counsel for Crosley Green
- Kenneth Nunn, professor of law at University of Florida Levin College of Law
- Wilton Dedge
- William Dillon
- Crosley Green
- Shirley White (sister to Green)
- O’Connor Green (brother to Green)
- Leshumbai “Shuma” Stokes (oldest son of Green)
Wilton Dedge was convicted of sexual battery, aggravated battery, and burglary in 1982 in Brevard County, Fla. His case was overturned after two rounds of DNA testing conclusively proved he was not connected to the forensic evidence recovered from the victim and from the crime scene. He was released in 2004.
William Dillon was convicted of murder in 1981 in Brevard County, Fla. His case was overturned after DNA testing of the suspect’s T-shirt recovered by police was conclusively tied to the killer and had not been worn by Dillon. He was released in 2008.
Read Green’s petition to the U.S. Supreme Court for writ of certiorari. For more information about the case, visit the Crosley Green information page.
Crowell & Moring has represented Green pro bono since 2008. The team includes Crowell & Moring partners Keith J. Harrison, Jeane A. Thomas, Vincent J. Galluzzo, and counsel Drake Morgan.
About Crowell & Moring LLP
Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with offices in the United States, Europe, MENA, and Asia. Drawing on significant government, business, industry and legal experience, the firm helps clients capitalize on opportunities and provides creative solutions to complex litigation and arbitration, regulatory and policy, and corporate and transactional issues. The firm is consistently recognized for its commitment to pro bono service as well as its programs and initiatives to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.