Amy Klobuchar

Amy Klobuchar Boasts About Putting Myon Burrell Behind Bars. But What If He's Innocent?

Activists urge Klobuchar to suspend her presidential campaign.

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Before Amy Klobuchar was a United States senator and a Democratic presidential candidate, she was a prosecutor in Hennepin County, Minnesota. It was then, nearly two decades ago, that Klobuchar helped prosecute a teenager named Myon Burrell for murder. She hasn't forgotten the case. She's even touted it in the presidential debates to paint herself as a progressive who cares deeply for underserved communities.

But now an investigation by the Associated Press has cast serious doubt on Burrell's guilt, and criminal justice activists are calling for Klobuchar to suspend her campaign.

The case revolves around the death of 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards, who was killed in the crossfire during a Minneapolis shootout in 2002. Ike Tyson and Hans Williams had been driving around town when a rival waved a gun at them. The pair picked up a third acquaintance and returned to the area with a gun. Williams remained in the driver's seat while Tyson and the third man jumped out of the car. Tyson fired the gun toward the rival, but his vision was obscured by a wall. A bullet hit Edwards, and she died.

The third acquaintance has never been firmly identified. Investigators used jailhouse informants, including a rival gang member, to implicate Burrell as the third man. (One informant later said his 16-year sentence was cut down to three years in exchange for a testimony.) Burrell was eventually sentenced to life in prison, even though no physical evidence tied him to the case.

Tyson, who is now serving a 45-year prison term, has refused to name the third acquaintance, arguing that the man should not be arrested since he didn't fire the fatal shot. But he has also long maintained that the man was not Burrell, and that Burrell was not present at the scene at all. At least two jailhouse informants have recanted their claims about Burrell, which they say investigators pushed them to say. Investigators failed to locate two people who said they were with Burrell at the convenience store during the shooting. Evidence that might clear Burrell, including video from a convenience store, has gone missing.

Klobuchar reportedly denied Burrell's request to attend his mother's funeral while he was incarcerated.

The Minneapolis NAACP, Black Lives Matter, and other activists in the area argue that because Klobuchar touted the case while campaigning, she should "immediately end her campaign for president." Klobuchar's record, particularly her failure to pursue police officers in certain excessive force incidents, has come under criticism from civil libertarians before.

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  1. For those Reason readers familiar with Ms. Davis’s often truncated description of the alleged criminals she writes about, here is the 2005 opinion of the Minnesota Supreme Court reversing Mr. Burrell’s conviction and remanding for a new trial. https://mn.gov/law-library-stat/archive/supct/0505/opa031293-0519.htm

    I guess they found him guilty again. Anyway, the opinion goes into detail about the facts of the case, and the improper behavior of police during Mr. Burrell’s interrogation.

    1. And here is the 2015 opinion of the Minnesota Supreme Court dealing with his petition for post-conviction relief, which discussed witness recantation, such as it was: https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=11757705188157672279

  2. Before I google who Myon Burrell is, I need to google who Amy Klobuchar is.

    1. She should stay in. She won’t win, and she waters down the field. Even encouraging democrats to tear each other apart.

      This is good.

    2. I resemble this remark.

  3. a progressive who cares deeply for underserved communities

    What a great new euphemism!

    Mao and Stalin cared deeply for the underserved communities he murdered. Not sure how Hitler and Pol Pot fit into this, but I’m sure they do.

    1. WTF does “undeserved” mean anyway?

      1. Not “undeserved”, “underserved”. One more “r”.

        Not enough soylent green, maybe?

  4. Notgonnabepresidentanyway.

    1. +1000

      unreason sure does spend a bunch of time on Democrat hopefuls that cannot in their wildest dreams beat Trump.

      Sanders and Hillary are the only Democrats with proven volunteers to get them anywhere near a decent turnout. Biden might have some Obama volunteers who switch over to help him.

      Trump wailed on Hillary with the Electoral College. Klobuchar doesnt have a chance.

    2. She is gaining in the polls. Mildly, as Democrats desperately try to find someone not crazy, not male, and not overwhelmingly corrupt. I can see why Reason might want to cover this, especially with the Brady issue in this case.

      That said, this guy actually might not have done it. He has consistently plead his innocence so far as I can tell.

      Moreover, his behavior post first conviction makes me think he might not have done it. IMHO, a seasoned ‘banger after getting his first conviction reversed and remanded, is going to look really favorably towards whatever get-this-thing-off-the-front-page deal the prosecution offers. Instead of the 45 he got, I’m fairly sure the prosecutor was offering a much more lenient deal for something like 12 out in 3. Still a felony, but much better than 45, life, or whatever else he could have caught by going to trial a second time. But he did go to trial a second time, like someone actually innocent, with only misdemeanor priors might do.

      Or he could have been drunk on victory. Hard to say.

  5. “Activists urge Klobuchar to suspend her presidential campaign.” And she should totally ignore them.

  6. I’m not going to weigh in on Burrell. This is the first I’ve heard of the case. I love exposing the hypocrisy of Democrats but I also like the ducks to be in a row and more substance. There’s more effort in one of the comments than the actual article. Let’s get more details, Reason. I expect more that a glorified Facebook post.

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  9. Reason dumps on a Donkey. Stop the presses!!

    But, of course, an insignificant and harmless Donkey.

    1. To be fair, Suderman has deconstructed Liawatha and others have punched holes in Bernie’s balloon. When will Biden be brought low by these ‘libertarians’? He is a walking gaff machine – or simply demented.

      Nevertheless the ratio of TDS to Donkey castration articles is running about 10 to one.

      1. It’s a safe dump, like a dump with high fiber content.

        Just wait for TDS 2020-2024 and unreason ramp up Propaganda support for any Democrat running in 2022 and 2024.

        1. Well, of course Reason prefers Democrats. The fundamental, non-negotiable principle of Koch / Reason libertarianism is open borders. And Democrats are rapidly moving toward exactly that position.

          #ImmigrationAboveAll

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