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Minnesota makes history for posthumous pardon of black man convicted in 1920 Duluth rape

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KBJR/AP) -- For the first time in the state's history, Minnesota leaders have granted a posthumous pardon, clearing the name of a black man convicted of a 1920 rape in Duluth that was never founded.

The Minnesota Board of Pardons, made up of Attorney General Keith Ellison, Governor Tim Walz, and others, voted unanimously Friday to pardon Max Mason.

The crime in question happened in 1920 after Irene Tusken, a white woman, claimed to be gang-raped by several black men in West Duluth while at a traveling circus event.

Those allegations incited a mob, which led to the lynchings of Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Issac McGhie.

Mason was the only man convicted in the case despite doubts by some people back then about evidence.

According to the pardon application, the doctor who examined Tusken never found any evidence of rape.

Walz called the pardon "100 years overdue."

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