At one point, co-host Joy Behar chimed in, asking whether the show was “prosecuting Amy Klobuchar today.” Behar laughed, but the issue was no laughing matter for Hostin.
Hostin confronted Klobuchar over the case of Myon Burrell, whom Klobuchar prosecuted in the 2002 shooting death of an 11-year-old girl. A recent Associated Press investigation into the case uncovered new evidence and myriad inconsistencies, raising questions about whether Burrell, who is serving a life sentence, was railroaded by police.
“I’ve reviewed the facts of that case and it is one of the most flawed investigations and prosecutions that I think I have ever seen,” said Hostin, a former prosecutor.
After criticizing the prosecution, she asked Klobuchar: “How do you defend something like that to someone like me who is the mother of a black boy, a black teenager? This case would be my worst nightmare.”
Klobuchar, who joined the show remotely from New Hampshire, said she’s already called for a review of all the evidence in that case. That apparently wasn’t good enough for Hostin, who pressed further on the issue.
“Well, you’re a U.S. senator now, you’re a powerful woman — what do you intend to do to right this wrong?” Hostin asked. In response, Klobuchar reiterated that she’d called for a review of the evidence.
“It had no gun, it had no DNA evidence, and it had no fingerprints,” Hostin interjected.
The case relied heavily on a teen rival of Burrell’s who gave conflicting accounts when identifying the shooter, who was largely obscured behind a wall 120 feet away.
With no other eyewitnesses, police turned to multiple jailhouse snitches. Some have since recanted, saying they were coached or coerced. Others were given reduced time, raising questions about their credibility. And the lead homicide detective offered “major dollars” for names, even if it was hearsay.
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.
Burrell, now 33, has maintained his innocence, rejecting all plea deals.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.