One Florida man is hoping for an appeal of his murder conviction from almost 30 years ago. The defendant has spent 28 years in prison for a crime he may not have committed.
In 1990, the defendant was convicted of killing a man and kidnapping the victim's girlfriend. He spent 20 years on death row before his sentence was commuted to life in prison in 2009. His attorneys are now fighting for appeal of his entire conviction, with the hope that the man will be relieved of the sentence for a crime they believe he did not commit.
Two Reasons For The Appeal
The appeal in this potential wrongful conviction has two parts. The first part is a claim by the defense that the U.S. District Judge in Middle Florida improperly ruled that the defendant's conviction appeal was not filed within the appropriate timeframe, which means that the appeals case was barred from being heard. However, it was discovered that the Judge took 18 months to rule that the case was not filed in time. The defendant's attorneys are challenging this timeframe argument.
The second part of this appeal is a claim of the defense that the defendant is actually innocent. However, the prosecutors in the case claim that the defendant had not claimed innocence before, and therefore should not be allowed to claim it now.
Claim of Innocence
The claim of innocence stems primarily comes from the lack of physical evidence connecting the defendant to the crime, according to his attorneys. The murder victim was alive when police arrived on the scene, but he did not say who shot him before he died. The victim's girlfriend escaped in his truck, but drove past several pay phones, a hospital, and her parents' home before arriving a friend's place, which seemed suspicious to some. Also, the photo line-up used to identify the defendant showed his face as being smaller and darker than the others with a different hairstyle than was reported by the girlfriend as being the hairstyle of the killer.
Additionally, both officers who were the first to arrive on the scene concluded that the girlfriend was actually the one who committed the crime, but this evidence was not used during the initial murder trial.
In this case, the DNA found in the truck did match the defendant's, however, the previous owner of the truck claimed that the defendant's brother, who shares his DNA, had been in the vehicle. Therefore, the DNA evidence was inconclusive in proving innocence or guilt in this case.
Wrongful Conviction and Appeals
There are times when people are wrongfully accused of a crime and face a conviction for something they did not do. Through a proper defense and appeals process, these cases and convictions may be overturned.
If you feel that you have been wrongfully accused, it's imperative that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your attorney can work with you to decide the best course of action to defend your innocence.
Torres, J. A. (2017, November 06). Case of Crosley Green: Was an innocent man convicted of murder 25 years ago? Retrieved November 22, 2017, from http://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/2017/11/06/innocent-man-convicted-murder-25-years-ago/835896001/
Torres, J. A. (2017, November 09). Crosley Green's murder conviction appeal heard in Atlanta. Retrieved November 22, 2017, from http://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/2017/11/08/glimmer-hope-crosley-greens-appeal-his-murder-conviction/844365001/