by Mark Angelides
When Kate Steinle was killed whilst walking on San Francisco’s pier 14 back in 2015, the ensuing case engulfed the nation in a debate rarely seen: What should happen to deported illegal immigrants if they try and re-enter the country? Yet the verdict has just come in, and will likely be even more contentious than the issues this case originally raised.
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate has been found not guilty of murder by the courts. In fact, he was acquitted of first and second degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and even assault with a semi-automatic weapon. The only charge of which he was found guilty was being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Is this justice? Was it just a bad verdict? Or has there been political interference in the fate of Zarate?
He Killed Her
The facts of the case are pretty straight forward. Zarate had the gun in his hand, the gun was fired, and the bullet hit Kate Steinle killing her. The Defense team claimed that the gun was fired accidently and that Kate was hit via a ricochet; which if true, should remove the murder charge. But Zarate had an illegally owned weapon out in public and was presumably holding at outwards in an irresponsible manner (otherwise he bullet could not have traveled 78 feet and would have gone into the floor instead).
How is this not criminally negligent? The verdict sees Zarate only being punished for possessing a weapon. What of the punishment for being dangerously neglectful of handling the firearm? And more importantly, why does this verdict completely fail to address that someone was at fault for Kate’s untimely death?
Zarate had been deported from the U.S. five times and re-entered again and again without facing any sterner penalties. This travesty led to the formulation of “Kate’s Law,” which would see sterner penalties for those who come back illegally after deportation. It has been lambasted by the leftist media who for some reason can’t see the benefits of removing criminals from society.
When the verdict was passes, defense attorney Francisco Ugarte said:
“From Day 1 this case was used as a means to foment hate, to foment division and to foment a program of mass deportation. It was used to catapult a presidency along that philosophy of hate of others. I believe today is a day of vindication for the rest of immigrants.”
No. It is a vindication for people who negligently kill innocents and who wish to evade punishment. This is an example of how the system failed Kate and her family; after all of the high-profile media surrounding the case, the leftist establishment has been pushing for this kind of verdict to offer a kick in the teeth of those who wish to see real justice done.
This was a political verdict to promote Sanctuary Cities. In retrospect, we should have seen this coming a mile off.