A California jury on Thursday found an illegal immigrant not guilty of murder, touching off another national debate on immigration and, yes, Sanctuary Cities.
It is expected Jose Ines Garcia Zarate will be deported – again. Garcia-Zarate has been deported five times and was on the list for another deportation when 32-year-old Kate Steinle was shot and killed. Garcia Zarate admitted the shooting, but claimed it was accidental.
It seems he also benefitted by living in a Sanctuary City – San Francisco. Leaders of Sanctuary Cities decided they will be safe places for the undocumented. Unlike other jurisdictions, a Sanctuary City is not obligated (by its law) to turn over illegal immigrants already in custody to immigration authorities. Instead, they are released to the street. Someone like convicted felon Garcia-Zarate should not have been “on the street.”
Last week, a jury of six men and six women, including three immigrants, found him not guilty of homicide, but guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
To me, the verdict is astonishing, as astonishing as the OJ verdict.
I don’t know if the expanding argument is about homicide charges or immigration, at this point in the public’s eye. Suffice it to say our justice system is one of the best in the world, but juries are made up of individuals who can come to the same conclusion based on their observations in the courtroom – or not.
As we speak of the illegal perpetrator, it’s important to remember a young woman is dead and it does not matter if she was shot by a church pastor or an illegal immigrant, she is gone, she took her last breath in 2015 and the shooter will live to see another sunrise and another and another. . .
In the meantime, something should be done about enforcing the laws already on the books and something should be done about the cities providing a safe haven for illegal immigrants. -PW