Jun 02, 2022 - Sale 2607

Sale 2607 - Lot 30

Estimate: $ 150 - $ 250
Croy, Norma Jean (b. 1954)
Free Norma Jean Croy, Original Silkscreen for Making T-Shirts.

[?San Francisco, 1980s or 1990s.]

The original silkscreen used to make t-shirts for Croy's cause; [together with] a white t-shirt newly printed from the silkscreen; signs of use, old ink.

Norma Jean Croy was convicted of the pre-meditated murder of a police officer and sentenced to life in prison based on a racially charged incident in Yreka, California in 1978. An argument at a convenience store escalated to a melee at a private home in the course of which the police discharged more than 200 rounds, and a small group of young Shasta-Karok Native Americans fired three bullets. Croy and her brother were both shot by the police. Her brother returned fire, killing a police officer instantly with one shot. Norma Jean never handled any weapons. Nonetheless, she was convicted and jailed. Judge Edward Stern, who presided over Croy's brother's appeal in 1991 noted, "I think that when Norma Jean Croy comes up for a parole hearing again, [...] the parole board should take into consideration the fact that this court believes that had Norma Jean Croy been tried in the case I heard, [she] would have been found not guilty. [...] I want the record to be clear that this is my judgment, my opinion, having heard the evidence in this case." Croy was finally exonerated and released from prison in 1997, after being wrongly incarcerated for eighteen years. In the 1990s, Croy's cause, often alongside that of Leonard Peltier, was featured by a number of social justice groups working to free wrongly convicted Indigenous Native Americans. This silkscreen is proof of the insistent grassroots activism that helped keep her case in the public eye.