Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Minnesota's Pardon Board clears way for posthumous pardon in case that sparked lynching


December 17, 2019

RICHARD SENNOTT – Star Tribune file

A 2003 photo from the dedication of a memorial to three men lynched in Duluth in 1920 after accusations of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman. The case sparked one of the darkest episodes in state history.

Max Mason was one of several black circus workers accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old Duluth woman in 1920. Three were lynched from a lightpole by an angry mob of residents. Only two went to trial, and Mason, then 21, was the only one convicted in a case that has been mired in controversy ever since.

On Monday, Minnesota's Board of Pardons, including Gov. Tim Walz, approved a request that could clear the way for Mason's eventual posthumous pardon, a move supporters say would restore justice for a man they believe was falsely accused in a "horrific and shameful episode in Minnesota history."


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