Advisory board named for Minnesota conviction review unit
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A man who led a panel that reviewed a high-profile murder case where a Minneapolis man was freed from prison after doubts were raised about the police investigation was one of 16 people named Thursday to the advisory board of Minnesota’s first conviction review unit.
St. Thomas law professor Mark Osler served as chairman of the group of experts from around the country who examined the conviction and sentence of Myon Burrell and recommended the commutation of his life sentence. Burrell was convicted in the killing of a little girl hit by a stray bullet in 2002 and served 18 years before he was released.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said other leading experts on the advisory board include former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Paul Anderson and former Minneapolis NAACP President Leslie Redmond.
The Innocence Project of Minnesota, now known as the Great North Innocence Project, announced in October it had received a $300,000 Department of Justice grant to create the conviction review unit.
The board’s first step will be recommending a director and helping to get the unit off the ground. Once it begins reviewing cases, the board will advise on evolving issues related to wrongful convictions and sentencing and make policy recommendations, Ellison said.