Earlier today, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was found not-guilty of murder.
Here in the Bay Area, there has been a big case going on for two years. Zarate, an undocumented immigrant in San Francisco, shot and killed 32-year-old Kate Steinle. I hated the case from the beginning because it was a brown man killing a white woman. And let’s be clear: if a white man had killed a brown woman, this wouldn’t have been a big deal.
But oh was it a big deal. Ever since the case finished, one of the local news channels was pushing an app that would tell you the verdict the moment it came in. Really! As though this case was that important.
Biased Local Coverage
And since the verdict, the local coverage has been anything but objective. The newscasters just can’t believe that he was found not-guilty. They seem truly upset about this fact.
This is the modern equivalent of a crowd with torches and pitchforks. To these people, it seems impossible that the jury knows a whole lot more and that Zarate is in fact innocent.
The Poor Case Against Zarate
When the killing first happened, the reporting on it made it sound like he was clearly guilty. But the more information I got, the more it became clear that there was at very least reasonable doubt.
The biggest thing is that he had no motive whatsoever. But there were many other things. He shot her from a very long way away; he would have had to have been a sharpshooter. And he isn’t.
The story that the defense told sounded reasonable: he had found the gun; he was playing around with it; the gun went off and tragically killed Ms Steinle.
He shot once — just once. If the prosecution was right and that he fired the gun intending to kill or harm someone, why did he fire only once?
The truth is that the prosecution never had much of a case. I think if it hadn’t been for the racist reaction to the case and the fact that it involved “illegal immigration,” he never would have been charged with murder. But as I’m seeing with the reaction to the not-guilty verdict, had there not been a murder trial, the people of “liberal” San Francisco would have been outraged.
We Are Small Minded People
The truth is that we really aren’t good people. Give us half a chance and we will be baying for blood.
It’s not like they’ve lived in a cave the last two years. They’ve read and heard the same information I have. They should have at least become less certain that Zarate was guilty.
There was not one piece of evidence that came out over the last two years that made it more likely that he was guilty. Yet they ignored it all because they wanted “justice.” And by “justice,” I mean they wanted someone to pay.
Here there was this attractive blond-haired young woman who was dead. And here was this dark-skinned man who did, in fact, kill her. So he had to pay. I’m sure if he had been convicted, most people would have been upset that he didn’t get the death penalty.
The Results for Garcia Zarate
Zarate was found guilty of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. But given he has already been in jail for two years, they will likely just ship him back to Mexico.
Of course, I hear a lot of chatter about Zarate being tried in a federal court. I don’t know if that’s just to pacify the mob or if it really will happen. It seems to me that any reasonable jury will find him innocent. As I said, there isn’t much of a case against him. But often, that doesn’t matter much.