Consciousness is the enigma here. It’s clear that we do not consider someone who does something unconsciously to have been acting freely in the relevant sense: they are not responsible for their actions. E.g., if someone could be proven to have stolen or murdered while sleepwalking, they would be treated as someone who did the same while psychotic: it would be a matter for the doctors, not the jails. As well, someone who stole or murdered while in a coma but hooked up to some muscle-moving machine would not be remotely considered to have acted freely.
So consciousness is crucial. However experiments show conclusively that act decisions are made preconsciously. Hence it is not ‘the conscious mind’ (whatever that is) that makes the decision. Rather, the brain makes the decision and then the decision’s having been made invades consciousness, along with, perhaps, the reasoning that led to that decision.
If this is the correct description of what goes on, the question arises about what the point is of consciousness. Is it some appendix or spandrel? My feeling is that consciousness may simply be the decision-process becoming available to the wider brain, so it can be verbalized and filed into memory.
But the decision itself, the act initiation, is not conscious. It is preconscious. Nevertheless the decision is mine insofar as it comes from my brain, and follows what I would consider my own beliefs and desires in the matter. Sometimes, arguably in cases of mild or serious mental illness, we may find ourselves behaving in ways that we feel do not fit our own desires. (Perhaps because there is a disconnect between the desires wired into our preconscious brain, and our conscious awareness of those desires). Then we do feel less free in our actions.