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Kate Steinle

I have just a few comments on the bizarre, but not unexpected, verdict in the Kate Steinle murder, but first, let’s turn to the indispensable Heather MacDonald for background:

Advocates for illegal immigrants are unrepentant after yesterday’s shocking acquittal on all homicide charges of an illegal-alien confessed killer. The advocates are defending the sanctuary policies that had set in motion the 2015 killing in San Francisco; they have also doubled down on their opposition to any deportation of illegal aliens, criminal or otherwise. If ever there were a clarifying moment regarding what is at stake in the battle for the immigration rule of law, this is it.

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was a poster boy not just for the folly of sanctuary policies but also for the mass low-skilled Hispanic immigration that has transformed California. A barely literate drug dealer from Mexico with a second-grade education, no English, and a penchant for criminal aliases, Garcia Zarate had been deported five times by federal immigration authorities following convictions for various crimes.

Despite his record, Garcia Zarate was the sort of immigrant that the San Francisco authorities apparently believed that this country needs. Having completed a federal sentence in March 2015 for his sixth felonious reentry into the country, Garcia Zarate had been sent to the San Francisco County Jail to serve time for a marijuana charge from which he had absconded two decades ago. Immigration and Customs Enforcement requested that when the San Francisco sheriff released Garcia Zarate after his drug sentence, the sheriff would notify ICE so that the federal agents could pick him up for his sixth deportation. The sheriff, Ross Mirkarimi, ignored the marijuana charge and, most crucially, the ICE detainer request as well, instead freeing Garcia Zarate back into San Francisco’s streets before ICE could pick him up. This release followed the city’s sanctuary policy, which forbade local law enforcement authorities from cooperating with their federal counterparts in ICE: local authorities may not notify ICE of a criminal illegal alien’s release date or hold that criminal alien for ICE to pick-up.

Four months after Mirkarimi sent Garcia Zarate back into San Francisco’s illegal alien subculture, the felon picked up a gun on the Embarcadero and fatally shot Kate Steinle, 32, in the heart. He then tossed the gun into the San Francisco Bay and ran off. The drug dealer changed his story several times during police interrogation, first saying that he had been aiming at a sea lion, then claiming that he didn’t even know that he was handling a gun. The gun had been stolen from the parked car of a federal law enforcement agent four days earlier; Garcia Zarate’s story at trial was that he had picked up a rag with the gun hidden within it and that the gun had accidentally discharged. To no avail, the prosecutor contested Garcia Zarate’s claim that the pistol used in the crime, a Sig Sauer P239, could be fired without the trigger being deliberately pulled.

Sig-Sauer P239

While I’m not a Sig fan–they make fine firearms–a P239, absent significant damage or other mechanical fault, will not fire by itself. Such nonsense is common in anti-gun havens like the People’s Republic of California, where firearms are widely believed to possess moral agency and the ability to fire independently of human beings, or failing that, can influence otherwise peaceful people to pick them up and wreck all manner of carnage. While I am not privy to the trial transcript, I’ve heard nothing to suggest there was such a fault, but more about that shortly.

The verdict is indeed outrageous, even in a time when a mere tweet by Donald Trump provokes red-faced, spittle slinging outrage. We are nearly outraged out.

It is, however, important to understand trials are iffy propositions. Quirky juries can return the most improbable verdicts, and particularly so in jurisdictions with very clear and well-known political leanings. San Francisco and California love them some illegal alien felons. They love them so much they keep convicting them of felonies–they don’t really mean it–releasing them, and inviting them back. In Zarate’s case, six times, which was one time too many for Kate Steinle.

We do not, at the moment, know precisely why the jury acquitted Zarate of the major charges. That Steinle is dead at Zarate’s hand seems an obvious case of involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide, or any other similarly fitting statute (see my favorite Bookworm for a discussion of an applicable statute). The results of an accident might be dented fenders, fire damage, a broken leg or a bloody nose. Shooting someone in the heart, for any reason, is an entirely different matter, but apparently not in California where the shooter is an illegal alien felon, or an undocumented accidental gun-in-a-rag disposal technician, as you will.

It is prudent not to assume too much. We were not there to hear the testimony and to see the witnesses and lawyers. All of those factors are telling, yet we are denied them all. It is entirely possible the defense outclassed the prosecution. The prosecutors may have done a terrible job, leaving the jury with no option but acquittal. The defense lawyer may have been a virtual Perry Mason, though he looks far more like a central casting defense lawyer, with long hair, a fashionably scraggly beard, and a slightly desperate, yet smug, glimmer in the eye.

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate

We are told the defense argued Zarate was so uneducated, so stupid, he did not understand the police. No wonder he told multiple, contradictory stories! Of course, this is just the kind of person the left wants to welcome to America. We are told Steinle was hit by a ricochet, as though that somehow makes her death a completely understandable and eminently forgivable accident. Gun owners–law-abiding and safety-conscious Americans, would expect to be jailed should any projectile from their weapons unlawfully kill anyone for any reason. Apparently in California, if one is an illegal alien felon, such understandings are inapplicable.

We can analyze the bare bones of the case, the fact the gun was stolen from a federal law enforcement officer’s vehicle a few days before the shooting, from a place not far from the pier where Steinle bled out. We can surmise the most likely scenario: Zarate, a five time felon/loser, stole the gun, and for whatever reason–on purpose or carelessly–fired it. It makes little difference to Steinle and those that loved her. We can infer evidence of guilt in Zarate’s immediate disposing of the gun. Does someone involved in a car accident immediately have his vehicle shredded? We can infer guilt from Zarate’s immediate flight.  We can infer guilt too, from Zarate’s multiple lies to police. But we don’t know how any of this was presented, and we know less about the members of the jury.

It is also possible the judge’s jury instructions were faulty, and while such instructions might give the defense another trial upon conviction, the prosecution gets one shot, miss or not. Perhaps this, poor prosecution, a public predisposed toward upholding the nonexistent rights of foreign felons over those of their countrymen, all combined to leave Kate Steinle just another victim of a tragic accident caused by someone who should never have been in the country. Too bad, so sad, but these things happen if we are to uphold progressive values, if we are to build the kind of country about which Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS and The New York Times can be proud.

If we believe in the rule of law, we must accept this outcome just as we felt justice done in the acquittal of George Zimmerman, or the Six Baltimore Officers insanely charged in the Freddie Gray case. To do less is to accept the central conceit of social justice: justice is what we say it is, independent of the evidence, the facts, and the law, at any given moment.  As Winston Churchill said, Democracy is the worst form of government, other than all the others. The same is true of our system of justice.

That doesn’t mean we are compelled to say nothing about it. We are not prohibited from asking questions. We are not forced to think the people that made it possible for Zarate–cops, politicians, lawyers and social justice warriors–to be on that pier that day with a stolen gun in his hand, to be noble and uniquely patriotic, working for the highest American ideals. What the media will never cover, because it will never happen, is masked conservatives, normal Americans, rioting in protest of the verdict. Of that, we can be proud. That, we must preserve.

We must focus on what we can do, on what is in our power: rewriting federal immigration law to protect the citizens of the United States, to recognize the inestimable value of American citizenship, and to admit only those immigrants that are anxious to assimilate, and that will contribute to our society, that will be producers rather than takers. Public officials that have thrown in their lot with illegals over Americans, must be made to feel, every day and in every way, the fools and useful idiots they are. They must be sanctioned, even prosecuted. The laws that have allowed automatic citizenship merely by being born within our borders, regardless of the citizenship status of parents, must be changed. Chain migration must cease. Lotteries giving terrorists immigration preference must be obliterated.

The utter destruction of sanctuary cities must be a top priority. Whether by social pressure, financial sanctions, or outlawing them entirely and prosecuting and jailing those that violate those laws, or some combination of all and more, it must be done.

Standing in the way of the kinds of actual reforms that would save American lives and jobs is the entire Democrat party, everywhere, and not a few members of the Stupid Party. One thing is certain, under President Trump, we’ll likely never have a better chance to put America first, and to save American lives. The left knows that, which is why they never cease trying to disarm the law-abiding, and why they hate Donald Trump more than they’ve ever hated anyone before.

Electing Donald Trump was merely the beginning. Remember the shock and horror of our intellectual and moral superiors. If we’re to do what needs to be done, we need to keep them in a constant state of shock and horror. And all that’s necessary to do that is to never stop fighting for American constitutionalism, the rule of law, and the safety of every American.

The alternative is more Garcia Zarates, helplessly and utterly without malice, holding guns that go off all by themselves, or cars that kill innocents, independent of their drunk, unlicensed, non-insured drivers, or members of some of the most vicious criminal gangs on the planet who go off on innocents, very much on purpose.

There is no nobility, no morality, no virtue in selling the lives of Americans for votes, in inventing rights for criminal aliens, in ignoring the rights of Americans. It’s time to make that unmistakably, irrevocably clear.  It’s time to let the Left know we have not yet approached the limits of outrage–and the consequences.