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The Steinle verdict

Yes­ter­day Jose Ines Gar­cia Zarate was found not guilty of the 2015 mur­der of Kate Steinle.

My ini­tial reac­tion was that of out­rage, since Gar­cia, pre­vi­ously deported five times, had been released from a San Fran­cisco jail despite a stand­ing fed­eral depor­ta­tion order (yes, one more depor­ta­tion order) and San Fran­cisco is a sanc­tu­ary city.

Pat­terico, who is a pros­e­cu­tor, posted,

I didn’t see the trial, so I don’t know if the ver­dict was ratio­nal or irra­tional. How­ever, only in the last few days did I learn some facts that made it sound like a tough case. It was a sin­gle ric­o­chet shot off pave­ment. The inter­view was poorly con­ducted and failed to clearly estab­lish that he pulled the trig­ger, due to a trans­la­tion issue. I am not shocked by the ver­dict and it may be right.

Why did the jury reach this decision?

Sarah Rumpf looks at the case:

These two facts are undis­puted by the pros­e­cu­tion and defense:

  1. On July 1, 2015, Kate Steinle was fatally struck in the back by a sin­gle bul­let as she walked on Pier 14 with her father to view the San Fran­cisco Bay.
  2. Jose Ines Gar­cia Zarate, a Mex­i­can cit­i­zen ille­gally in the United States, fired the gun that killed Steinle.

The com­pli­cated part is pretty much every­thing else.

The defense pre­sented a cred­i­ble case that the death was an acci­dent, while the pros­e­cu­tion pressed for a first degree mur­der con­vic­tion (which would have meant that Gar­cia pre­med­i­tated killing Steinle).

The jury con­victed Gar­cia Zarate of a lesser charge of being a felon in pos­ses­sion of a gun, and is pend­ing sentencing:

there is an out­stand­ing U.S. Mar­shals Ser­vice war­rant against him, and despite the sanc­tu­ary cities pol­icy, San Fran­cisco appar­ently does turn over undoc­u­mented immi­grants to the feds when they have a warrant.

I urge you to read Rumpf’s lengthy post.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin Amer­ica at Fausta’s blog

Yesterday Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was found not guilty of the 2015 murder of Kate Steinle.

My initial reaction was that of outrage, since Garcia, previously deported five times, had been released from a San Francisco jail despite a standing federal deportation order (yes, one more deportation order) and San Francisco is a sanctuary city.

Patterico, who is a prosecutor, posted,

I didn’t see the trial, so I don’t know if the verdict was rational or irrational. However, only in the last few days did I learn some facts that made it sound like a tough case. It was a single ricochet shot off pavement. The interview was poorly conducted and failed to clearly establish that he pulled the trigger, due to a translation issue. I am not shocked by the verdict and it may be right.

Why did the jury reach this decision?

Sarah Rumpf looks at the case:

These two facts are undisputed by the prosecution and defense:

  1. On July 1, 2015, Kate Steinle was fatally struck in the back by a single bullet as she walked on Pier 14 with her father to view the San Francisco Bay. 
  2. Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, a Mexican citizen illegally in the United States, fired the gun that killed Steinle. 

The complicated part is pretty much everything else.

The defense presented a credible case that the death was an accident, while the prosecution pressed for a first degree murder conviction (which would have meant that Garcia premeditated killing Steinle).

The jury convicted Garcia Zarate of a lesser charge of being a felon in possession of a gun, and is pending sentencing:

there is an outstanding U.S. Marshals Service warrant against him, and despite the sanctuary cities policy, San Francisco apparently does turn over undocumented immigrants to the feds when they have a warrant.

I urge you to read Rumpf’s lengthy post.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog