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:
- 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.
- 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