“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Shame on San Francisco

Kate Steinle suspect found not guilty, acquitted of murder and manslaughter

Francisco Sanchez has been charged with the murder of Kathryn Steinle at Pier 14 in San Francisco, July 3, 2015.

Francisco Sanchez has been charged with the murder of Kathryn Steinle at Pier 14 in San Francisco, July 3, 2015. (KGO-TV)
In a surprising verdict, the jury of six men and six women deliberated and came back with a not guilty verdict for Jose Ines Garcia Zarate. The defendant was facing second degree murder charges for killing 32-year-old Pleasanton resident Kate Steinle on July 1, 2015, at Pier 14 in San Francisco.

The jury found Garcia Zarate guilty of possession of a firearm by a felon.

While Garcia Zarate can technically walk out of the courtroom, it's expected that he will be taken into custody by Immigration officials and eventually deported back to his native Mexico.

WATCH LIVE: ABC7 at the SF Hall of Justice awaiting Steinle verdict

The case gained notoriety because Garcia Zarate is an undocumented immigrant who had been deported several times and had a number of felony convictions. Steinle's death became part of the immigration debate in this country. During his campaign, President Trump criticized San Francisco for its sanctuary city status.

TIMELINE: How the Kate Steinle case unfolded

The Steinle family has been waiting more than two years for this day. Kate Steinle was shot and killed when she was walking with her father and a friend on the pier.

Garcia Zarate, who was homless at the time, claimed he found the gun wrapped in a piece of cloth under a swivel chair at the pier. He says he picked it up and it accidentally fired, hitting Steinle in the back. But first, the bullet ricocheted and then traveled 78 feet before striking Steinle in the back.

VIDEO: How the killing of Kate Steinle launched a battle over sanctuary cities

The prosecution has always maintained that Garcia Zarate had the gun all along, aimed it at Steinle and fired. But because he had little experience with guns, the bullet ricocheted first, a common mistake made by amateurs.
The gun used to shoot Steinle was stolen in San Francisco from the personal vehicle of a federal park ranger four day before. The agent works for the Bureau of Land Management. The Steinle family is suing them.
EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Man accused in San Francisco Pier 14 shooting admits to crime

A number of witnesses testified in the trial, including police officers and several people who saw Garcia Zarate at the scene along with several CSI investigators and forensic experts. The trial began on Oct. 23, 2017.

The jury had a number of choices to make. They could have gone with a second degree verdict, involuntary manslaughter or consider a first degree murder verdict.

Click here to look back at the events of the Kate Steinle murder trial.


  1. Piece of Shit should never have been in this country.

  2. Feds should arrest the prick as he walks out the door.

  3. He would have to not have known he had a gun, or what a gun does, to get out of involuntary manslaughter.

    F***ing unbelievable.

    He has been in jail for two years, and the one conviction of felon in possession of a firearm at the lower end is about that....unless the Feds get him he might be out around the Pier again.

    San Francisco is really really f***ed up.

  4. The Federal Officer that lost his/her weapon ...
    Left unsecured in a vehicle ...

    Complicit in the death of Ms Steinle.

    The proliferation of weapons among unqualified Federal officers ...


  5. He ran away and threw the gun into the bay.

    Doesn't that show a consciousness of guilt ?

    1. If it had been an 'accident' why did he run away, why didn't he go and try to offer aid to Kate Steinle ?

    2. Because it was not an accident, obviously.

      I hear about 3 shots being fired, but don't know if that is so, or not.

      If it is, he had 3 'accidents' in a row.

    3. Roy Moore will probably pick up a few votes from this verdict.

      He is for getting the illegal aliens out of here, and fixing the border so they can't get back in so easily.

      He opponent is a big time lefty....

    4. Kate Steinle’s Accused Killer Found Not Guilty On All But One Count Of Possession Of A Firearm (Update)
      JOHN SEXTONPosted at 9:21 pm on November 30, 2017

      ....The defense case all along has been that Zarate did not aim or fire the gun intentionally but that it went off and ricocheted off the ground before accidentally hitting Steinle. If that’s true it would rule out first or second-degree murder which requires “malice aforethought.” What I don’t understand here (and I am not an attorney) is why the jury was unable to find Zarate guilty on the manslaughter charge. That charge is for incidents that don’t involve any intent but still result in someone’s death. For instance, I found this example on the website for a California law office:

      During a fight with her husband, a woman retrieves her gun and waves it at him to threaten him (thus violating Penal Code 417 PC, California’s brandishing a weapon law). The gun accidentally fires, killing the husband.
      Isn’t that sort of what happened in this case? Whether or not he intended to fire the gun he did pick it up and handle it and it went off and killed someone. Here’s an ABC News report from 2015 in which he seems to admit to firing the shot that killed Steinle. Again, I’m not suggesting that necessarily makes the murder, I just don’t understand how his handling of the weapon does not make him culpable for her death even if you assume the shooting itself was an accident.....

    5. I'm scratching my head too, John Sexton.

  6. Attorney General Jeff Sessions condemned San Francisco's sanctuary city policy in the wake of a not-guilty verdict in Kate Steinle's death Thursday.


    The US attorney general pushed back after the acquittal, calling Steinle's death "preventable" and blaming the sanctuary city policy.


    Speaking after the verdict, Garcia Zarate's chief defense attorney, Matt Gonzalez, noted not only Sessions' previous comments on the case but also sharply warned Trump and others in his administration against commenting on the outcome, equating the case to the investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections and possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russians.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Truly, if any governmental agency is guilty in this crime ..
      It is the one that provided the weapon. The Bureau of Land Management .. BLM.

      BLM is guilty of incompetence, resulting in the death of a citizen

    3. .

      There is plenty of blame to go around. And there are three separate issues here.

      1. Of course, Zarate was culpable and should have been found guilty of 'at minimum' involuntary manslaughter. A two year gun sentence where he could actually only spend a year or less in jail is crazy. And that's if he is not merely allowed to get away with just time served and be deported. But this is independent of the sanctuary city issue or where the gun came from.

      It strains credulity to believe that it just happened to be an illegal immigrant with a long rap sheet that while wandering though a park finds a gun, something he is likely very familiar with, and it accidentally goes off and ends up killing an innocent woman.

      Zarate knows the system. He's been fighting it all his life. He was a felon. He knows the rules. Even if all the rest of the story was true, when he found the gun he should have just walked away. To argue that blame for the women's death rested with anyone but Zarate is absurd.

      2. The BLM and its officer are culpable for the gun but that's a separate issue. The fact that the gun was lost or stolen under the circumstances described is the responsibility of the officer and to a degree the BLM. The negligence of the officer is obvious. And if any organization decides a gun is necessary for their employees to carry out the duties of the job, then they take on a level of responsibility like any other organization for the actions of their employees. However, this in no way makes the officer or the BLM directly responsible for the woman's death.

      Does is make sense for the family to sue he officer and the BLM for negligence. Sure, for the reasons mentioned. A win might be the only satisfaction the family gets out of this sorry mess. It might provide some closure though nothing they get would make up for the loss of their daughter.

      3. I've got mixed feelings about sanctuary cities.

      I've always been against sanctuary cities because of the inherent conflict involved between local government and the feds and because in the case of illegal immigrants the federal jurisdiction supersedes that of the local authority.

      Also, the idea of sanctuary cites has taken on the status of cause celebre among liberals and is in many cases used as a thumb in the eye to the feds because of political differences with federal policy on immigration.

      That said, the rat is right in pointing out the contempt most of the federal bureaucracy including federal law agencies hold for local authorities. If you are going to demand that local authorities abide by the law, you first have to start doing it yourself. The idea that local authorities have to hold onto accused criminals for as long as it takes for ICE officers to finish their coffee and donuts and get around to picking the guy up is crazy.

      Since well before the Snowden revelations we have seen the contempt federal agencies express for rights granted under the constitution and the laws of the US. I won't go into examples as we've all seen them before.

      With the record this guy had, to argue that the Feds couldn't prioritize his case, get a warrant, and pick up the guy is kind of silly. We've been to this rodeo plenty of times before. I have little sympathy for the argument the Feds don't have time to follow the law in cases like these.


  7. Steinle’s family has complained in the past about Trump using Kate’s death as a talking point.

    Her parents told the Chronicle that, while they support sanctuary cities’ role in ensuring immigrants can turn to police for help without fearing deportation, they think the city should not have so severely limited its cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

    “We just want to get this over with and move on with our lives, and think about Kate on our terms,” Jim Steinle, Kate’s father, told the Chronicle before the verdict was announced. “Nothing’s been on our terms. It’s been on everyone else’s terms.”

  8. Mark Steyn has it right.

    The gun must have fired itself.

    The gun should be tried and found guilty in another trial.

    Then the gun should be unloaded and locked away in a safe for 30 or 40 years.

  9. “A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case! No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration,” Trump said in a post on Twitter Thursday night.

    The San Francisco jury Thursday found 45-year-old Jose Garcia Zarate not guilty of murder and manslaughter in the July 2015 killing of 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle as she walked down a pier with her father. Zarate had been in a San Francisco jail on charges of selling marijuana but was released three months before the incident and allowed to remain free under sanctuary city laws.

  10. .

    It's usually not the crime but the lying about the crime that gets them

    How many times have we seen this before? It's SOP for prosecutors.

    Michael Flynn expected to plead guilty to lying to the FBI

    WASHINGTON — Special counsel Robert Mueller has charged former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn with "willfully and knowingly" making "false, fictitious and fraudulent statements" to the FBI regarding conversations with Russia's ambassador.

    He is due to appear in court later Friday morning, a court spokesperson said, and he is expected to plead guilty. The White House declined to immediately comment...

    CNN reports,

    “One source close to the president attempted to mitigate the severity of the charge against Flynn by pointing out that everyone lies in Washington.”

    True, but irrelevant in a court of law.

    Given the potential of a long prison term, it will be interesting to see if Flynn spills his guts on others or if he even has anything to spill his guts about.


    Michael Flynn