Kate Steinle's murderer is claiming that he has been unjustly treated by the U.S. government. Jose Garcia-Zarate, the illegal immigrant who had been deported five times yet found sanctuary in San Francisco, shot and killed the 32-year-old Steinle in July 2015. He was acquitted of murder after the jury concluded that the shooting was an accident, but he was charged for carrying a firearm and violating immigration laws and is set to be deported.
Now, Zarate is suing the government for what he suggests is “vindictive prosecution.”
In a filing this week in federal court in San Francisco, lawyers for Jose Garcia-Zarate demanded that the federal government hand over its communications with local law enforcement agencies — the San Francisco police, district attorney’s office and sheriff’s office — to let him prove collusion and double jeopardy. Attorney J. Tony Serra accused Mr. Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions of using his client as a political punching bag and said their words suggest that Mr. Garcia-Zarate is being unjustly prosecuted.
Zarate and Serra are reportedly going to use President Trump's tweets and statements as evidence. Trump once called the illegal immigrant an "animal."
Hot Air's Jazz Shaw poked some holes in Zarate's claim, first defining what consists of vindictive prosecution.
Prosecutorial vindictiveness is defined as vengeful prosecution for the recovery of damages to person, property, of reputation, shown to have approximately resulted from a previous civil or criminal proceeding, which was commenced or continued without probable cause, but with vengeance, and which has terminated unsuccessfully. Riegel v. Hygrade.
"But the only charges Garcia-Zarate was cleared on were murder and manslaughter," Shaw explains. "The feds aren’t going after him for that. Their case runs parallel to the weapons and immigration charges the illegal alien was already found guilty of. So that claim seems to fall flat."
Kate's Law was introduced in Congress following Steinle's death, mandating stricter penalties on illegal immigrants who had returned to the U.S. after being deported. It passed the House in June.
The Trump administration has butted heads with California several times over the state's sanctuary city policies, most recently when Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf warned her community that ICE was going to be conducting a raid. Trump called her a "disgrace" for her actions. Before that, he threatened to remove all his ICE agents from the state and see how quickly officials beg him to reconsider.