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Crime News Black Lives Matter

Florida Man Released From Prison After Conviction Overturned Sees Conviction Reinstated

Crosley Green's conviction was vacated last year and he was released from prison after serving nearly 32 years for the 1989 murder of Charles Flynn. An appeals court ruling reinstating the conviction may send him back.

By Gina Tron
Crosley Green Pd

A Florida man who was released from prison last year after serving more than three decades behind bars for a murder he insists he didn’t commit may be going back.

Crosley Green, 63, was released in April 2021 after spending nearly 32 years in a Florida prison for the 1989 murder of 22-year-old Charles "Chip" Flynn, who was found shot to death in a citrus grove. Green was convicted by an all-white jury in 1990 — but his defense claims that two of the investigators at the murder scene believed that another suspect committed the crime. 

U.S. District Court Judge Roy B. Dalton overturned Green’s conviction in 2018, but the state appealed the ruling, and the the case stalled in the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals for several years. Green was released in 2021 after a judge ruled that, in the absence of a conviction, the state had no right to continue his incarceration.

The circuit court has now overruled Dalton’s ruling and reinstated the conviction, claiming that evidence of Green’s guilt was “compelling,” Law&Crime and CNN reported, as well as that the evidence withheld in the case likely wouldn’t have made a difference in the jury's decision.

Allowing this conviction to be reinstated "could impact every criminal defendant going forward throughout the 11th Circuit — Florida, Georgia, and Alabama," Green’s attorney Keith Harrison said in a statement, obtained by CNN.

He is asking for the case to be reheard before the 11 justices; a ruling is expected in mid-May. 

Last week, Diane Clarke — who was a sergeant with the Brevard County Sheriff's Office in 1989 and worked the case — joined Green and his legal team. She believes that Green was wrongly accused. 

"In this particular case with Crosley Green, the truth is hidden," she told CNN. "He spent half of his life in prison for something I don't believe he did."

Clarke was never called to the stand in Green’s trial. Green was mostly convicted based on the testimony of Flynn's girlfriend, Kim Hallock, though the original prosecutor withheld from Green's defense that both Clarke and fellow investigator Mark Rixey suspected that Hallock had actually shot Flynn. 

“It is a tragedy,” Harrison told the Law&Crime Network. “They say a ‘Black guy’ did it and the Black guy gets convicted.”

Following his release from prison last year, Green talked to reporters at a press conference.

"I got my freedom back for whatever time I'm gonna have it until the court makes their decision," he said, according to Florida Today. "I'm hoping that it's in favor of me."