Mexican illegal immigrant who was deported 5 times found not guilty in the killing of US citizen Kate Steinle | Nigeria Newspaper- Nigeria News| Naija News

1.12.17

Mexican illegal immigrant who was deported 5 times found not guilty in the killing of US citizen Kate Steinle

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Mexican illegal immigrant who was deported 5 times found not guilty in the killing of US citizen Kate Steinle
A jury in San Francisco found Mexican illegal immigrant Garcia Zarate, who had been deported five times, not guilty in the 2015 death of Kate Steinle. Jurors did convict him of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate had been deported five times and was wanted for a sixth deportation when Kate Steinle was fatally shot in the back in 2015. Garcia Zarate admitted to shooting Steinle but he said the shooting was an accident.
Before the shooting, Garcia Zarate had been on track for a sixth deportation after serving 46 months in prison for felony re-entry into the country. But his course changed when he was transferred from federal custody to San Francisco jail in March 2015 on an old warrant alleging he fled marijuana charges in 1995.
When city prosecutors discharged the case, the Sheriff’s Department released Garcia Zarate despite a federal request to hold him for deportation. Then-Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi cited the city’s sanctuary policies, which limit local cooperation with immigration enforcement and seek to encourage undocumented people to feel comfortable having a relationship with city agencies.
Mexican illegal immigrant who was deported 5 times found not guilty in the killing of US citizen Kate Steinle
Under a sanctuary city law, the San Francisco sheriff's department had released Garcia Zarate from jail despite a federal immigration request to detain him for deportation.
A jury on Thursday found Jose Ines Garcia Zarate not guilty on possible charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the death of Kate Steinle on a popular pier while she took a stroll hand in hand with her dad.
Jurors did find Garcia Zarate guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Kate Steinle's father, Jim Steinle who did not attend the verdict, said he was shocked when a jury acquitted the illegal Mexican immigrant accused of murder in the case.
Jim Steinle told the San Francisco Chronicle the family was saddened and shocked by Thursday's verdict. He said, "justice was rendered but not served."
Garcia Zarate did not deny shooting Steinle and said it was an accident.
The Steinle family did not attend court to hear the verdict. They spoke to the Chronicle in an exclusive interview that they said would be their last public comments.
Her father said the family has felt frustration and sadness but not anger or vindictiveness since the killing.
Mexican illegal immigrant who was deported 5 times found not guilty in the killing of US citizen Kate Steinle
Even if Garcia Zarate had received a sentence of 100 years, the father said, "it doesn't solve anything, it doesn't help anything."
US attorney General Jeff Sessions after the verdict said, San Francisco's "decision to protect criminal aliens led to the preventable and heartbreaking death" of Kate Steinle.
He released a statement:
"When jurisdictions choose to return criminal aliens to the streets rather than turning them over to federal immigration authorities, they put the public's safety at risk," the statement said. "San Francisco's decision to protect criminal aliens led to the preventable and heartbreaking death of Kate Steinle."
Under a sanctuary city law, the San Francisco sheriff's department had released Garcia Zarate from jail despite a federal immigration request to detain him for deportation
Alex Bastian, a spokesman for the San Francisco prosecutor's office, said the "verdict that came in today was not the one we were hoping for" but it was the jury's decision and prosecutors would respect it.
Defense attorney Francisco Ugarte sent a direct message to US President Donald Trump and US Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He specifically targetted Trump who had frequently cited the case during his campaign for tougher immigration policies.
Mexican illegal immigrant who was deported 5 times found not guilty in the killing of US citizen Kate Steinle
Ugarte said Thursday the death of Kate Steinle was an "incomprehensible tragedy," but the ruling was a vindication for immigrants.
Ugarte said the case was used "to foment hate" and used "to catapult a presidency along that philosophy of hate of others."
He said the immigration status of defendant Jose Ines Garcia Zarate had no relevance to the case and the verdict was a correct reflection of what transpired.
Watch Ugarte's speech below:

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