As Iowans prepare to choose their candidates in the first presidential caucus of the season, Democratic hopeful Amy Klobuchar is finding herself under pressure over a conviction dating back to her time as the Hennepin County Attorney.
It relates to the case of Myon Burrell, a black man who at the age of 16 was prosecuted for the murder of 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards in Minneapolis in 2002, later receiving a life sentence. Edwards was struck by a bullet that came through her wall while she was doing her homework.
The prosecution happened on Klobuchar's watch, and the Minnesota senator has cited her history of bringing justice to the victims of gun violence as one of her strengths during her presidential campaign.
But the results of a new investigation by the Associated Press and American Public Media Reports suggests Burrell, now 33, was wrongly convicted.
The article, which you can read here, highlights that there was no gun, fingerprints or hard evidence linking Burrell to Edwards' fatal shooting, and that the case hinged on the testimony of a single eyewitness, who was a rival of Burrell's and who gave conflicting accounts of the shooting.
Furthermore, alibis that Burrell gave allegedly proving he wasn't at the same were not checked by police, neither was surveillance footage that he claims would have cleared him. Even his co-defendants said he wasn't there, while there were allegations that police officers had paid cash for witness testimonies.
Since the article was published, there have been calls from activists and Burrell's family for the case to be re-opened , while the jury foreman in Burrell's case has since expressed over the then teenager's conviction.
Klobuchar was quizzed about the Burrell case on Fox News on Sunday, telling interviewer Chris Wallace she didn't know about the new evidence until she saw the AP/APM report.
"My view as someone who has worked with the Innocence Project for years is if there is new evidence, it must come forward. It must be considered immediately by the courts," she said.
Wallace also brought up Klobuchar's poor support among people of color, and has even been facing calls to suspend her presidential campaign in the wake of the revelations.
The Des Moines branch of the NAACP issued a blistering statement on Sunday, saying: "It is our position that any candidate who is running to become our next President, must be sensitive to and responsive to the needs and concerns of the Black community, as well as other communities of color.
"We find it to be unconscionable that Senator Klobuchar would repeatedly take credit for prosecuting Myon Burrell when she believed that he was guilty of murder, but will not now take any meaningful action to overturn what perceives to be a wrongful conviction of a Black child, per substantial evidence that appeared in a well-documented Associated Press article this week."
Klobuchar is currently polling 5th in Iowa ahead of the Monday caucuses.