Illegal Immigrant Found ‘Not Guilty’ Of Murdering Kate Steinle

A jury on Thursday found a Mexican man not guilty in the killing of a woman on a San Francisco pier that touched off a fierce national immigration debate two years ago, rejecting possible charges ranging from involuntary manslaughter to first-degree murder.

The shooting of Kate Steinle came during the presidential primary campaign in 2015 and was used by then-candidate Donald Trump to push for a wall on the Mexican border.


Kate Steinle

“From Day 1 this case was used as a means to foment hate, to foment division and to foment a program of mass deportation. It was used to catapult a presidency along that philosophy of hate of others,” defense attorney Francisco Ugarte said after the verdict. “I believe today is a day of vindication for the rest of immigrants.”

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate had been deported five times and was wanted for a sixth deportation when Steinle was fatally shot in the back while walking with her father on the pier.

The case spotlighted San Francisco’s “sanctuary city” policy, which limits local officials from cooperating with U.S. immigration authorities.

A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case! No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2017

Politics, however, did not come up in the month-long trial that featured extensive testimony from ballistics experts. Defense attorneys argued that Garcia Zarate was a hapless homeless man who killed Steinle in a freak accident. Prosecutors said he meant to shoot and kill her.

Garcia Zarate did not deny shooting Steinle and said it was an accident.

Jurors did find him guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm, meaning he knowingly had a firearm but there was no intent for him to hurt or shoot anyone. Public Defender Jeff Adachi said the count carries a potential sentence of 16 months to three years behind bars.

“The verdict that came in today was not the one we were hoping for,” said Alex Bastian, a spokesman for the San Francisco prosecutor’s office. “The jury came back with the verdict they did, and we will respect that decision. … This is really about the Steinle family. They showed incredible resolve during this whole process.”

Jim Steinle told the San Francisco Chronicle the family was saddened and shocked by the verdict.

“There’s no other way you can coin it. Justice was rendered, but it was not served,” he said in what he called the last interview he would do about the case.

The family did not attend the reading of the verdict. Jurors left without comment and the judge sealed their names.

Before the shooting, Garcia Zarate finished a federal prison sentence for illegal re-entry into the United States and had been transferred to San Francisco’s jail in March 2015 to face a 20-year-old charge for selling marijuana.

The sheriff’s department released him a few days later after prosecutors dropped the marijuana charge, despite a request from federal immigration officials to detain him for deportation.

The Trump administration has sought to punish sanctuary cities through a series of legal actions, including an executive order to withhold funding, but a federal judge recently blocked it in a lawsuit from two California counties, San Francisco and Santa Clara. The administration has appealed.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement Thursday that San Francisco’s decision to release Garcia Zarate led to Steinle’s death.

“The Department of Justice will continue to ensure that all jurisdictions place the safety and security of their communities above the convenience of criminal aliens,” Sessions said. “I urge the leaders of the nation’s communities to reflect on the outcome of this case and consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to cooperate with federal law enforcement officers.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

San Francisco Deputy District Attorney Diana Garcia said during the trial that she didn’t know why Garcia Zarate fired the weapon, but he created a risk of death by bringing the firearm to the pier and twirling around on a chair for at least 20 minutes before he fired.

“He did kill someone. He took the life of a young, vibrant, beautiful, cherished woman by the name of Kate Steinle,” she said.

Defense attorney Matt Gonzalez said in his closing argument that he knows it’s difficult to believe Garcia Zarate found an object that turned out to be a weapon, which fired when he picked it up.

But he told jurors that Garcia Zarate had no motivation to kill Steinle and that as awful as her death was, “nothing you do is going to fix that.”

The bullet ricocheted on the pier’s concrete walkway and fatally struck Steinle in the back.

The gun was stolen from the SUV of a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger that was parked in San Francisco. The city has been plagued by an epidemic of car burglaries in recent years.

(AP)

The post Illegal Immigrant Found ‘Not Guilty’ Of Murdering Kate Steinle appeared first on Yeshiva World News.

Read the rest of this entry »

Illegal Immigrant Found Not Guilty In Murder Of Kate Steinle

A jury on Thursday found a Mexican man not guilty in the killing of a woman on a San Francisco pier that touched off a fierce national immigration debate two years ago, rejecting possible charges ranging from involuntary manslaughter to first-degree murder.

The shooting of Kate Steinle came during the presidential primary campaign in 2015 and was used by then-candidate Donald Trump to push for a wall on the Mexican border.


Kate Steinle

“From Day 1 this case was used as a means to foment hate, to foment division and to foment a program of mass deportation. It was used to catapult a presidency along that philosophy of hate of others,” defense attorney Francisco Ugarte said after the verdict. “I believe today is a day of vindication for the rest of immigrants.”

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate had been deported five times and was wanted for a sixth deportation when Steinle was fatally shot in the back while walking with her father on the pier.

The case spotlighted San Francisco’s “sanctuary city” policy, which limits local officials from cooperating with U.S. immigration authorities.

A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case! No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2017

Politics, however, did not come up in the month-long trial that featured extensive testimony from ballistics experts. Defense attorneys argued that Garcia Zarate was a hapless homeless man who killed Steinle in a freak accident. Prosecutors said he meant to shoot and kill her.

Garcia Zarate did not deny shooting Steinle and said it was an accident.

Jurors did find him guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm, meaning he knowingly had a firearm but there was no intent for him to hurt or shoot anyone. Public Defender Jeff Adachi said the count carries a potential sentence of 16 months to three years behind bars.

“The verdict that came in today was not the one we were hoping for,” said Alex Bastian, a spokesman for the San Francisco prosecutor’s office. “The jury came back with the verdict they did, and we will respect that decision. … This is really about the Steinle family. They showed incredible resolve during this whole process.”

Jim Steinle told the San Francisco Chronicle the family was saddened and shocked by the verdict.

“There’s no other way you can coin it. Justice was rendered, but it was not served,” he said in what he called the last interview he would do about the case.

The family did not attend the reading of the verdict. Jurors left without comment and the judge sealed their names.

Before the shooting, Garcia Zarate finished a federal prison sentence for illegal re-entry into the United States and had been transferred to San Francisco’s jail in March 2015 to face a 20-year-old charge for selling marijuana.

The sheriff’s department released him a few days later after prosecutors dropped the marijuana charge, despite a request from federal immigration officials to detain him for deportation.

The Trump administration has sought to punish sanctuary cities through a series of legal actions, including an executive order to withhold funding, but a federal judge recently blocked it in a lawsuit from two California counties, San Francisco and Santa Clara. The administration has appealed.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement Thursday that San Francisco’s decision to release Garcia Zarate led to Steinle’s death.

“The Department of Justice will continue to ensure that all jurisdictions place the safety and security of their communities above the convenience of criminal aliens,” Sessions said. “I urge the leaders of the nation’s communities to reflect on the outcome of this case and consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to cooperate with federal law enforcement officers.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

San Francisco Deputy District Attorney Diana Garcia said during the trial that she didn’t know why Garcia Zarate fired the weapon, but he created a risk of death by bringing the firearm to the pier and twirling around on a chair for at least 20 minutes before he fired.

“He did kill someone. He took the life of a young, vibrant, beautiful, cherished woman by the name of Kate Steinle,” she said.

Defense attorney Matt Gonzalez said in his closing argument that he knows it’s difficult to believe Garcia Zarate found an object that turned out to be a weapon, which fired when he picked it up.

But he told jurors that Garcia Zarate had no motivation to kill Steinle and that as awful as her death was, “nothing you do is going to fix that.”

The bullet ricocheted on the pier’s concrete walkway and fatally struck Steinle in the back.

The gun was stolen from the SUV of a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger that was parked in San Francisco. The city has been plagued by an epidemic of car burglaries in recent years.

(AP)

The post Illegal Immigrant Found Not Guilty In Murder Of Kate Steinle appeared first on Yeshiva World News.

Read the rest of this entry »

Watch: Alan Dershowitz Says Michael Flynn Isn’t A Credible Witness

Harvard Law professor emeritus and the author of ‘Trumped Up’ on the challenges Michael Flynn presents to Robert Mueller.

WATCH:


{Matzav.com}

Read the rest of this entry »

Judge Orders US To Disclose Details Of American Held In Iraq

A federal judge grew impatient Thursday and ordered the U.S. government to disclose within hours whether an American citizen accused of fighting with the Islamic State has asked for a lawyer or been advised of his constitutional rights.

The unidentified American, who has not been charged, surrendered to U.S.-backed fighters in Syria around Sept. 12. He has been detained in Iraq for more than two months as an unlawful enemy combatant, but has not been given access to a lawyer. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a petition seeking to provide him with legal representation.

The government argued that the ACLU was asking to represent and provide legal counsel to an individual it does not know, has never met and does not officially represent. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan noted that it was the government that is refusing to disclose the individual’s identity and details about his detention.

The judge repeatedly asked Kathryn Wyer, an attorney in the Justice Department’s civil division, whether the detainee had asked for an attorney or had been advised of his constitutional rights.

Wyer said she did not have answers to those questions. She told the court that the U.S. military was working “diligently,” on the matter, but had not yet decided what to do with the detainee, who was visited by the International Committee of the Red Cross on Sept. 29 and Oct. 23.

Wyer cited case law stating the executive branch should be given a reasonable period of time to determine a detained individual’s status.

“Two and a half months?” the judge asked and then gave her until 5 p.m. to provide the answers.

The judge asked how long the government thought it should be able to hold someone without a lawyer. That kind of “unchecked power” is “quite frankly, frightening.” Chutkan said.

Jonathan Hafetz, a senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union in New York, said the Red Cross’ mission is not to obtain legal counsel for detainees it meets. Hafetz also said there is no indication that the detainee wants to or could contact relatives or whether they would be willing to risk reprisal by seeking a lawyer for him.

Hafetz said the detainee was in a legal “black hole.”

“This should send shivers through the spine of every American citizen about the awesome power the government is asking for here,” Hafetz said after the hearing. “This is the king locking up someone in the tower and not telling who they are and not allowing them access to the court.”

The government attorneys declined to comment after the hearing. It was unclear what plans they had for answering the judge’s questions.

(AP)

The post Judge Orders US To Disclose Details Of American Held In Iraq appeared first on Yeshiva World News.

Read the rest of this entry »

Judge Orders US To Disclose Details Of American Held In Iraq

A federal judge grew impatient Thursday and ordered the U.S. government to disclose within hours whether an American citizen accused of fighting with the Islamic State has asked for a lawyer or been advised of his constitutional rights.

The unidentified American, who has not been charged, surrendered to U.S.-backed fighters in Syria around Sept. 12. He has been detained in Iraq for more than two months as an unlawful enemy combatant, but has not been given access to a lawyer. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a petition seeking to provide him with legal representation.

The government argued that the ACLU was asking to represent and provide legal counsel to an individual it does not know, has never met and does not officially represent. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan noted that it was the government that is refusing to disclose the individual’s identity and details about his detention.

The judge repeatedly asked Kathryn Wyer, an attorney in the Justice Department’s civil division, whether the detainee had asked for an attorney or had been advised of his constitutional rights.

Wyer said she did not have answers to those questions. She told the court that the U.S. military was working “diligently,” on the matter, but had not yet decided what to do with the detainee, who was visited by the International Committee of the Red Cross on Sept. 29 and Oct. 23.

Wyer cited case law stating the executive branch should be given a reasonable period of time to determine a detained individual’s status.

“Two and a half months?” the judge asked and then gave her until 5 p.m. to provide the answers.

The judge asked how long the government thought it should be able to hold someone without a lawyer. That kind of “unchecked power” is “quite frankly, frightening.” Chutkan said.

Jonathan Hafetz, a senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union in New York, said the Red Cross’ mission is not to obtain legal counsel for detainees it meets. Hafetz also said there is no indication that the detainee wants to or could contact relatives or whether they would be willing to risk reprisal by seeking a lawyer for him.

Hafetz said the detainee was in a legal “black hole.”

“This should send shivers through the spine of every American citizen about the awesome power the government is asking for here,” Hafetz said after the hearing. “This is the king locking up someone in the tower and not telling who they are and not allowing them access to the court.”

The government attorneys declined to comment after the hearing. It was unclear what plans they had for answering the judge’s questions.

(AP)

The post Judge Orders US To Disclose Details Of American Held In Iraq appeared first on Yeshiva World News.

Read the rest of this entry »

San Francisco – Google’s Phones And Other Gadgets Have Had A Bumpy Ride

San Francisco — Google, which prides itself on developing simple, intuitive software that seems to know what you want almost before you do, is finding itself in a very different world when it comes to its own phones and other gadgets. Its new Pixel 2 phones, released in October, got high marks for their camera and design […]


Read the rest of this entry »

Detroit – GM To Launch Self-driving Vehicles In Big US Cities In 2019

Detroit — General Motors Co. expects to carry passengers and deliver goods with self-driving vehicles in big cities sometime in 2019, telling investors it’s moving quickly and plans to be ahead of other automakers and tech companies. The Detroit automaker made the announcement at an investor presentation in San Francisco Thursday, saying that based on […]


Read the rest of this entry »

Russian Priest Deflects Accusations Of Anti-Semitism

The head of a Russian Orthodox Church panel looking into the 1918 killing of Russia’s last czar and his family says his statement that it is investigating whether it was a ritual murder has no anti-Semitic connotations.

Father Tikhon Shevkunov said Thursday that he was only talking about the “ritual revenge of atheist Bolsheviks” and never implicated the Jews.

Earlier this week, he said many in the church panel are convinced that the killings were “ritual murder.” That drew an angry response from Russia’s largest Jewish group, which denounced the words as a revival of anti-Semitic myths.

Nicholas II and his family were executed by Bolsheviks in 1918. The speculation that they were killed by the Jews for ritual purposes long has been promoted by fringe anti-Semitic groups.

(AP)

The post Russian Priest Deflects Accusations Of Anti-Semitism appeared first on Yeshiva World News.

Read the rest of this entry »

Russian Priest Deflects Accusations Of Anti-Semitism

The head of a Russian Orthodox Church panel looking into the 1918 killing of Russia’s last czar and his family says his statement that it is investigating whether it was a ritual murder has no anti-Semitic connotations.

Father Tikhon Shevkunov said Thursday that he was only talking about the “ritual revenge of atheist Bolsheviks” and never implicated the Jews.

Earlier this week, he said many in the church panel are convinced that the killings were “ritual murder.” That drew an angry response from Russia’s largest Jewish group, which denounced the words as a revival of anti-Semitic myths.

Nicholas II and his family were executed by Bolsheviks in 1918. The speculation that they were killed by the Jews for ritual purposes long has been promoted by fringe anti-Semitic groups.

(AP)

The post Russian Priest Deflects Accusations Of Anti-Semitism appeared first on Yeshiva World News.

Read the rest of this entry »

Photos: The Vizhnitzer Rebbe of Bnei Brak, Rav Yisroel Hager, Visiting the Home of Reb Avrohom Strulovic in Monsey (JDN)

Read the rest of this entry »