In the aftermath of one of the most surprising verdicts in recent memory, five-time deportee Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was acquitted of all homicide charges for the death of Kate Steinle in a San Francisco court on Thursday.
The ensuing torrent of public outrage has been overwhelming, and the president has weighed in on it.
“A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case!” Trump tweeted. “No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration.”
The president has since followed up with subsequent statements about the jury’s verdict in the case.
“The Kate Steinle killer came back and back over the weakly protected Obama border, always committing crimes and being violent, and yet this info was not used in court,” Trump said. “His exoneration is a complete travesty of justice. BUILD THE WALL!”
“The jury was not told the killer of Kate was a 7 time felon,” he continued. “The Schumer/Pelosi Democrats are so weak on Crime that they will pay a big price in the 2018 and 2020 Elections.”
In this extremely sensitive case, the political ramifications of the verdict were always going to be high. Many conservatives and Trump supporters were seeking justice for Steinle, a young woman with a bright smile and a promising future. Her life was snuffed out on a San Francisco pier and a community is still mourning her loss.
Alas, there are questions of “prosecutorial overreach” in the case; meaning that at the very least Zarate could have been convicted of negligent homicide or involuntary manslaughter, while the case was built for the jury as a first-degree murder. When it became unclear if Zarate intentionally killed Steinle, due to such matters as a potential bullet ricochet from a single shot, the jury must have concluded “reasonable doubt” on all the charges, save the felony possession of a firearm.
Zarate is slated to be deported in the near future, potentially after a short stint in prison of approximately a year. The real travesty in this case is that the seven-time felon Zarate, who had been deported five times already, was even in the country to begin with – in defiance of federal immigration law – due in part to San Francisco’s “sanctuary city” law.
At the end of the day, if the U.S. strongly enforced immigration laws, Kate Steinle would still be alive today.
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