When police knocked on Curtis’ door to take him away for questioning, he told his wife and children that he’d be back soon. He was working as an assistant to a physical therapist and was preparing to attend college so he too could become a physical therapist. The Philadelphia dad was convicted of murder and has spent the last three decades trying to clear his name. Now after more than 30 years behind bars that conviction has been overturned.
In 1991 Crosland was wrongfully convicted of second-degree murder, robbery, and possessing an instrument of crime in the 1984 killing of a Philadelphia store owner. Three years after his death Crosland became a suspect.
His conviction was overturned in June with help from the Philadelphia Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) which found that Crosland’s conviction was based on testimonies from two witnesses who later recanted their statements.
The 60-year-old was finally freed and was able to return to his five children, fiancée and 32 grandchildren.
“I feel exceedingly joyful, happy, that finally, you know … after 30 or more years, after constantly knocking on the door for somebody to please hear me, that day finally came,” he said.
“It’s a great feeling to still be dad, to be wanted and desired, and open arms to receive you, that’s been the greatest part of being exonerated, that I come home to a loving family that wants and needs me,” he added.
Crosland’s is the 22nd exoneration in which the CIU has been involved.