The illegal immigrant who fired the gun shot that killed Kate Steinle was able to beat a murder charge this week.
Jose Garcia Zarate, a five-time deportee from Mexico and convicted felon, walked away with only a gun conviction after his legal team convinced the jury their client accidentally fired a gun three times and had no intent of killing anyone.
The Steinle case has attracted national attention ever since her murder occurred in 2015 in the sanctuary city of San Francisco. The murder became the focal point in the debate over illegal immigration, showing the dangers of sanctuary city policies and how America can’t secure its borders from convicted felons with multiple deportations.
Presidential candidate Donald Trump highlighted the murder several times on the campaign trail for why America needs to get tough on illegal immigration and eliminate sanctuary city policies.
There was always a political element to the case, and that comes into play as to why a San Francisco jury sought fit to let Zarate go free without even an involuntary manslaughter charge.
The prosecution team does warrant some of the blame for why that occurred. As RedState’s Sarah Rumpf argued, prosecutorial overreach trying to get a harder to prove first-degree murder charge bears some responsibility for the exoneration of Zarate for Kate’s killing.
However, that factor can’t be solely responsible for the not guilty verdict for an illegal immigrant who somehow accidentally fired off a gun three times with no malicious intent in mind.
San Francisco is a very liberal area and jury selection, according to Zarate’s defense team, was ensured to better benefit their client.
“We are very pleased with the jury,” said Matt Gonzalez, the lead defense lawyer for Zarate, upon the completion of jury selection.
“We have such great diversity built in in San Francisco and I think we have a jury that understands a lot of the concerns about the defendant receiving a fair trial.”
That diversity was reflected in the jury consisting of three immigrants, at least one of whom’s primary language was Spanish. Potential jurors were quizzed about their thoughts on immigration, Latinos, guns and crime when being taken into consideration.
Gonzalez also asked them how they would be fine with a verdict that came out contrary to President Trump’s wishes.
While the judge presiding over the case urged the jury to leave aside their opinions on immigration and guns and focus on the facts, it was always hard for this case to escape from politics.
Juries don’t always make the right decision, as anyone who is still upset by O.J. Simpson walking free can attest. The Steinle case seems to be emblematic for how America’s legal system seems incapable of adequately dealing with immigration issues.
Zarate should’ve never been in the country to begin with, yet a San Francisco prison let him go free while under a sixth deportation order three months before Steinle’s murder. All thanks to sanctuary city policies.
And this isn’t the only case where the legal system failed to find justice for illegal immigrant crime.
In October, a Texas woman who lost her husband and two children to a car crash caused by an illegal immigrant expressed outrage that the man responsible only received a two-year sentence for the crime.
In May, an Oregon circuit court overturned the conviction for an illegal immigrant who ran over and killed two girls playing in a leaf pile. The court bought the driver’s story that she didn’t realize she ran over anything as she drove away from the scene of the killing.
That reversed conviction was not for vehicular homicide, but for the driver being found guilty of failing to perform her duties as a driver. The courts also managed to dismiss her deportation case over the incident.
There’s also the example of San Francisco feeling embolden to continue to defend their sanctuary city policies, which give protection to illegal immigrants from deportation, after the Steinle verdict.
A convicted felon who will apparently fire off guns without thinking isn’t exactly the poster boy you want for your policies, but San Fran seems comfortable with that association.
Then again, the city should feel emboldened by how the courts continue to strike down the immigration orders of the president.
Even more important than the individual cases of leniency given to illegal immigrant criminals is how the courts are presently shaping our country’s immigration policy.
The White House has sought to punish jurisdictions that refuse to follow federal immigration law, yet courts have blocked the administration’s attempt to do so. In November, a U.S. district judge in California ruled the administration could not reduce federal funding to sanctuary cities because it “will cause them constitutional injuries.”
Earlier the same month, another U.S. district court judge argued from the bench that the Department of Justice was wrong to say a city was failing to meet law enforcement requirements by giving protection to illegal aliens.
Even more expansive than these court arguments on sanctuary cities is the legal system’s opinion on who the government can bar from entry into the country.
Increasingly, the courts have inched towards the opinion that the federal government cannot restrict immigration from any part of the world. The various versions of Trump’s travel ban have been knocked down by the courts for the alleged reason they discriminate on the basis “of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence.”
In spite of the lengthy legal history of America restricting immigration based on national origin, judges have taken the initiative to make their own interpretation of migration policy. No matter how many times the Trump administration revises the executive order to prove it is not a Muslim ban, the courts still find it too discriminatory to take effect.
By declaring that the government cannot restrict immigration based on national origin, judges are declaring any attempt to limit migration is inherently racist. This thinking operates under the delusion that there is some hidden open borders clause in the Constitution.
We must take in any and all newcomers to the country because the Statue of Liberty poem says so. It doesn’t matter whether they come here legally or illegally, we must unquestionably welcome these immigrants or we are no longer America.
Many Americans find this argument ridiculous, as a large percentage of our country supports immigration reduction. But courts don’t have to answer to the people, and judges have used their power to impose their own will on immigration policy.
From the leniency shown to illegal alien criminals to preventing the president from enforcing immigration law, America’s legal system is proving it cannot be trusted to side with the interests of the nation’s citizens.
Fortunately, Trump is reshaping the federal judiciary with conservative picks and one hopes thatrestores sanity to the courts soon.
Until then, try not to be killed by an illegal immigrant in a sanctuary city. A jury may find it’s more important to send a message to the president than find justice for your murder.