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Prominent Law Professors, Former State-Court Judges, Current and Former Prosecutors, and Others File Amicus Briefs at U.S. Supreme Court in Support of Crosley Green

Legal groups say Green case presents novel issues the highest court should resolve

Washington, D.C. – February 24, 2023: More than 100 prominent law professors, former state-court judges, current and former prosecutors, and others filed amicus briefs Thursday to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case of Crosley Green, an innocent man who was wrongfully convicted of a 1989 Florida murder. If the High Court does not accept Green’s case, he could be ordered to return to prison after serving 32 years for a crime he did not commit.

Green’s case raises novel questions for the Court about federalism, protections for criminal defendants afforded under the Brady doctrine, and key procedural matters in post-conviction appeals.

In a brief filed by current and former prosecutors, signatories wrote: “Amici appreciate the challenging judgments prosecutors must often make under Brady, having made those calls themselves many times. But they also believe that fundamental fairness and public confidence in our judicial system can only be sustained where prosecutors are held to the highest standards of fairness. Making a full and timely disclosure of all material and favorable evidence to the defense, without consideration of whether that material would be admissible in court, is fundamental to vindicating this responsibility.”

In another brief, former state-court judges note that federalism, a basic principle underlying our system of government, “cannot be invoked selectively to the benefit of one party,” as they note was done by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in overruling state-court findings to rule against Green. 

“Amici are united in a belief that federal deference to state courts is a core feature of our system of federalism, and that such deference cannot be invoked selectively to the benefit of one party,” the former judges wrote. “This deference to, and respect for, state courts is not cabined to the habeas context. Indeed, our system of government rests on the idea that states—and, particularly, state courts—are essential players in the Constitutional order.”

The professors’ brief stated their collective “concern[] that the Eleventh Circuit’s decision is a departure” from the Supreme Court’s “guidance on prosecutorial suppression, due process, and post-conviction review that will lead to inconsistent and constitutionally erroneous results if allowed to stand.”  The brief also states that the Eleventh Circuit’s approach “invites wrongful convictions, creating doubt in the criminal justice system and forcing life-changing consequences on individuals like Mr. Green.”

Amicus briefs were filed by:

  • A group of current and former prosecutors, such as former assistant U.S. attorneys from California, District of Columbia, New Hampshire, New York, and Virginia, including Hon. Timothy Lewis, a former judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Represented by Akerman (read the brief here).
  • Former state-court judges who sat on their states’ supreme courts in Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas. Represented by DLA Piper (read the brief here).
  • A group of more than 100 law school professors, including Kenneth Nunn, Professor of Law at University of Florida Levin College of Law; Glenn Harlan Reynolds, Professor of Law at University of Tennessee College of Law; and Duke University School of Law professors James Coleman, Hannah Demeritt, Evan Glasner, Jamie Lau, and Theresa Newman. Represented by Cozen O’Connor (read the brief here).

The Supreme Court’s decision on Green’s petition could have far reaching repercussions for all criminal defendants in the United States.

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. HarrisonJeane A. ThomasVincent 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.  


An Pham
Senior Communications Manager