The lonesome death of Tyesha Edwards

In the early days of Power Line John and I wrote several columns for the local newspapers decrying the murder of 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards. Tyesha was doing her homework at the dining room table in November 2002 when she was caught in the crossfire of Minneapolis gangbangers. Myon Burrell was convicted twice of Tyesha’s murder and sentenced to life in prison.

In our columns we made three basic points: 1) Minneapolis has a serious gang problem; 2) it was not talked about publicly by Minneapolis municipal leaders because Minneapolis’s gangs are largely black, even though the primary victims of Minneapolis’s gang crime are black as well; 3) appropriate municipal leadership and law enforcement could take back the streets from the gangs, but the mayor (then Mauor R.T. Rybak) and the Minneapolis Chief of Police (then chief Robert Olson) had failed to provide such leadership.

Our 2002 columns on Tyesha’s murder and the nonfeasance of the leaders we called out drew an incredibly stupid response from Rybak and Olson, versions of which were published in both the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune. I noted their column here in a 2002 post. Unfortunately, links to all the published columns — our own and Rybak/Olson’s — are dead.

Burrell’s sentence was commuted in 2020 by a pardon board including Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison. Out on the streets, Burrell was free to offend again and recent charges suggest that he has done so.

Why did Walz vote to release him? It was all about the “science” — the “science” of teenage killers. “We cannot turn a blind eye to the developments in science and law as we look at this case,” said Walz. “We can’t shackle our children in 2020,” added Walz. “We need to grow as our science grows.”

John found this rationale somewhat less than persuasive. He criticized the commutation of Burrell’s sentence in 2020 here.

Alpha News’s Liz Collin has now tracked down former Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Mike Furnstahl. Furnstahl is one of the prosecutors who put Burrell away in the 2008 retrial. Liz revisits the case with Furnstahl in the video below. Liz’s companion Alpha News story is posted here. Furstahl’s report, referred to in the interview, has been posted online by KARE 11 here.

Among other things, Liz’s interview indicts and convicts the Minnesota media of criminal negligence in this matter. The video seethes with Furnstahl’s indignation and performs a badly needed public service.

Quotable quote (on Burrell’s alleged innocence): “That’s just a joke. No innocent person has five different alibis. He could only have been in one place at the time. He said he was in five different places. That’s not the words of an innocent person.”

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