Thomas Gallatin / Sep. 2, 2019

CA Court Overturns Conviction Against Steinle Killer

California sanctuary laws protect criminals while preventing the innocent from receiving justice.

If there wasn’t already more than enough insult added to injury in the sad case of the death of Kate Steinle at the hands of a five-time deported illegal-alien felon, a California appeals court on Friday overturned the lone conviction against her killer. In the case against Mexican national Jose Ines Garcia-Zarate, the First District Court of Appeals overturned his felony possession of a weapon conviction on a seeming technicality. In its decision, the court noted that the trial judge failed to give the jury “the momentary possession instruction.” The court explained, “It is undisputed that defendant was holding the gun when it fired. But that fact alone does not establish he possessed the gun for more than a moment. To possess the gun, defendant had to know he was holding it.”

You might need to read that last sentence again.

So, as things currently stand, all charges surrounding Steinle’s death have been either dismissed or overturned. Even the Steinles’ civil suit against the city of San Francisco for its “sanctuary city” laws, which directly led to Garcia-Zarate being released rather than detained for immigration authorities, was dismissed earlier this year.

Upon hearing the news, acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli responded, “Kate Steinle was tragically killed because San Francisco proudly proclaims itself a sanctuary city. How many more innocents will die [before] sanctuary cities stop harboring violent criminals? This defies common sense, public safety, [and] human decency.”

The good news is, while California has failed to hold Garcia-Zarate accountable, he is still in custody facing federal charges for possessing a firearm and being in the U.S. illegally. That trial is scheduled to begin in January.

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