A man who spent 32 years behind bars and nearly two decades on death row for a crime he says he did not commit is facing the threat of returning to prison in Florida, prompting his attorneys to seek relief in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Crosley Green, 64, has been out of prison for one year but may soon return after a three-judge panel on the 11th Circuit Court ruled in March that a federal district judge improperly overturned his conviction in 2018. Attorneys for Green convened for a news conference at Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church in Titusville on Wednesday to outline their plan asking the full 11-judge panel on the appeals court to reconsider the recent decision, hopeful for a response that will give the case a second look.

Jeane Thomas, one of the defense attorneys representing Green, argued the federal district court "said it didn't happen," saying that evidence that was suppressed "went to the heart of the defense’s theory that someone else committed this crime."


"There’s no dispute that it was withheld, but what happened on appeal before the 11th Circuit is they said, ‘It wouldn’t have mattered. [Prosecutors] withheld it, but it wouldn’t have really made a difference in the outcome of the trial.’”

Green was convicted of murder for the fatal shooting of Charles "Chip" Flynn in 1989, based on witness testimony from Flynn's girlfriend, Kim Hallock, who told law enforcement they had been robbed and shot by a black man while sitting in Flynn's truck at a park in Brevard County, Florida.

One of the speakers on behalf of Green on Wednesday was Diane Clarke, a former Brevard County patrol sergeant who responded at the crime scene. She said Green "spent half his life in prison for something that I don’t believe he did," calling his case “a travesty of justice.”

A fellow defense attorney representing Green, Keith Harrison, told the Washington Examiner that after Clarke and another officer investigated the scene, "they concluded that there was no black guy and that the prosecution's lead witness, in fact, was the likely shooter," according to the officer's notes that were withheld by prosecutors during Green's initial trial.

"For example, one of those police officers never even testified at the trial. If these notes had been released to the defense as they should have been, because prosecutors have a responsibility to play by the rules ... this would have turned those two police officers from witnesses for the prosecution to witnesses for the defense, because they would have been able to lay out for the jury exactly what they saw that night and why, you know, that demonstrated his innocence," Harrison said.

At Green's trial, three witnesses testified that he confessed to the killing, though they have since recanted. Green was convicted and sentenced to death row by an all-white jury, awaiting capital punishment for 19 years before a circuit court decision changed his penalty to life in prison in 2009.

His sister, Shirley Green, told reporters on Wednesday that she pressed her brother to take a plea deal in 1989 that would have resulted in his release a decade ago, though he refused to confess to something he did not do.

Green spoke at the podium on Wednesday to say the case was larger than the individual circumstances surrounding his situation, arguing that "what happened to me could happen to you, to you, to you," Green said as he pointed around the room during the press conference.

"I hope I can remain free and continue moving forward with my kids, my grandkids, my sisters, my brothers, my work partners at the job I got," he said. "Thank you and God bless."


Harrison said his legal team will likely hear a response from the appeals court by the end of May.

The Washington Examiner reached out to the Florida Attorney General's Office.