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Acquittal in Kate Steinle case reignites controversy

This+seemingly+peaceful+pier+in+San+Francisco+was+the+site+of+a+shooting+back+in+July+of+2015.
This seemingly peaceful pier in San Francisco was the site of a shooting back in July of 2015.

This seemingly peaceful pier in San Francisco was the site of a shooting back in July of 2015.

Almonroth / CC BY SA-3.0

Almonroth / CC BY SA-3.0

This seemingly peaceful pier in San Francisco was the site of a shooting back in July of 2015.

Rachel Borshchenko, Staff Writer

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San Francisco residents were left with mixed feelings when the man who killed a woman on Pier 14 was found innocent by a grand jury.

On July 1, 2015, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate shot and killed Kate Steinle with a gun, which the defense argued Zarate found and shot by accident. The bullet ricocheted off of the ground, hitting and killing Steinle.

Zarate was tried for first-degree murder and found not guilty.

In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Jim Steinle, the victim’s father, said,”We’re just shocked — saddened and shocked…that’s about it. There’s no other way you can coin it. Justice was rendered, but it was not served.”

With this murder occurring so close to home, many community members have their own opinions about Zarate’s guilt as well as immigration laws.

“How you could come to that conclusion is a mockery of justice. I don’t know how else to put it,” said California State Senator Jeff Stone to the Washington Post. “It should be a wake-up call to every American that our judicial systems in certain parts of the country, such as here in San Francisco, are way off the charts to the left and have to be fixed.”

Zarate’s acquittal also ignited controversy about immigration laws, such as in a tweet from President Donald Trump.

In a tweet from Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell, he said, “I greatly respect our jury system, but I could not disagree more with this verdict. I pray for Kate’s family.”

In the trial itself, the jury did not receive information about Zarate’s immigration status and solely focused on the murder itself.

With San Francisco being a sanctuary city, it is difficult for immigration authorities to find out the immigration statuses of illegal immigrants and to have them turned over to the government for deportation.

According to Steve Camarota from the Center of Immigration Studies, the verdict could have an impact on the ongoing fight to resolve the status of people granted protection from deportation under Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

This would affect college students protected under the act, and could even affect high school students in the Sequoia Union High School District.

Less than a week after his initial trial for murder, Zarate was brought in on other charges.

According to the indictment, Zarate was subsequently indicted on charges of possession of a firearm and being an alien illegally and unlawfully in the United States.

Regardless of whether or not people agree with the verdict, people across the political spectrum continue to have a debate about immigration rights and laws.

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Acquittal in Kate Steinle case reignites controversy