When Criminals and Law Enforcement Are On the Same Side

In 2002, a Twin Cities gang member, Myon Burrell, murdered an 11-year-old girl named Tyesha Edwards. She was sitting innocently in her home when a bullet fired incompetently by Burrell in a gang shoot-out brought her life to an end. Burrell was sentenced to life in prison for Edwards’ murder.

But someone–who was it?–wrote years ago about the mismatch between the dead victim and the living murderer. The murderer can be understood; can reform; can be sympathized with; can be, in some quarters, admired. Whereas his victim is just gone. And in most cases, no one speaks for her or for him.

That is what happened here. There was a campaign to free poor, imprisoned Myon Burrell. And it succeeded: in 2020, Minnesota’s Governor Tim Walz and Attorney General Keith Ellison commuted his sentence. The commutation was applauded by Senator Amy Klobuchar. Burrell’s newfound freedom was hailed in a triumphal article by Minnesota Public Radio. MPR quoted Walz:

When announcing Burrell’s commutation, Gov. Tim Walz pointed to scientific studies and the U.S. Supreme Court, which have both stressed that teenage brains work differently than those of adults and that most young offenders should not be given extreme prison sentences. Walz said the shameful state of juvenile criminal justice in Minnesota “needs to be reformed.”

MPR also saw redemption in Burrell’s conversion to Islam:

Burrell said his conversion to Islam helped him cope, and he went on to become a religious leader while behind bars. He said he prayed every day for Tyesha and her family and will continue to do so, knowing that whatever he suffered, nothing can compare to losing a child.

For which he has never taken any responsibility.

Sadly, Burrell’s story went rapidly downhill after his release from prison. It turns out that he wasn’t just a misunderstood kid with an undeveloped brain after all. A local TV station reports:

The Dakota County Attorney’s Office says it will handle a new criminal case against Myon Burrell, whose murder sentence was commuted back in 2020.
Burrell was arrested Thursday after investigators had learned Burrell was dealing drugs, including fentanyl and MDMA, a criminal complaint states. Law enforcement obtained a search warrant, and during a traffic stop, officers found a pill in the door of Burrell’s vehicle that tested positive for methamphetamine. A search of his home recovered a briefcase with $60,000 in cash.

This is the second felony case brought against Burrell in the past year. He’s facing charges of gun possession by an ineligible person and fifth-degree drug possession in connection with a separate traffic stop in August. That case was also referred to Dakota County.

$60,000 in cash in a briefcase, along with drugs and a gun. Burrell has come a long way since his release from prison. Or maybe not.

There is a funny twist to the story. The charges against Burrell were brought in Hennepin County, where Minneapolis is, but were referred to nearby Dakota County for prosecution:

The case was referred to Dakota County due to “conflict bias” because Burrell was a paid staffer on Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty’s campaign.

We have written several times about far-left prosecutor Mary Moriarty, e.g. here and here. She ran for office in 2020 on a pro-crime platform. She promised not to prosecute criminals, but to be tough on police officers trying to enforce the laws. The results have been predictable. But it adds an ironic coda to her ignominious story that she paid convicted murderer, and now recidivist, Myon Burrell to staff her successful election campaign. I am not sure Minnesota’s Left can sink any lower.

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