Illegal Immigrant Found Not Guilty of Kate Steinle Murder

Harmeet Dhillon Kate Steinle Verdict

Harmeet Dhillon

Undocumented Immigrant Found Not Guilty in San Francisco Murder Case—Setting a Dangerous Trend

The killing of Kate Steinle was a tragedy—and further tragedies have unfolded in the legal fight and the media circus surrounding her death and the acquittal of Garcia Zarate. Zarate—an undocumented immigrant who had been deported from this country five times in the past and who had been released from years in federal prison just weeks before he shot Steinle —was found not guilty of all murder charges in the courtroom, a decision that has brought into question America’s immigration policies and the agenda of sanctuary cities.

A Murder in Our Own Backyard

Steinle and her father were walking through San Francisco when she was shot by a gun fired by Zarate. His defense attorneys argued—successfully—that it was purely an accident; that the gun misfired and ricocheted off the ground before ultimately striking and killing Steinle. The defendant had given multiple versions of his story of the shooting to the police, and presented even a different one to the jury.

The jury’s deliberation in Zarate’s trial lasted mere days, and concluded after the judge refused to honor a jury request to examine the murder weapon, a Sig Sauer .40 handgun. Zarate never should have been in a position to shoot an American citizen, intentionally or accidentally, in the first place. He was delivered into San Francisco law enforcement custody due to an old drug charge, which the DA’s office in San Francisco dismissed. The San Francisco sheriff let Zarate out of custody even though there was an outstanding ICE detainer request from the federal government for his return for deportation back to Mexico.

Though Zarate was found innocent of murder charges, federal immigration officials will try to deport him. This will be his sixth deportation. Zarate also has been indicted by a federal grand jury on weapons and immigration charges.

Reactions to the Innocent Verdict

“This is really an example of the City of San Francisco rolling out the red carpet for illegal aliens,” Harmeet Dhillon said—and she’s not the only one who thinks so. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has also zeroed in on the city’s “sanctuary” policies, while President Trump has judged the verdict to be “disgraceful.”

“Garcia Zarate pulled the trigger, but let’s be clear: blood is on the hands of the politicians in San Francisco who made this sanctuary policy the law and kept all of us unsafe for such a long time,” Dhillon continues.

And thanks to recent legislation signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown—essentially making the entirety of California a “sanctuary state”—Dhillon worries this type of dangerous situation, resulting in carnage, will only become more commonplace.

“It’s really past time for us to secure our borders in this state,” Dhillon notes. Indeed, the need for safer borders to protecting Americans—those born here and legal residents or citizens—are long overdue, on both state and national levels. Families like the Steinles depend on us to get things right, to uphold the laws that are already in place, and to put our citizen’s wellbeing ahead of political correctness, in the days to come.

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Harmeet Dhillon is a nationally recognized lawyer, trusted boardroom advisor, and passionate advocate for individual, corporate and institutional clients across numerous industries and walks of life. Her focus is in commercial litigation, employment law, First Amendment rights, and election law matters.
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