Current Affairs

Illegal acquitted of murder, leftist lawyer, liberal Jury's unthinkable act

This can happen only in liberal San Francisco, the ‘Sanctuary City,’ that saw a five-time deported illegal immigrant from Mexican quitted of murder of a young woman by a jury “that are different than other juries,” as a defense attorney remarked after the verdict.

Jose Inez Garcia Zarate, was acquitted of murder and even of involuntary manslaughter charge.

Zarate grinned broadly and hugged his public defender tightly immediately after the jury acquitted him.

The young woman was killed by a gun used by Zarate when she was walking on the pier with her father two years back.

Getting a top leftist and liberal attorney, Matt Gonzalez to represent him was unquestionably a stroke of good luck for Zarate in the case that caused a national political firestorm on immigration that reached all the way to the White House.

Gonzalez is the top deputy in the public defender's office, a well-respected lawyer who has argued many trials in San Francisco courtrooms and has deep roots in the city's powerful progressive political base.

"San Francisco juries are different than other juries," defense attorney Michael Cardoza said. "Matt knows San Francisco juries."

Gonzalez has said he won eight acquittals for men facing life in prison in his first nine years with the public defender's office, a job he took after graduating from Stanford University law school in 1991.

The Texas native took a four-year break to serve on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and has immersed himself in the city's art and literary scene. He has published a book of poetry, operates an art gallery and was nearly elected mayor as a Green Party candidate in 2003.

Zarate was found guilty of felony in possession of a firearm and will be sentenced only on that count.

The death of the young woman, Kate Steinle, prompted a national debate over immigration because Garcia Zarate had been deported five times before the shooting.

"There are a number of people that have commented on this case in the last couple of years — the attorney general of the United States, the president and vice president of the United States — let me just remind them that they themselves are under investigation by a special prosecutor in Washington, D.C.," Gonzalez said after the verdict was delivered. "They may soon avail themselves of the presumption of innocence and beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard."

City Public Defender Jeff Adachi represented Garcia Zarate at his first court appearance in July 2015 but quickly handed the case to Gonzalez.

"I knew Matt as a fearless trial lawyer who cared very much about the clients of the office," Adachi said about his hiring Gonzalez as his top deputy in 2011. "He treats everyone with respect regardless of whether you're a politician or homeless."

Gonzalez won a seat on the Board of Supervisors, San Francisco's equivalent to a city council, in 2000 after switching his party affiliation from Democratic to Green in the middle of the race.

While on the board, he helped pass a law that significantly limited the number of retail chain stores in the city and raised his profile in the progressive community by battling the administration of Mayor Willie Brown.

He became a hero of the city's left when he gave a serious challenge in the 2003 mayor's race to Gavin Newsom, who is now California's lieutenant governor and among the front-runners in the governor's race.

Even a liberal SF paper decried the acquittal of a killer

There are few silver linings to the travesty of justice that took place on recently in a San Francisco courtroom, just as there are few bright spots left to talk about in our collective mainstream media.

So it was with some chagrined surprise that we noticed the San Francisco Chronicle’s editorial regarding the Kate Steinle verdict last week. The newspaper, which is dedicated to liberal bias in a way that makes the Washington Post look like the Gateway Pundit, did not let their Trump hatred blind them to the fact that Jose Ines Garcia Zarate’s acquittal was an outrageous departure from the rule of law and a frightening vision of their [sanctuary] city’s future.

After noting that the judge in this case was correct in telling the jury to ignore the political firestorm that has erupted over sanctuary cities, the Chronicle’s editorial board said that while that debate had nothing to do with Garcia Zarate’s culpability in the murder, it also did not mean that San Francisco and California were headed in the right direction vis a vis illegal immigration.

“An inmate with Garcia Zarate’s record, a seven-time felon who repeatedly re-entered this country illegally, could be released on the streets today,” the editors write. “Supervisors need to ask themselves, not only whether this is in the interest of public safety — but the humanity of sending an immigrant who was otherwise headed for deportation into the streets of one of the nation’s most expensive cities to become homeless.”

This is about as conservative as it gets when you’re talking about San Francisco and The Chronicle, but it’s a demonstration of a phenomenon we’ve long anticipated.

Liberal California or not, there’s only so much insanity Americans can take. And we’ve had a feeling for a long time that Democrats are putting their efforts in the wrong place. Yes, there are a lot of Americans – especially in blue states – who have sympathy for illegal immigrants.

Plenty of people want to see millions of them get amnesty. That’s all fine and well, but there’s a huge difference between congressional efforts to reform our immigration laws and cities taking it upon themselves to completely ignore those laws. And no matter how much you may be a Trump-hating Democrat voter, you have to be asking yourself if THIS is really the Hill you want your elected officials to die on.

As for Garcia Zarate, the Department of Justice is apparently looking at the possibility of filing federal charges against the immigrant relating to his repeated re-entry into the country. DOJ spokesperson Sarah Isgur Flores told Fox News: “We’re looking at every option and we will prosecute this to the fullest extent of the law because these cases are tragic and entirely preventable.”

Entirely preventable! But that’s only true if we have a federal government, followed by states, cities, and, ultimately, citizens who are willing to enforce the law.

We can only pray that this sad verdict is the straw that broke the camel’s back when it comes to liberal support for these lawless cities.

[The latest: the feds have filed fresh charges against Zarate, though not for murder.]