A Black man jailed as a teenager for murder walks free 18 years later after his case got attention during election campaign

A Minnesota man sentenced to life in prison as a teenager when Amy Klobuchar was the county attorney has been released, after years of claiming innocence.

In 2002, Myon Burrell was jailed for life — at age 16 — for the killing of an 11-year-old girl by a stray bullet. Earlier this year, after new evidence was released backing his claims of innocence and raising questions about the police investigation, Burrell’s case became high-profile — particularly as Klobuchar was competing for the Democratic nomination for president. The case cast a spotlight on both Klobuchar’s record as the Hennepin County attorney and the inequities of the juvenile criminal justice system.
Klobuchar told CNN in a statement in February: “As I’ve said before, this case should be reviewed immediately.”
Ultimately, the Minnesota Board of Pardons announced that Burrell’s sentence has been reduced to 20 years, the remainder of which he will serve on supervised release. Though not pardoned, he was released Tuesday evening, to a crowd of family and supporters.
    “I thank everybody that came out and supported me. Man, I can’t even explain my gratitude of all my supporters,” Burrell said, according to CNN affiliate WCCO. “I love y’all, y’all take care and y’all keep on pushing, man. We fighting for this justice. There’s too much injustice going on.”
    His attorney, Kari Moriarty, also made a statement to the crowd and to reporters, WCCO reported.
    “Mr. Burrell wants to thank the governor and the attorney general for the action they took today on his behalf,” Moriarty said. “He is very happy to have the opportunity to get home to his family and start the next chapter of his life.”
    Earlier this year, Burrell pointed a finger at Klobuchar for her role in his conviction, claiming she never took the time to look into the case. This was after an Associated Press investigation into the case labeled his conviction “flawed,” prompting a host of groups, including the Minneapolis NAACP, to call for Klobuchar to suspend her campaign.
    Burrell cried when he first read the report, he told ABC News in February.
      “Because all of these years I’ve been in here and I’ve been screaming and I’ve been telling people that I’m innocent and I’m not supposed to be here,” he said. “But my voice was never heard.”
      CNN reached out to Klobuchar for comment Wednesday but did not immediately receive a response.

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