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Crosley Green's final hours of freedom

Crosley Green's Hard Time
Crosley Green's Hard Time 43:48

On Monday, April 17, Crosley Green gave his final goodbyes to loved ones gathered at the 65-year-old grandfather's residence in Titusville, Florida. After two years of freedom, Green was ordered back to prison following a federal court's ruling to reinstate his conviction for a murder he says he did not commit. 

Crosley Green
Crosley Green saying goodbye during his final hours of freedom on April 17, 2023. CBS News

Green urged his supporters to be optimistic, but many anguished at the possibility of the man they affectionately call "Papa Green" spending the rest of his life behind bars. 

Restricted by an ankle bracelet during his time outside prison, Green made the most of his situation. He spent time catching up with many relatives and friends, joined a local church, and got a job at a metal fabrication plant. He says his coworkers called him, "PPE," which means "pure, positive energy." He even got engaged to nursing aide Kathy Spikes.

Crosley Green
Crosley Green with Kathy Spikes on the car ride to a Florida Department of Corrections office.  Crowell & Moring

"I love you all," Green said to those gathered at his home before departing to a Florida Department of Corrections office in Orlando. "Listen, you all be strong," he told them before getting in the car.

While en route to the corrections office, Green told his fiancée, "Everything is going to be OK." She sat in the car hugging Green, comforting him during the 30-minute drive.

Upon arrival, Crosley Green spent his final minutes of freedom in the parking lot with his baby great-niece and a few other loved ones. Everyone there struggled to hold back tears, including his attorneys, Keith Harrison and Jeane Thomas, who have been representing Green pro bono. 

Crosley Green
Crosley Green with family members before turning himself in to authorities. Pool/Malcolm Denemark

As Green walked into the corrections office, his head remained high for the next "bump in the road" as he calls it. However, Crosley Green may never experience life outside prison again. His only remaining options for freedom are to seek parole or clemency. 

Crosley Green
Crosley Green returning to custody in Orlando, Florida. Pool/Malcolm Denemark

"We're going to do everything we can to get him out as soon as we can. But it's an administrative process that is going to take some time," Harrison told "48 Hours" correspondent Erin Moriarty, who has been covering Crosley Green's case since 1999.

"I still believe in the system," Green told Moriarty, "I don't have no hatred. I don't have no sadness." Green says. 

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