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Klobuchar faces tough questioning in case of juvenile lifer

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaks during a campaign event at Exeter Town Hall, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, in Exeter, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaks during a campaign event at Exeter Town Hall, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, in Exeter, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

NEW YORK, N.Y. – As voters made their way to the New Hampshire polls, Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar faced pointed questions Tuesday about her oversight of a high-profile murder case in which a black teen was sentenced to life after a flawed police investigation.

"I mean, how do you defend something like that, to someone like me, who is the mother of a black boy, a black teenager?” asked Sunny Hostin, co-host of the ABC show “The View.” “This case would be my worst nightmare.”

Klobuchar, a Minnesota senator who has drawn enthusiastic crowds following her debate performance Friday night, said, “All of the evidence needs to be immediately reviewed in that case. The past evidence and also any new evidence.”

The back-and-forth between Hostin and Klobuchar, the former top prosecutor in Minneapolis, concerned an Associated Press investigation into the case of Myon Burrell. Burrell was 16 when he was apprehended in the 2002 death of an 11-year-old African American girl, killed by a stray bullet while doing her homework.

No gun, fingerprints or DNA were ever recovered, and the case against Burrell relied on the testimony of a teen rival who offered conflicting stories when identifying the trigger man, who was standing 120 feet away, mostly behind a wall, the AP reported.

The AP also uncovered questionable police tactics in the case, including an investigator who offered cash for information, and interviewed a prison inmate who said that he was the triggerman and that Burrell was not on the scene when Tyesha Edwards was shot and killed.

Klobuchar, whose office prosecuted the case, has raised the case throughout her political career — even during her 2020 presidential campaign — as an example of how she helped find justice for victims of violence.

After the AP’s story, Klobuchar said evidence in the case should be reviewed. But her exchange with Hostin was especially heated and took place at a pivotal moment in her candidacy.

“You’re a U.S. senator now,” Hostin said. “You’re a powerful woman. What do you intend to do to right this wrong?”

Klobuchar replied: “It must be reviewed. Sunny, I think you know that I care so much about justice, and this case must be reviewed.”

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McDowell reported from Minneapolis.

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This story has been corrected to show “The View” airs on ABC, not CBS.