For more than 30 years, Crosley Green, 63, has been incarcerated for a crime he says he did not commit. Even after his conviction was overturned, Green was still forced to sit inside a cell.
Now, Green has taken one step closer to becoming a free man, after a federal judge ordered that he be released Wednesday evening. However, the reason is completely separate from his fight to prove his innocence.
WKMG reports that Federal Judge Roy B. Dalton of the Middle District Court of Florida granted a motion from Green's attorneys asking that he be released due to the coronavirus pandemic. The attorneys said Green was at an increased risk for contracting COVID due to his age, a recent bout with tuberculosis, and other underlying health concerns.
In 1990, Green was convicted of killing a 22-year-old man in Florida, despite no physical evidence linking him to the murder, CBS' 48 Hours reports.
Judge Dalton originally overturned Green's 1990 conviction back in 2018. He ruled that prosecutors at the time withheld evidence from Green's defense attorneys. However, the state appealed Dalton's decision, and since no ruling has come from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, Green has been forced to stay in prison.
That was until Wednesday.
Dalton cited the pandemic and the amount of time Green has stayed in prison as reasons for granting the motion. He added that Green has been described as a "model prisoner" by the warden of the Calhoun Correctional Institution.
"Additionally, 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," Dalton wrote in his decision.
Green will be staying with family in Titusville. He remains under house arrest and must report to probation until the appeals court makes a ruling on his case.
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