Minnesota’s pardon board on Tuesday freed a black man sentenced to life in jail as a young person for the 2002 killing of an 11-year-old lady — bringing an finish to the high-profile homicide case that sparked protests earlier this 12 months.
The Minnesota Board of Pardons voted to commute Myon Burrell’s life sentence to twenty years, with the rest to be served on supervised launch.
Burrell was 16 when he was sentenced within the killing of sixth grader Tysha Edwards, who was hit by a stray bullet whereas doing homework at her eating room desk in Minneapolis.
He maintained his innocence — and one other man later confessed to being the shooter.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who was the town’s prime prosecutor on the time, has used the case all through her profession — together with throughout a presidential debate within the 2020 Democratic main — to tout her document on being powerful on crime.
However Burrell’s case grew to become a flashpoint after an investigation from The Related Press discovered flaws within the police investigation and raised questions concerning the lack of bodily proof.
One in all Burrell’s co-defendants, Ike Tyson, who was 21 on the time, admitted in an interview with AP to being the triggerman. He stated Burrell was by no means even there.
There was no homicide weapon, fingerprinting or DNA proof and police didn’t verify alibis — nor did they gather a nook retailer’s surveillance video, which Burrell stated may have cleared him, the AP discovered.
Footage additionally confirmed the lead murder detective providing a person in police custody $500 for Burrell’s identify.
After public strain stemming from the AP report, Klobuchar stated she supported having an impartial panel take a look at the case.
Final week, the panel of nationwide authorized specialists really useful Burrell’s quick launch after reviewing the details and the entire accessible proof.
Burrell, now 34, requested for a pardon and commutation from the parole board, saying the request was “not in any means, form or kind me making an attempt to attenuate the tragedy of the lack of” Edwards.
“I come earlier than you, a 34-year-old man who spent greater than half of his life incarcerated for against the law I didn’t commit,” he stated.
The board voted to commute Burrell’s sentence on Tuesday, however the request for a pardon was denied.
Burrell burst into tears as he watched the vote by way of teleconference, The Star Tribune reported. He was anticipated to be formally launched later this night.
“Thanks, thanks,” Burrell stated, holding a palm as much as the digicam. “I recognize it.”
With Submit wires