USA - California. Patrick "Hooty" Croy added to the DPIC exoneration list.

11 September 2018 :

Patrick "Hooty" Croy added to the DPIC exoneration list. Mr. Croy, now 63, Native American, was exonerated on March 20, 2005, after spending 19 years in prison, seven of them on death row. He was convicted of the July 14, 1978 killing of Yreka, California police officer Jesse ‘Bo’ Hittson during a shootout between police and five people, including Croy, who were suspected of robbing a nearby liquor store. Croy was convicted in 1979 and sentenced to death. In 1985, the California Supreme Court overturned Croy’s convictions for murder, robbery, and attempted murder, but affirmed his convictions for conspiracy and assault with a deadly weapon. He was retried on the overturned charges in 1990, and testified that he had acted in self-defense because Hittson had shot him twice in the back, and Croy believed he would not have the option to surrender because of prejudice against Native Americans. He was acquitted of all charges, and the trial court indicated that Croy also would have been acquitted of the conspiracy and assault charges if they had been included among the charges at issue in his retrial. Because the conspiracy and assault charges remained in place, the court reluctantly resentenced Croy to ten years probation. For the same reason, he was not placed on DPIC’s exoneration list at that time. In 1997, Croy was returned to prison for a violation of his probation. He then filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus seeking to vacate the remaining portions of the judgment against him from his 1979. A federal district court judge granted Croy’s petition in 2005 and vacated the remaining charges. Siskiyou County prosecutors did not appeal that decision and elected not to retry him, completing his exoneration. There are now 163 people on DPIC's list of death-row exonerations. Patrick Croy was added to DPIC’s Exoneration List on August 30, 2018. His case had been overlooked because the lesser convictions had remained in place at the time of his acquittal on the capital murder charges and DPIC was not aware of the subsequent disposition of the remaining charges against him in 2005.


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