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Jose Inez Garcia-Zarate
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California Appeals Court Strikes Down Gun Conviction of Kate Steinle Shooter

Realities and facts of the case remain unchanged

By Lloyd Billingsley, August 30, 2019 8:09 pm

California’s First District Court of Appeals has reversed the gun conviction of Jose Inez Garcia-Zarate, who was previously acquitted of murder in the July 1, 2015 shooting of Kate Steinle, 32, on a San Francisco pier.

The court ruled that the judge had improperly instructed the jury and overturned the gun conviction. This was a technical matter and does not changes the facts and realities of the case.

The man calling himself Jose Inez Garcia-Zarate did discharge the firearm that killed Kate Steinle, shot in the back as she walked on the pier in San Francisco. The appeal court ruling does not change the reality that the Sig Sauer pistol used in the killing was stolen from a federal Bureau of Land Management ranger a week earlier. Garcia-Zarate still faces federal gun charges in the same case.

Kate Steinle

The person who fired the shot that killed Steinle remains a false-documented Mexican national, a career criminal deported five times. Federal authorities sought custody of the Garcia-Zarate, who used multiple aliases, but San Francisco officials released him instead.

It also remains true that San Francisco sanctuary policies forbid cooperation with federal authorities. As the Steinle shooting confirms, it remains true that sanctuary policies protect wanted criminals.

Californians can also believe that the 2017 court proceedings with the Mexican national were for the most part a show trial. Assistant district attorney Diana Garcia teamed with public defender Matt Gonzalez to impanel a jury that included three “immigrants,” possibly illegals. Judge Samuel Feng duly sealed the identities of the jurors, so observers have grounds to believe that defense and prosecution both got the jury and verdict they wanted.

Governor Jerry Brown and attorney general Xavier Becerra, both supporters of the state’s sanctuary law, remained quiet following the verdict. Earlier that year, Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye charged that federal agents were “stalking” illegals in courthouses. The former blackjack dealer now shows her hand as a pro-bono advocate for violators of U.S. immigration law.

Cantil-Sakauye is an appointee of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The First District Court of Appeals abounds with appointees of Gov. Jerry Brown. Back in 1977, governor Jerry Brown’s pick for chief justice was Rose Bird, only 40 years old and without judicial experience.

In ten years, Rose Bird overturned every death sentence that came before the supreme court. Those included the Theodore Frank, duly convicted of kidnapping, torturing, raping, murdering and mutilating two-year-old Amy Sue Seitz in 1978. In 1986, voters booted Bird and two other Brown appointees from the high court. Many others remain in courts across the state.

Meanwhile, among San Francisco officials, advocacy for the false-documented felon Garcia-Zarate continues to outweigh any concern for Kate Steinle and her family. If Californians take the case as confirmation that the state favors criminals over innocent victims it would be hard to blame them.

Lloyd Billingsley

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Sexual Terrorist, about the Golden State Killer, and A Shut and Open Case, about a California murder trial prolonged by Proposition 57 and recent legislation. Lloyd is a fellow with the Independent Institute and his work has appeared in the Daily Caller, City Journal, Orange County Register, Wall Street Journal and many other publications. Bill of Writes: Dispatches from the Political Correctness Battlefield is a collection of his journalism.
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4 thoughts on “California Appeals Court Strikes Down Gun Conviction of Kate Steinle Shooter

  1. This piece of shit judge should be removed from his high chair for being stupid. The filthy murderer
    of Kate Steinle was a five time felon who pulled the trigger of the gun the killed her and admitted he did. Since
    you can not accidently pull the trigger of a double action pistol that shows intent. The lone juror who first found this illegal alien not guilty should have his bank account and all assets looked at because he took a bribe for . sure! The state of california should
    also be held accountable for the death of this young lady!! California is the most corrupt state in the country. Nothing but America hating cronies have that state held hostage

    1. To be absolutely fair, It’s my understanding that the particular model of Sig handgun found by Mr. Garcia-Zarate has a habit of discharging even if the safety *is* on. https://www.google.com/search?q=sig+handgun+fires+safety+on&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1-ab Hence it being retired from certain law enforcement agencies due to its “drop fire” problems.

      As for the possession charges, merely finding something doesn’t make you in possession of it. I might find a bag full of drugs say, but that doesn’t mean that I possess them, merely that I was holding, had to hold, the bag when I discovered them. That’s also the case here when he found the gun concealed in a cloth – What’s this I wonder?” and that’s why the possession charges were dropped.

      As for his acquittal for first degree murder, the prosecutor in this case – a highly politically charged one – *overcharged* Mr. Garcia-Zarate, something that all prosecutors have a habit of doing in any case, hoping for, expecting, a plea deal. That expected plea didn’t happen, the case went to trial for murder one, and he was found not guilty.

      (And to be very honest, I would have found him not guilty as well inasmuch as there was no intent or prior malice, just misadventure.And any reasonable, responsible and non-agenda driven person would have done the same. Even if you don’t like the guy, the facts simply didn’t support the charges.)

      What you’re seeing is just plain bad luck all around. Some poor looser smuck discovers a twitchy stolen handgun that is prone to accidental discharge and, unfortunately, does exactly that while he’s holding it. And you have a girl minding her own business who just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time who catches the bullet and dies as a result. News at 11:00. And it’s nothing more than that.

      Really, if you want to point the finger of blame then point it at San Francisco sanctuary city politics that dictate that the jail not cooperate with immigration. Had a hold been effected on Mr. Garcia-Zarate, none of this would have happened.

      Hope this clears things up.

      Just a thought.

      VicB3

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