- What should I know?
The illegal immigrant who shot Kate Steinle while she was walking with her father on a San Francisco pier has been acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges and convicted of a lesser charge of being a felon in possession of a gun.
Just 32 years old, Steinle died in her father’s arms soon after being hit.
What happens next?
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, a Mexican citizen who has been deported five times previously, faces a maximum sentence of three years. Before the gunshot that killed Steinle, Garcia Zarate had been released by San Francisco authorities in spite of a federal request that he be held for deportation.
I thought this was an open-and-shut case.
Claiming Garcia Zarate had found the gun and discharged it by mistake, the defense made a case for reasonable doubt that was convincing enough for the jury. Because the bullet hit the ground and ricocheted to hit Steinle, it was difficult for the prosecution to prove that she was murdered.
The defense also claimed that the gun in question is known for its hair trigger and history of being accidentally discharged even by trained users.
This is related to “Kate’s Law,” right?
The case has been a flashpoint for the ongoing debate over border control, with the GOP proposing “Kate’s Law” to increase penalties for illegal immigrants with criminal records who repeatedly re-enter the country after being deported.
On today’s show, Doc expressed his frustration over the verdict.