Sanctuary Cities

Jose Garcia-Zarate, at Center of "Sanctuary City" Controversy, Acquitted on Murder and Manslaughter Charges

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When a bullet fired from a gun in the hands of Jose Garcia-Zarate, a non-citizen in the U.S. who had been arrested and deported multiple times, ricocheted off the ground and killed sightseer Kate Steinle on a San Francisco pier in July 2015, it set off a national debate, which then-candidate Donald Trump inflamed, over the merits or demerits of certain cities' policies of not actively enforcing federal U.S. immigration law or cooperating in handing over illegal immigrants to federal authorities.

Defense Lawyer Matt Gonzalez
Laura A. Oda/TNS/Newscom

If Garcia-Zarate had been deported again (he had already been five times) as federal law insisted he should have been (he had been recently released from San Francisco city custody on a warrant regarding fleeing from an old marijuana charge from 1995, moved to them from federal custody for felony illegal re-entry to the U.S.) prior to Steinle's being shot, went the argument, she would still be alive.

Today after six days of deliberation, a Superior Court jury in San Francisco acquitted Garcia-Zarate on murder, manslaughter, and assault charges, finding him guilty only on a lesser charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

That carries a minimum sentence of 16 months, according to this Courthouse News report by Dave Tartre. The maximum sentence he faces is three years, according to a detailed report on the outcome from Vivian Ho at the San Francisco Chronicle.

The jury seemed to have been convinced by defense arguments that Garcia-Zarate had no direct intention of firing the .40-caliber Sig Sauer pistol that he found that day on the waterfront, four days after it had been stolen from a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger's car nearby.

The defense insisted, as per the Chronicle, that Garcia-Zarate, "who had a history of drug crimes but no record of violence, found the gun wrapped in a T-shirt or cloth under his seat on the pier just seconds before it discharged in his hands." His public defenders insisted he "had never handled a gun and was scared by the noise, prompting him to fling the weapon into the bay, where a diver fished it out a day later."

Assistant District Attorney Diana Garcia for the prosecution insisted in closing arguments that Garcia-Zarate was playing "his own secret game of Russian roulette." The defense on the contrary painted the incident as pure accident, and the jury accepted that interpretation. Even the involuntary manslaughter charge would require the jury's belief that he had been acting recklessly.

I wrote in July 2015 critiquing Rand Paul's unlibertarian approach to the sanctuary city issue in the wake of Steinle's death, noting that:

as Nick Gillespie pointed out last week, despite immigration restrictionist fantasies that illegal immigrants = crime wave, a sanctuary city such as San Francisco…has a lower murder rate than many comparable non-sanctuary cities. Much-touted increased deportations of "criminal immigrants" are much more often about violators of traffic laws, not laws against person or property. Higher rates of immigration do not equal higher rates of actual crime.

It's curious for Rand Paul, or any Republican, to get outraged in this case that laws exist that, if more toughly enforced, could potentially have saved a life—even though in the staggeringly vast majority of cases enforcing deportation laws would save no lives but but merely bedevil or harm someone trying to peacefully live and sell his labor or services to others.

A selection of Reason TV videos on the facts about sanctuary cities can be found here, concluding that "New immigrants, including illegal immigrants, are less likely to commit violent or property crimes than U.S. citizens, and there's little evidence that crime rates are higher in sanctuary cities than in non-sanctuary cities."

UPDATE: Associated Press tweeting that Garcia-Zarate will now be deported (again), and President Trump tweets his predictable dismay: "disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case! No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration".

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  1. High water mark for libertarianism for the next decade.

    1. If this is Reason’s idea of a “Libertarian Moment” then Gary Johnson will get about 0.01% of the vote next time around, even if he does know where Aleppo is.

    2. What do you care? You are not a libertarian.

  2. OK, this is why I started coming to Reason ? to hear about the plight of unfortunate souls like Jose Garcia-Zarate. “Arrested and deported multiple times”?! What kind of cruel, racist country would do something like that? Clearly he really wants to live here, so just let him!

    Especially hurtful is the fact that the ADA’s name is Diana Garcia. How does she sleep at night, working for the white supremacist system that oppresses her fellow Latinx people? She’s such an Uncle Tom.

    Never forget that Jose Garcia-Zarate is the victim here. If he had a GoFundMe, and I wasn’t broke, I’d donate.

    1. If this is what they do during their webathon, imagine what they’ll do when they’re not begging for money.

    2. If they do this during the webathon, imagine what they’ll do when they’re not begging for money.

    3. LOL. From Matt Welch’s post begging for money below.

      Being at least half-human, we here at Reason are no exceptions to various strains of Derangement Syndrome. But we’re also mindful that our founding editor’s first-issue promise was to deliver “logic, not legends,” while refusing “to smear the issues with irrelevancies and falsifications.” The magazine’s damn name is Reason (drink!). Imperfectly, and to the sporadic annoyance of even some of our oldest friends, we try to keep our heads clear of hate and our feet grounded in fact, particularly in moments when others have become completely unmoored.

      Doherty didn’t get that memo, I guess.

      1. If Reason wants to keep their feet “grounded in fact”, then they need to stop conflating legal and illegal immigrants when they calculate crime rates. They did it again in this story.

    4. Mark my words, Shikha’s next column on immigration is going to be awesome.

  3. “…the .40-caliber Sig Sauer pistol…”

    “Assistant District Attorney Diana Garcia for the prosecution insisted in closing arguments that Garcia-Zarate was playing “his own secret game of Russian roulette.””

    Russian roulette with a semi-automatic pistol? Either Garcia is an idiot, or was assuming that the jurors all were.

    1. San Francisco. It’s quite probable that the jurors don’t know the difference between a semi-auto and a revolver.

    2. Omitting a third possibility: that the prosecution was intentionally incompetent.

    3. You beat me to it.

    4. a winner every time…

  4. there’s little evidence that crime rates are higher in sanctuary cities than in non-sanctuary cities.

    Even less when you find shooting a tourist dead on a crowded public street to be nothing more than a victimless status offense. In San Francisco killer criminal wetbacks are afforded cop-level immunity.

    1. The guy’s immigration status and marijuana conviction really have nothing to do with what happened. Either he accidentally fired a gun he found on the street or he did it on purpose. The fact that the bullet ricocheted off the ground a few feet from him and some 80 feet from the victim indicates it probably was an accident. You could argue that he should have known better then to handle a gun and is guilty of manslaughter, but it seems reasonable that it could also be an accident. Especially so, if it misfired while it was still wrapped up, before he really knew what it was.

      The real criminal is whoever promoted the LEO who allowed this service weapon to be stolen in the first place.

  5. I want unlimited legal immigration and to make it super easy to do so. I think we have a huge overincarceration rate and need to put a lot less people in prison. I’m a pretty reasonable libertarian I believe.

    but

    This is a fucking atrocity. Why even have borders? He’s been deported 5 times. He has a dozen felonies, one of which he was on probation for when he killed this poor girl. How many fucking chances does the guy get? If anybody deserves to go to fucking jail for the rest of his life it’s this guy. We’re going to deport him? Really?

    This is going to give Roy Moore the election. This is going to save many Republicans in 2018. Good job people who for some fucking reason want to make this guy some sort of illegal immigrant role model. This is going to lead to far more opposition to not just illegal immigration, but legal immigration, and that is a shame.

    1. Bingo. The jury meant to send a message of “eff Trump” and instead sent the message “Trump was right.”

      1. How do we know what the jury meant? Apart from the verdict, that is.

        1. Hard to say. Given the verdict, they are all most likely complete retards.

          1. Why are you arriving at that conclusion?

    2. Isn’t this verdict the signal for Anglos to rampage through the streets of San Francisco, smashing windows, burning cars, and yelling, “No justice, no peace!”?

  6. These are the kind of articles that lead people to think libertarians are crazy anarchists who don’t want any laws or any government whatsoever.

    1. I’m a crazy anarchist who doesn’t want any government whatsoever and I’d like to see Zarate lynched.

      1. Seriously, who pissed in your cereal?

        ::checks timestamp::

        Who pissed in your whiskey?

  7. So basically illegal aliens have the same rights as cops? They can “accidentally” shoot people and get away with it?

    We should be able to renounce our citizenship. No taxes (except sales), free stuff, and you get to kill people without going to jail.

    1. So basically illegal aliens have the same rights as cops? They can “accidentally” shoot people and get away with it?

      In this case, yes. I’m sure Reason will regularly remind us that Zarate was TOTALLY EXONERATED of the killing of Kate Steinle.

      1. All procedures were followed and the illegal was in fear for his life.

        1. Well, he did make it back to the jail safely.

      2. Best of luck to her family in finding a hitter so they can obtain their own brand of justice.

        1. +1 Paul Kersey

  8. So, a win for the open-borders efforts.

    1. Actually, if he’d been convicted the taxpayers would have to fund his food, shelter, and health care for decades. But since he was acquitted, he just gets shipped back to Mexico. Bad news for them of course.

      1. For both weeks he stays there before coming back to the US

  9. When a bullet fired from a gun in the hands of Jose Garcia-Zarate

    Reason uses passive voice to cover up for illegals shooting at people, just like local rags cover up for cops shooting at people.

  10. “The defense on the contrary painted the incident as pure accident, and the jury accepted that interpretation.”

    Strictly, I would imagine that the jury was not persuaded beyond a reasonable doubt that that interpretation was wrong.

  11. OK, I’ll join the piling on to this extent: If he found a package he didn’t know was a gun and threw it into the ocean as soon as he realized oh shit it’s a gun, then how could he have had the criminal intent to possess a firearm?

    1. Is that law mens rea or strict liability?

      1. I actually don’t know, but usually felonies require some degree of criminal knowledge.

        On the surface, his story sounds totally bogus, but I’ll emphasize that I wasn’t on that jury and didn’t hear the evidence they did.

        1. The idea that he’s a poor innocent drug dealer who “never handled a gun” sounds really weird, but still, it was up to the prosecution to overcome all reasonable doubt.

          1. Also, I don’t know how much of his criminal history (if any) the jury was allowed to know about. The jurors may have judged the case as if it involved someone without any criminal history.

            1. I’m bothered by the drug dealer statement in the article too. If he’s just some pot dealer that has a different level of criminality than a meth dealer or something

          2. Except that that’s not what he said initially; he told several variations of the story. To take what he says at face value is unreasonable.

            Of course I wouldn’t be surprised if the prosecution was intentionally incompetent.

            1. If I were writing a history of immigration policy I’d probably express due skepticism at his defense, but that would be because when you’re writing a history you get to look at all sorts of evidence which to a jury is out of bounds.

              I would wager the jurors were quite limited compared to the general public as to what evidence it could consider.

        2. I actually don’t know, but usually felonies require some degree of criminal knowledge.

          Maybe 200 years ago, but not today.

    2. I generally don’t like to second-guess juries; having been in court as both an observer and as a witness I can attest that some prosecutors are dumber than a bag of hammers. A juror’s job is to weigh the evidence against the charges and then convict the defendant based on whether they believe he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution is unable to convince them otherwise then they are obligated to acquit.

      That said, this is a lousy verdict, and likely an example of a Deep Blue jury taking the opportunity to stick a finger in Trump’s eye.

      1. Yes, and the jury usually doesn’t have the same criminal history info which the average TV viewer possesses.

        So it’s not as if you take the average jury and say “OK, this guy is a convicted felon, now he’s charged with another felony, don’t let him get away with it!” The jury is supposed to weigh the specific case on its individual merits, not make a global judgement on whether this is the kind of guy who is predisposed to commit such crimes.

        1. Wait, if he was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm then I guess they’d *have* to tell the jury about his record, right?

          1. I guess that they overlooked that. Or oversaw.

  12. “The defense on the contrary painted the incident as pure accident, and the jury accepted that interpretation. Even the involuntary manslaughter charge would require the jury’s belief that he had been acting recklessly.”

    Idiots who know nothing about guns, judging another idiot who knows nothing about guns, for a gun related accident.

    I support much broader legal immigration, with no country by country quotas. I wouldn’t support full on open boarders unless the welfare state is dismantled first.

    However in this case, accepting the defendant’s story at face value, as a juror, I’d have gone for the involundary manslaughter.

    Given his self proclaimed ignorance about guns, so much as touching a gun of unknown origin, unknown operating state, (is it loaded? does it have a round chambered? is the safety on or off?) and unknown condition (state or decay/repair) WAS reckless.

  13. It’s weird. If it was truly entirely an accident why is he guilty of anything at all? Seems all pretty unlikely to me and makes it seem like a pretty weird result for the trial.

    1. He stole the gun. In San Francisco, killing a tourist is one thing but possessing a gun, well, that’s serious.

      1. No, no, he found the gun under a bench, didn’t you hear his explanation?

        1. It was awfully nice of that thief to leave the gun he stole on the pier for someone else to have. Especially considering how much a stolen handgun is worth on the street.

          1. It’s like leave a penny, take a penny. If you have a gun drop it in the basket for the next guy, if you don’t have a gun pick up a handful.

            1. Also, a guy in a bar gave it to him and it fell off a truck.

            2. They actually have “community guns” in NYC and London, you know.

              1. TtW,
                Been checking for the Gorby/food percentage reference, haven’t yet found that one, I’ll post the ones I have found tomorrow some time when I see a post by you.

                1. I posted on the movie review and the Cali Devil Weed article. I appreciate the effort.

          2. Having discarded (and found presumable) evidence several times, I would say that finding a gun does meet the requirements of beyond a reasonable doubt. I have advised a few associates on providing a reasonable doubt, guilt being beside the point. IANAL, but I read (and studied) law in college. A good narrative often, but not always, works.

    2. The weirdness is just how US gun laws work.

      The prohibition on felons possessing guns doesn’t just cover ownership. It also covers temporary possession regardless of how short.

      If you are a felon and and an acquaintance ask you to hold his gun for five minutes while he goes to the bathroom, you have just committed a brand new felony. If there is a cop present who knows you are a felon, you just won a free trip to jail.

      The gun doesn’t even have to be loaded.

      Taking the defendant’s story at face value, for the sake of argument, The instant he picked up a stray package that just happened to contain a gun, he was a felon in possession of a gun. His only way out at that point, would have been to very carefully put the gun back where he found it and hope no one noticed.

      1. Bullshit. I found a package of high-quality chopsticks in Japan. If it contained shuriken and I threw them in the trash, should I have been found guilty of possessing deadly weapons? If I threw them at random, that would be a different story, but what if i dropped one and it pierced someone’s toe?

        1. That really is how the law works, though. It’s total BS, but if he didn’t want to be treated like a felon I guess he shouldn’t have been caught selling pot, like a felon.

          1. Yep. I know someone who defended a guy on probation who got caught with a rifle. (To be fair, he was asleep and cuddling the gun like a teddy bear, which kinda sounds like applying for a Darwin Award, but . .). Anyway, if there is a gun in the same ZIP Code as a felon, the feds will try to charge him with possession.

        2. Your objection is bullshit. US law is not the same as Japanese law, there’s no relevance at all to your hypothetical. First of all, this isn’t about general weapon possession. US law regarding felons and gun possession is draconian. Maybe is should be, maybe it shouldn’t be, but it is. On the other hand, there’s no law against felon’s in particular possessing knives, so if he found a knife that wouldn’t have been an issue.

  14. “Sig Sauer…stolen from a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger’s car nearby.”

    That’s why only government agents should be allowed to carry guns….oops, never mind.

    1. I wouldn’t even necessarily accept at face value that the gun was stolen from the ranger’s car. The ranger could have lost it and reported it stolen to cover his own ass.

      1. Or sold it.

  15. Ignoring his illegal status, I’m pretty sure I’d have to come to the same conclusion if this were shown, as the story implies:
    “…finding credence in defense attorneys’ argument that the shot that ricocheted off the concrete ground before piercing Steinle’s heart was an accident,…”
    It seems (SEEMS) a matter of fact that it did ricochet, and while I’ve shot many pistols and rifles, I can’t say that I ever called a one-cushion shot.

    1. Assistant District Attorney Diana Garcia for the prosecution insisted in closing arguments that Garcia-Zarate was playing “his own secret game of Russian roulette.”

      If that was the prosecution’s actual theory of the crime, I’m not suprised the jury acquitted, because the DA sounds like a loony.

    2. As a defense attorney, I would point out that some people are not knowledgeable enough about guns that they don’t pull the trigger without checking the condition of said weapon. Like my mother, who shot a dresser bureau with my father’s revolver.

      1. This is certainly true and a good reason why everyone should learn enough about guns to at least know how to render one safe. We teach kids how to handle fire and cars and sex and many other dangerous things. Why not guns too?

      2. Thank you. I live in Texas, and we have incidents where dogs shoot people by pawing guns. Gun accidents really are a daily occurrence. (FWIW, I am not a gun control advocate.)

  16. Trump is a terrible president.

    1. And you’ll have seven more years of him.

      1. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he says “This job sucks. I already proved I could be President and the best President ever. I’m done. ” and not run for re-election.

    2. The only President that was not below average in my sixty yeas of life was Jimmy Carter. He was average. The rest were sub-par and authoritarian dunces. Trump may turn out differently, even though I dislike the guy, but covet his wife

      1. I’ll take the Reagan economy and the fall of the Soviet Union any day.

    3. A bit of a non sequitur, but sure, I’ll agree with you on that one.

    4. Tony|12.1.17 @ 1:40AM|#
      “Trump is a terrible president.”

      And we are quite fortunate to have gotten the better of the two.

  17. Assistant District Attorney Diana Garcia for the prosecution insisted in closing arguments that Garcia-Zarate was playing “his own secret game of Russian roulette.”

    Here’s a tip for the DA…

    “Beyond a reasonable doubt” is a very high standard. A “secret game of Russian roulette” by construction can never ever meet that standard.

    How can a jury ever bring a guilty verdict in the face of such a stupid claim?

    1. That tells me the AD was not really interested in winning the case.

      1. When you handle 10 cases per day (as opposed to a public defender’s caseload of double that), it’s hard to to do your homework.

  18. Jose Garcia-Zarate deserves a wood chipper.

    The jurors deserve a wood chipper.

    Regardless of what they deserve or end up getting in this life, their souls will scream for eternity in hell.

  19. Do libertarians no longer believe in unintended consequences? And this guy admitted that he went to SF precisely because it was a sanctuary city.

    Sanctuary cities are the antithesis of libertarianism. You’re basically allowing the local government to create a protected class of people (because they feel like it) and prevent the federal government from enforcing the law on these people.

    California doesn’t have to go out of their way to help the feds enforce immigration. But now, they actually criminalize local cops from voluntarily helping out the feds. It’s insanity, which is why law enforcement here was mostly against it.

    Trump is no doubt hopping mad and he may very well send an army of ICE agents to pull out illegal directly. The bald, senile moron governor actually said “nothing can stop ICE from using their considerable resources to come here directly”, like a drugged out moron smirking at a truck that’s about to ram into him.

    The sanctuary city mayors and governors apparently forgot that the SC essentially affirmed the federal government is “el supremo” when it comes to immigration enforcement, thanks to that drama from AZ. They also forgot that the president is Donald Trump, a vengeful man who doesn’t like to be slighted.

    These are stupid people, and now the illegals in their town could be in some real danger of being deported. Why did they think cutting out local law enforcement out of the equation would keep their illegals safe?

    1. Sanctuary cities piss me off, because they are good and bad.

      Good: federalism and states’s rights. Fuck you, fedgov. Enforce federal laws yourself. We like these people.

      Bad: welfare, illegal alien criminals, creating a protected class of people, voter fraud, etc.

      I really despise this rag’s problem handling ambivalence. Unalloyed immigration is not a universal good, but this particular issue is a goddam nightmare to discuss seriously. Mostly because some of the people against true open borders really do just dislike Spanish-speaking brown people, but I don’t believe they are in the majority. We HAVE immigration laws, so let’s enforce them until we change them. Let’s at least try to keep known felons out. Or maybe it’s time we had a foreign legion! Anything would be better than the status quo.

      1. +1 semi-agreement

    2. Re: XM,

      Do libertarians no longer believe in unintended consequences?

      Yes. Do you?

      Sanctuary cities are the antithesis of libertarianism.

      Liar.

  20. Stealing a firearm is acting recklessly.

    Handling a firearm when you admit that you have no experience handling firearms is acting recklessly.

    Putting your finger on the trigger of a firearm that you do not intend to discharge in a specific direction, at a specific target, is acting recklessly.

    This man acted recklessly, and he killed somebody.

    Fuck him, fuck that jury, and fuck everybody defending both of them. This verdict was not justice. When justice fails, what are we left with? Vengeance? Vengeance is for barbarians, but maybe that’s what we are.

    1. No. This was exactly justice. If an experienced DA can’t win against a public defender on a high profile case, we can reasonably presume there wasn’t enough evidence to go forward in the first place.

      1. Or we can assume the ADA completely fucked up.

    2. Re: Trigger Warning,

      There was never a single mention during the trial that Garc?a had stolen the gun. It was mentioned from the beginning that the gun was stolen from a federal officer by someone but not Garc?a.

      1. My mistake. You are correct. Apologies.

  21. Ah, so the gun just went off by itself. And here I’ve been wasting energy pulling the trigger on my guns. I guess they work just like the plane in the Clint Eastwood movie Firefox: you just think it and boom! she fires. (Provided you think in the correct language; perhaps in this case the gun was bilingual.)

    1. Re: Enjoy Every Sandwich

      No, but that doesn’t mean it was fired with intent to kill or even hurt. The perpetrator wss an idiot, but that doesn’t mean he was a murderer. The prosecution overcharged out of greed or political pressure but it ended up blowing in their face.

      1. I’m not a lawyer, but I’m under the impression that the jury could have found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

        1. Perhaps but just because they didn’t doesn’t mean they were derelict in their duty. I completely place the blame on the prosecution who wasted precious time trying to prove a murder that didn’t exist, for a reason I can’t fathom.

          1. What the hell? Your first sentence negates the second. He was prosecuted for manslaughter, which pulling the trigger and killing someone you didn’t mean to kill is. a murder that didn’t exist. What a piece of shit you are.

            1. No it doesn’t.

              He was charged with murder. Prosecutors can charge multiple offense levels for the same act and let the jury sort out which applies. It’s called lesser included charges.

              “Today after six days of deliberation, a Superior Court jury in San Francisco acquitted Garcia-Zarate on murder, manslaughter, and assault charges, finding him guilty only on a lesser charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.”

  22. This shows the effectiveness of gun control laws.
    This shows the effectiveness of immigration laws.
    This shows the effectiveness of arming the Bureau of Land Management (??)
    This shows the effectiveness of BLM agents in properly handling government property.
    This shows the effectiveness of a thief hiding a stolen gun in a public park. (if the jury believed that one – – – – )
    This shows the effectiveness of California prosecutors.
    This shows the effectiveness of deportation vs imprisonment.
    This shows the effectiveness of a bullshit defense.
    This shows the effectiveness of TDS.
    This shows that we should expel California and not wait for them to secede.
    (pick one or more)

  23. Using the same facts, I wonder what the verdict would have been if this had been some gangster black kid fooling with a gun he found? Or some dude who used to belong to a Montana white militia group?

    1. Probably the same verdict, given the evidence.

      1. Exactly. If they couldn’t get involuntary manslaughter, the state really did have a terrible case.

  24. I suspect that this case like other high profile ones of late, was lost at jury selection. A non-gullible person would be suspect of a gun suddenly “going off” on it’s own. For a weapon to fire it requires pressure on the trigger. Pressure on the trigger requires a finger to be on the trigger. Could another object apply the pressure? Yes but the defense claims he was unwrapping the gun from a tee-shirt which seems to preclude another object.
    Were I a juror I’d hold out for manslaughter on this point alone.
    And the “he never heard a gun fire…so he threw it in the water” line is hard for mew to swallow. I wonder what the distance was from where he sat to end of the pier.

    1. Re: Dead Inside,

      If the weapon was found already cocked then the trigger requires much less force to fire the weapon than if it had been uncocked. It ia clear the weapon had one cartridge chambered already. Also you don’t know the condition of the weapon, whether it was functioning perfectly or not. The problem is that the prosecution had no evidence to show intent.

      1. Did he pull the trigger? If you have watched cartoons you know that pulling a trigger on a gun makes it go bang.

  25. 1. The fact that his public defender didn’t try to plead to involuntary manslaughter is very strong evidence in support of the defendant’s version.

    2. This is how it’s supposed to work. The prosecution pleaded everything they could and didn’t have enough evidence to get a conviction even on charges that don’t strictly require intent.

    1. But had the prosecution taken an unbiased look at the facts and determined ahead of time what might be proved beyond a reasonable doubt — manslaughter — and what could not possibly be proved beyond a reasonable doubt — first degree murder — and made a case solely for the former, they probably would have gotten a conviction.

      After such malfeasance as claiming he was playing “his own secret game of Russian roulette”, it’s hard not to see the verdict as a rebuke against overreaching prosecutors.

  26. I disagree with Reason’s party line on this. You guys should stop pushing this so hard (no immigration laws) and come to some reasonable *ahem* compromise. The German political class (the rest of Europe for that matter too) tried to die on this hill and force their people to accept hundreds of thousands of migrants and it backfired, led to the promotion of the far right Alternative for Deutchland, and may ultimately kill off Angela Merkel unless the Social Democrats save her. Ignoring the voters in America led to Trump.

    TAKE THE HINT.

    Promote something that approaches what the people want or watch the far right destroy the middle by appropriating this issue.

    I swear, the pundit and political class are like lemmings. You are all leading each other to your deaths, you all see it happening, and continue to pile on with no change in your ways.

    1. How cute: you confuse refugees with immigrants.

      1. Thank you 🙂

  27. Of course the freak show of nativists and white supremacists has been parading all over Fox News, showing their outrage by wailing and pulling their hair and turning their faces red with righteous indignation. I really thought Laura Ingraham was going to set herself on fire in front of the cameras in protest.

    1. I’ll forever wonder if your position would have evolved to it’s present conclusions if you were an Old Englishman, but it (your position) begs the fact that this PhD and legions like him should never have trod this soil in the first place. Build the fucking wall. Build it high. Build it now. And while casting a glance toward Europe, rethink the present liberal immigration policy.

    2. Freak show indeed.

  28. It woyld do to recall the chain of events. Garcia-Zarate had been in ICE custody for deportation when San Francisco prosecutor requested that he be renanded to their custody for prosecution on that old drug charge. ICE cooperated with SF and handed him over. The SF then dropped the prosecution but did not return him to ICE based on the absurd Sanctuary City policy.

    That is what was infuriating about this. SF officials subverted ICE willingness to cooperate with them in order to put this man back in circulation and an innocent woman ended up dead due to SF government’s sanctimonious position.

  29. If elected Mayor, I will make Columbus a sanctuary city for the unborn. Of course, I’ll be killed before sundown.

  30. It’s just one dead bitch.

  31. Assuming all other coincidences were faultless. He had a gun/package/whatever that he picked up off the ground. The jury would have had to believe that someone else had dropped it on the ground – after having stolen previously. That’s a tough one to swallow.

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