Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) was confronted by Fox News host Chris Wallace Sunday about what she knew and when in the case of Myon Burrell, whom some believe was wrongfully convicted while Klobuchar was Hennepin County Attorney.
A year-long Associated Press investigation released last week uncovered “new evidence and myriad inconsistencies” in Klobuchar’s prosecution of Burrell, who maintains his innocence.
Burrell was sentenced to life in prison at the age of 16 for the 2002 murder of Tyesha Edwards and was retried in 2008 by current Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman after the Minnesota Supreme Court ordered a new trial.
“There was no gun, fingerprints, or DNA. Alibis were never seriously pursued. Key evidence has gone missing or was never obtained, including a convenience store surveillance tape that Burrell and others say would have cleared him,” the Associated Press investigation said of the case.
Burrell’s co-defendants have insisted that he was not at the crime scene during the time of the murder and one has even claimed responsibility for Edwards’ death.
The report revealed that police officers offered cash to potential witnesses and relied on testimony from “jailhouse informants” who received reduced sentences.
On the eve of the Iowa caucuses, Wallace asked Klobuchar if she was aware of any of the information contained in the Associated Press report while she was prosecutor.
“Senator, did you know, when your were the prosecutor, did you know about any of that, and should this man’s case be reopened?” said Wallace.
“Well, justice must be done, Chris, and just to put it in some context, this was an 11-year-old girl named Tyesha Edwards. She was doing her homework at her kitchen table and a bullet went through the wall and she died. It was a tragic case. It was a big deal within the African American community and our focus was on bringing the people to justice and doing justice for her family,” Klobuchar replied.
Dissatisfied with her response, Wallace interrupted the presidential hopeful and asked her again if she was aware that police were using “questionable” witnesses.
“We know it was a bad case. The question is whether this young man did it and this AP investigation indicates that other people who were there said he didn’t do it and that some of the witnesses that were relied on were very questionable. You were the head prosecutor. Did you know, and if you didn’t, shouldn’t you have known?” said Wallace.
Klobuchar pointed out that “there were actually two trials in this case,” the second of which occurred after she left the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
“My view, as someone who has worked with the Innocence Project for years, is that if there is new evidence it must come forward. It must come forward and it must be considered immediately by the court,” Klobuchar continued.
Wallace interrupted again and asked for a third time if Klobuchar was aware of the “questionable evidence” in the case.
“I didn’t know about this new evidence. No, I didn’t know about this new evidence until I saw this report,” Klobuchar replied. “I couldn’t have. I haven’t been in the office for 12 years.”
Activists from the NAACP and Black Lives Matter called on Klobuchar to suspend her campaign last week, The Minnesota Sun reported.
Watch the interview below:
Sen Amy Klobuchar responds to new evidence in a murder case she prosecuted years ago as well as to criticism that her tough-on-crime record is alienating some black voters. #FNS #FoxNews pic.twitter.com/fz9D2sKV4K
— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) February 2, 2020
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