Third Party Connection in Kate Steinle Murder Case

In the high profile murder case of illegal immigrant Garcia Zarate, the man who fired the fatal shot that killed San Francisco woman Kate Steinle three summers ago, the lead defense attorney may be someone with whom IPR readers are familiar.  Public defender Matt Gonzalez, a longtime Green Party activist, secured the “not guilty” verdict for Zarate on the two most serious of three charges Zarate faced.

In 2011, IPR reported on Gonzalez’s appointment to the position of chief attorney in the Public Defender’s office.  Previously, Gonzalez acted as the running mate for Independent candidate Ralph Nader in the 2008 presidential election.  He ran as the Green Party nominee for Mayor of San Francisco in 2003, finishing a strong second behind current Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.

While speaking with the press following the verdict, Gonzalez addressed the special circumstances of the case, which, during the early stages of the 2016 presidential election, President Donald Trump had used as part of his broader campaign theme against illegal immigration, emphasizing Zarate’s five deportations and San Francisco’s status as a sanctuary city.

““For those who might criticize this verdict – there are a number of people who have commented on this case in the last couple of years; the Attorney General of the United States and the President and Vice President of the United States,” said Gonzalez, “Let me just remind them: they are themselves under investigation by a special prosecutor in Washington D.C. and they may soon avail themselves of the presumption of innocence beyond a reasonable doubt, so I ask that they reflect on that before they comment or disparage the results of this case”

In a later interview, Gonzalez clarified his comments were not meant to disparage President Trump for whom he expressed, “the utmost respect.”  Criticism of the verdict and Gonzalez himself, occurred nonetheless.  Wayne Allyn Root, who had served as the Libertarian Party’s 2008 Vice presidential nominee and participated in a Free & Equal debate with Gonzalez during the campaign, tweeted:

After the verdict, which found Zarate not guilty of murder and assault, and guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm, the federal government released an arrest warrant for Zarate for violating the terms of his supervised release from a Texas prison in 2015.  Gonzalez will not represent Zarate on the Federal matter.

Further reading:

80 thoughts on “Third Party Connection in Kate Steinle Murder Case

  1. Massimo

    It seems to me that this former libertarian candidate is a bit unhinged.

    I have no idea if the guy was guilty or not, but Gonzalez job was to get him out, which he did. And what is it all this rhetorics with insults and the populist reference to the State?

    Or maybe it is just the need to use only 140 characters when expressing an opinion that makes normal people look like assholes.

  2. Thomas Knapp

    A jury listened to the prosecution make its case and the defense dispute that case, then unanimously agreed that the state had not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s how it’s supposed to work.

    As far as Root is concerned, the next time I come across a tragedy or prejudice that he’s unwilling to exploit for face time that he hopes he can turn into money will be the first time I come across such a tragedy or prejudice. He’s the more openly venal version of the opportunistic creeps who start dancing on the victims’ graves and screeching for gun control every time there’s a mass shooting.

  3. dL

    It seems to me that this former libertarian candidate is a bit unhinged.

    IIRC, the Georgia delegation in 2008 was caught on CSPAN cameras congratulating Root for “saving the party.” lol. Bar/Root are a case study for respectability politics not even delivering on the promise of respectability. Turns out, Root is race pimp.

  4. Don Wills

    It was reported that the jury was mostly San Francisco millennials. Likely never having seen a gun in person before, their questions to the judge during their deliberation implied that they were more interested in how the gun worked than in Zarate, a true scumbag. Zarate confessed to discharging the gun. At the very least, he should have been found guilty of voluntary manslaughter or whatever it’s called in Kalifornia. The prosecutor asking for murder 1 or 2 was a ridiculous tactic. All in all, this tragedy is one more nail in the coffin called the USA – it further cements the discord between coastal America and the heartland that will result in the breakup of the united States this century.

  5. wolfefan

    Hi Don –
    The case hinged on how the gun worked. Whether Zarate is a good guy or a bad guy is irrelevant to whether or not he committed the crime with which he was charged. When the defense is that there was an accidental discharge of the gun, then questions about how the gun works are entirely appropriate.

  6. George Phillies

    The published report indicates that the accused picked up the weapon, which had a hair trigger, the weapon fired into a concrete wall, and the ricochet killed someone. It appears unlikely that anyone could have fired the killing round on purpose. The jury apparently desired to confirm that the weapon was wont to fire almost spontaneously, and did so. The defense attorney did his job, which is fine unless you are a Republican who believes in lynch mobs.

  7. Don Wills

    The weapon used was not some “dangerous” gun with a hair trigger. It was a Sig Sauer P239. DHS ICE purchased 65,000 of these pistols beginning in 2004. NCIS (yes, like the TV show, but in this the real US Navy) has also purchased this weapon for their agents. It requires 6.5 pounds of trigger pull to fire, even when cocked. So Zarate found a gun, picked it up and it went off??? Did he pick it up completely by the trigger? Oops, the gun weighs less than 2 pounds. And the gun was just lying there, wrapped up in a t-shirt? In a public park in San Francisco? It was stolen 2 years ago. Zarate also originally said he was aiming at sea lions, and that the gun went off 3 times.

    This is bullshit folks. San Francisco SJWs killed Kate Steinle and Zarate was the trigger man who was acquitted by the same. If it was a white skin-head and a dead black man, the skin-head would be doing life without parole.

  8. Thomas Knapp

    Don,

    A jury of 12 individuals heard all the testimony and looked at all the evidence and unanimously concluded that the government did not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

    You’re pissed off that that jury of 12 individuals based their verdict on that evidence and that testimony instead of just ratifying your — by comparison — utterly uninformed knee-jerk reaction.

  9. Thomas Knapp

    Apparently the previous gang member (“Bureau of Land Management”) known to possess the weapon got it stolen. Who knows by whom, or how they modified it? The Sig Sauer P239 seems to come with a 10-pound trigger pull, so if it was at 6.5 pounds that’s substantially lighter than factory setting. I wouldn’t call that a “hair trigger,” but that’s just me.

    There are two kinds of shootings: Intentional and negligent. Picking up a strange gun and fucking around with it is the latter, so I’d tend to agree that a conviction on some form of manslaughter would have been warranted … but I wasn’t on the jury and didn’t hear all the testimony or see all the evidence as the jury did.

  10. Don Wills

    Thomas – no I was not in the courtroom. I doubt you were there either. Thus we’re both basing our opinions on random bits flying around on the interwebs (or even worse coming over the MSM airwaves).

    Yes, reasonable doubt was obviously the cause of the acquittal. Was the reasonable doubt because the prosecutor was incompetent? Or because the prosecutor focused exclusively on the crime as a murder, which it obviously was not based the information I’ve read. Or the instructions to the jury were so confusing that they did not understand the possibility of finding Zarate guilty of voluntary or involuntary manslaughter? Or that the jury was made up of millennial SJWs who saw the prosecution as part of a larger narrative that whitey is out to get brown folks? Or was the jury hand-picked by professionals specializing in jury selection during voir dire? Or just dumb luck? We’ll never know. All I know is that I’ll always think of the Embarcadero in San Francisco the same way the I think of Dealey Plaza in Dallas – the scene of a great injustice where the legal system failed, either on purpose or by incompetence. We peons will never know truths about such event because if we did know there would be revolution tomorrow.

    George – I can find no reports that the gun was modified. It was stolen from a BLM agent’s car parked on a street in San Francisco four days before it was fired killing Steinle. Please advise where you received the information to back up your statement.

  11. Don Wills

    The 10 pound trigger pull is when the hammer is down (double action). The 6.5 pound trigger pull is when it is in half-cocked mode after having been fired once or the hammer being manually cocked (single action).

  12. dL

    Or that the jury was made up of millennial SJWs

    I think it is pretty evident who the social justice warriors are in this instance…lulz

  13. Anon-Tipper

    Wayne Allen Root, just another example of right wing fusionism being a complete failure.

  14. wolfefan

    Hi again Don –

    Credit to you for abandoning the silly idea that the prosecution should have harped on how the defendant was a bad guy.

  15. Tony From Long Island

    Don Juan Wills: ” . . . . . .Or that the jury was made up of millennial SJWs who saw the prosecution as part of a larger narrative that whitey is out to get brown folks? . . . . ”

    You do realize that both the defense and the prosecution choose the jury, right? They each have preemptory challenged and then can make challenges for cause. . . . . . . You lose whatever shred of credibility you might have had with the “SJW” nonsense.

    You were doing so well when talking about the elements of the crime and the jury instructions . . . then you went all nutbag on us. Anyone surprised?

  16. Don Wills

    wf – I didn’t say that the prosecution should have harped on how the defendant was a bad guy. I wrote my opinion that he is a true scumbag (read his record) who should have been held responsible for his negligent action that resulted in the death of a young woman.

  17. Don Wills

    Long Island Tony – maybe my comments about SJWs being a majority of the jury hit a little too close to home? Whitey deserves what he/she gets, right? Be truthful…

  18. Don Wills

    TK – your attempt at skewering me is one of the stupidest posts I’ve ever read. The reference was to Long Island Tony’s home, not mine. Your redirection to my home was fatuous, awkwardly worded and completely illogical, which appears to be in keeping with your style of commenting, so it’s not surprising.

  19. dL

    I wrote my opinion that he is a true scumbag (read his record)

    The linked RedState article and wikipedia indicate the defendant only had a criminal record for drug crimes…i.e, victimless crimes against the state. My definition of human scum==those who think crimes against the state are a punishable moral failing. Collectivist scum…

  20. Tony From Long Island

    Dontrelle Willis: ” . . . . .Long Island Tony – maybe my comments about SJWs being a majority of the jury hit a little too close to home? Whitey deserves what he/she gets, right? Be truthful… . . . . ”

    If by my home you mean the United States, then yeah. My home has a criminal justice system that is not perfect, but works quite well. A jury picked by both the prosecution and the defense decided that the person charged with crimes was not guilty of some of them.

    He’s still getting locked up for the gun charge and I’m sure it won’t be for 90 days. . . .

    The rest of your posts was just the kind of superfluous nonsense you are know best for around these parts.

  21. Tony From Long Island

    I don’t know of any college football announcer who has called someone Dontrelle Willis.

    However, Dontrelle was a rare pitcher who could hit . . . but another one will be in MLB next year.

  22. dL

    I don’t know of any college football announcer who has called someone Dontrelle Willis.

    one mistakenly did a few years ago for an ejected player during a field brawl..but it is not important

  23. robert capozzi

    TfLI,

    I’m guessing that DW is suggesting that LI is a hotbed of SJW-ism. In my time there, I can’t say I ever met an SJW, though there may well have been some who might be so characterized. I suspect we might find more SJWs in NYC, in CA, perhaps the Pacific Northwest, and other pockets. LI has a more lower-middle-class vibe for the most part, with many struggling too much to engage in the social-justice warring.

  24. paulie

    LI has a more lower-middle-class vibe for the most part, with many struggling too much to engage in the social-justice warring.

    Depends on where. There’s every type of income level neighborhood on Long Island, not even counting Brooklyn and Queens. Just in Nassau and Suffolk counties you have the full spectrum of US neighborhoods.

  25. dL

    btw, duck typing white supremacism

  26. wolfefan

    Hi Don – you wrote that the jury should have been more interested in what kind of a guy Zarate was, which implies that the prosecution should have pushed that. Obviously the prosecution couldn’t push it and the jury wasn’t supposed to consider it since there is nothing in his record that is relevant to the charges. If he’d had a history as a violent criminal that would be different.

  27. paulie

    If it was a white skin-head and a dead black man, the skin-head would be doing life without parole.

    You’re so right. Whites are so discriminated against by the justice system. It’s terrible how whites are so disproportionately punished.

    Whitey deserves what he/she gets, right? Be truthful…

    Do you always imagine that everyone’s views are a mirror image of yours?

  28. Anon-Tipper

    dL: “btw, duck typing white supremacism”

    Why do people call him “principled” and insist that’s why he can’t be criticized? I feel like “principled” is another dog-whistle for Hoppean cultist.

  29. Don Wills

    Wow. Strawman arguments are rampant in this comment thread. Invent a meme and then connect the poster (me) to it. It’s like “the Russians did it” – if you have no reasonable argument, throw mud and blame it on the Russians.

    Here’s what I wrote in a nutshell –

    It could have been SJWs on the jury (why did Tony bristle at that suggestion?).
    It could have been an overly aggressive prosecutor only talking about murder 1 or 2.
    It could have been a completely incompetent prosecutor – if so, why was he assigned (think “A Few Good Men”).
    It could have been dumb luck.

    And yes, it was fair of me to ask about why Zarate. About what his felony conviction was for. About where he was when shot was fired. About why he was there. And why he ran. And why he threw the gun into the bay (“to stop it from going off” – please). And why he didn’t stop to offer assistance (think hit and run which is a crime even if it truly is an unavoidable accident). There were many concerns about Zarate the would seemingly lead to a manslaughter conviction, but it seems that the jury truly believed that the gun had a mind of its own and went off when Zarate innocently touched it. Yep, the gun did it of its own free will! Mystery solved.

    All I know for sure is that a life ending, family destroying injustice was done by a San Francisco jury made up of a large number of millennials.

    My comment about how San Francisco millennials on the jury had probably never even seen a gun in person except in the holster of a cop stands.

    And BTW Zarate will walk on the state conviction because he’s been in jail for longer than the sentence will likely be for a felon to carry a gun conviction.

    Maybe he’ll stay out of the country after he’s deported for the 8th time (HAH). Aren’t open borders wonderful?

    PS. George, where’s the source for your statement about the gun being modified?

  30. Thomas Knapp

    “All I know for sure is that a life ending, family destroying injustice was done by a San Francisco jury made up of a large number of millennials.”

    How did the jury end a life and destroy a family?

    If they had convicted Zarate, would Kate Steinle have risen from the dead and gone home to visit her parents?

    I’m skeptical of the verdict. But I didn’t listen to twelve days of testimony and two days of closing arguments and then spend five days deliberating with 11 other people to reach unanimous agreement on it. I’m guessing that the people who did had more information than I do. And than you do.

    “Justice” and “maximization of revenge” are not the same thing. You seem intent on the latter. And it looks like you’ll get your way, as the feds are double-jeopardying Zarate.

  31. Tony From Long Island

    RC: ” . . . . . .I’m guessing that DW is suggesting that LI is a hotbed of SJW-ism. In my time there, I can’t say I ever met an SJW, though there may well have been some who might be so characterized. . . . . ”

    Just like anywhere else, Long Island has its share of people who want equal treatment for all. I don’t consider that to be some sort of “warrior.”

    Long Island has all types of neighborhoods. My small town alone has multi-million dollar houses by the water as well as a struggling lower-middle class, where I fit in.

  32. Tony From Long Island

    Don Corleone” . . . .It could have been SJWs on the jury (why did Tony bristle at that suggestion?). . . . ”

    I don’t “bristle” at anything. I just don’t allow people to perpetuate made up right-wing talking point sayings. “Social Justice Warrior” is Breitbartian mumbo-jumbo. You act as though it is a bad thing to be for equal justice under the law.

    You also continually ignore the fact that juries in this country are chosen by both the prosecution and the defense. Those with inherent biases are usually weeded out. If one slips in, he or she is outnumbered 11 to 1.

  33. dL

    jury made up of a large number of millennials.

    I imagine the average age of any juror these days is millennial, 21-40. Apparently, the ethno nationalist SJWs are now whining about the whipper snappers. whah, whah, whah…The whipper snappers are on our juries, in our labor force, on our TV screens, paying for our social security and medicare.. It’s not fair!!!!. whah, whah, whah

  34. Don Wills

    TK wrote “How did the jury end a life and destroy a family?”

    Can’t you read? Or understand English language sentence construction? The subject of the sentence is “injustice”, not “jury”.

  35. Tony From Long Island

    dL ” . . . Apparently, the ethno nationalist SJWs are now whining about the whipper snappers. . . . ”

    And what, exactly, is an “ethno-nationalist SJW?” 🙂

  36. Tony From Long Island

    Don Ho: ” . . . . .The subject of the sentence is “injustice”, not “jury”. . . . . ”

    And the “injustice” that you seem to perceive was caused by a jury . . . . .

    . . . .tiny bubbles . . . .

  37. Thomas Knapp

    Don,

    Can’t you write? Or construct a coherent sentence in English?

    You wrote that a “life ending, family destroying injustice was done by a San Francisco jury.”

    Even setting aside the poor (passive voice) construction, there’s no way to read that sentence that doesn’t translate to you accusing the jury of ending a life and destroying a family.

    So, again, whose life did that jury end and whose family did that jury destroy?

  38. robert capozzi

    pf and TFLI,

    Yes, of course there’s a wide range of socioeconomic scenes in LI. I was talking about what I perceived to be the predominant vibe I got there. I didn’t see a vocal SJW element like we hear about on the West Coast or in NYC.

    DW may have the sense that LI is just like NYC, and I don’t. Are there SJWs on LI? Almost certainly. Casper, WY probably has a few, too, but I suspect it’s not a high-profile scene there.

  39. Tony From Long Island

    RC, it is true that Long Island is certainly not a hotbed of progressive activism, but there is a growing group that meets regularly. I have not attended any of these meetings, but one of my aunts has.

  40. dL

    Even setting aside the poor (passive voice) construction, there’s no way to read that sentence that doesn’t translate to you accusing the jury of ending a life and destroying a family.

    yep, active voice form:
    A San Francisco jury carried out a family destroying injustice.

    That reasonableness of that statement relies on a definition of justice==retribution under a presumption of guilt. So any jury acquittal likely would fall under the category of “gross miscarriage of justice.”

  41. paulie

    rc, wikipedia for Suffolk Co NY. I am not addressing your point about political activists but economically:

    In 2008, Forbes magazine released its American Community Survey and named Suffolk County number 4 in its list of the top 25 richest counties in America. In 2016, according to Business Insider, the 11962 zip code encompassing Sagaponack, within Southampton, was listed as the most expensive in the U.S., with a median home sale price of $8.5 million.[23]

    The median income for a household in the county was $84,767,[24] and the median income for a family was $72,112. Males had a median income of $50,046 versus $33,281 for females. The per capita income for the county was $26,577. Using a weighted average from 2009-2014 about 6.40% of the population were below the poverty line[19] In earlier censuses, the population below the poverty line included 2.70% of those under age 18 and 2.30% of those age 65 or over.

    Nassau County:

    The median income for a household in the county in 2000 was $72,030, and the median income for a family was $81,246 (these figures had risen to $87,658 and $101,661 respectively according to a 2007 estimate[78]). Males had a median income of $52,340 versus $37,446 for females. The per capita income for the county was $32,151. About 3.50% of families and 5.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.80% of those under age 18 and 5.60% of those age 65 or over.

  42. itdoesntmatterttomuch

    W.A.R. is a piece of shit. I’m surprised he even mentioned the LP, though. I’d prefer he didn’t. He and the rest of the conservative opportunists should find themselves welcome in the current GOP.

  43. Starchild

    What is sad about this case, aside from the fact of a tragic death occurring, is how many commentators seem to have so much hatred for Zarate and desire to see him punished and suffer. I do not think this would be the case if he were not an immigrant, especially an undocumented immigrant. That is also the main reason, I believe, why president Trump chose to weigh in on the story, and why it has gotten so much publicity.

    I live in San Francisco, so there was a fair amount about this case in the local media, although I didn’t sit in on any of the trial. A few points I haven’t seen mentioned here:

    • When the gun fired, the bullet hit the concrete pier a few feet from the chair that Garcia Zarate was sitting on but 79 feet away from Kate Steinle before ricocheting and hitting her

    • Zarate was bent over when the gun went off (not the usual posture for someone intending to fire a gun)

    • Before Zarate arrived on the pier, surveillance video captured a group of individuals standing for some 30 minutes around where he was later sitting, in which one of them can be seen bending down (consistent with leaving the gun under the chair where Zarate claims to have found it)

    Personally, I’m not sure whether he did find the gun there, or brought it onto the pier with him as the prosecution claimed, but it seems more likely to me that he did find it there. (Possibly the individuals observed in the video were there to transfer the gun to someone, and when that person or persons did not show, decided to leave it there.) What I am sure of is that the shooting of Kate Steinle was entirely accidental. It may have been due to Zarate’s reckless negligence in handling the firearm; it may have been that he even intended to pull the trigger to see what would happen. I do not believe that he actually intended to fire the gun, and certainly do not believe he intended to harm Steinle or anyone else. There was no motive, no history of violent crime on the part of the accused, and being that he was an undocumented migrant, every reason why he would not want to risk getting arrested.

    I think it is entirely possible that the defense’s account – Zarate picked up the t-shirt with the gun inside in such a manner that caused it to go off – is accurate. Accidental discharges happen. I admit that I have doubts about whether this is the most likely scenario; Zarate did initially give the police conflicting stories of what had occurred. On the other hand, some of the interrogation questions were poorly translated to the Spanish-speaking man, and accidental discharges do happen. Just yesterday I read an account of a police officer getting out of his car to chase a man who had kicked the vehicle, slipping and falling in some mud and water upon which his sidearm discharged, grazing the fleeing man in the head. In short, while it seems likely that Zarate pulled the trigger, I think there was reasonable doubt that he did not. Therefore I believe the jury made the right decision in finding him not guilty of not just murder, but also of manslaughter.

    It’s also possible, I think, that the jury decided to nullify, not necessarily based on its members being “social justice warriors”, but due to increasing public awareness about inhumane conditions in prisons – California not long ago witnessed a widespread hunger strike by inmates seeking better treatment – and the disproportionately long sentences often handed down.

    As Fully Informed Jury advocates know (see http://www.FIJA.org for info), jurors have the right to vote to acquit even if they think a defendant is guilty of breaking the law, if they believe that the law is unjust, or that it is being unfairly enforced. Because of the publicity surrounding the case, it seems likely that most jurors were aware Zarate is an undocumented migrant who had been repeatedly deported and was therefore considered a felon by the government. They may well have felt that, under these circumstances, convicting him of a serious charge like manslaughter would have resulted in the man undergoing an unduly harsh punishment for what I believe must have been obvious to any of them not blinded by xenophobia or other prejudices was a wholly accidental killing, whether or not it was the result of reckless behavior by the defendant, or simply his bad luck of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and having the misfortune to pick up a mysterious wrapped object.

  44. Thomas Knapp

    “Accidental discharges happen.”

    No, they don’t. The two types of firearms discharge are intentional and negligent.

    Of course, if the gun was wrapped in a t-shirt and Zarate didn’t know that when he picked up the bundle, the negligence was on the part of whoever left it like that, not on Zarate’s part.

  45. Starchild

    I agree that Wayne Allyn Root’s comments are reprehensible. They make me even gladder than I was that he is no longer a Libertarian. His remarks sound little different from the kind of mean-spirited lust for punishment exhibited by many of the right-wing posters I’ve seen commenting in Internet forums about this case. Sad. He has indeed not improved with age.

    By contrast, I have a good deal of respect for Matt Gonzalez, who despite being a committed leftist once spoke at a rally for libertarian Republican John Dennis who was running for Congress against Nancy Pelosi, as well as for the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office as a whole. The elected Public Defender, Jeff Adachi, has been doing a fantastic job, and I think the staffing and tenor of the office as a whole reflect his positive leadership. He is the only elected official in San Francisco for whom I have voted and for whom I have any real respect. Like his chief assistant Gonzalez, I believe he is an honest and principled progressive who is excellent on civil liberties issues and willing to part company with the majority of those on the left when he believes they are wrong.

    Adachi has not once but twice championed losing pension reform measures supported by the Libertarian Party of San Francisco and the minority of San Franciscans who favor fiscal sanity, despite the fact that these measures were highly unpopular with the local Democratic establishment and quite possibly cost him any chance he may have had of getting elected mayor. He and his office have been fearless and outspoken in taking on law enforcement abuse, including playing a key role in exposing and publicizing the actions of sheriff’s deputies who had been staging fights among inmates at the county jail, and SFPD officers who were caught on video stealing property from the apartments of poor Single Room Occupancy (SRO) residents.

  46. Starchild

    One more brief note – the headline of this story was poorly chosen, given that Kate Steinle was not murdered, but the victim of a tragic accidental shooting.

  47. Tony From Long Island

    Paulie, the numbers you provided are skewed by the ultra-rich parts of both counties, which raise the median income. I would say that 90% of Long Island is either middle class or lower. I’ve lived here for my entire 43 years.

    Either way, it’s a wonderful place to live 🙂

  48. Tony From Long Island

    Starchild:

    . . . . .Because of the publicity surrounding the case, it seems likely that most jurors were aware Zarate is an undocumented migrant who had been repeatedly deported and was therefore considered a felon by the government. They may well have felt that, under these circumstances, convicting him of a serious charge like manslaughter would have resulted in the man undergoing an unduly harsh punishment . . . . ”

    I agree with your post except for the above quote. I don’t think anyone on the jury used that line of reasoning. Even if one did, it takes 11 others to acquit or convict.

  49. dL

    One more brief note – the headline of this story was poorly chosen, given that Kate Steinle was not murdered, but the victim of a tragic accidental shooting.

    If the defendant was tried for murder, then the headline is accurate. However, I would have chosen something like “third party connection in Zarate murder acquittal.” Then again, I wasn’t even aware of this case until it was posted here.

  50. paulie

    Paulie, the numbers you provided are skewed by the ultra-rich parts of both counties, which raise the median income. I would say that 90% of Long Island is either middle class or lower. I’ve lived here for my entire 43 years.

    That’s why the stats I mentioned were the median, meaning 50% of population above and 50% below. You’re thinking of the mean, which is the average that gets skewed by extreme outliers, unlike the median. However, the numbers that I provided are not that far out, 50% of the population is still below those numbers, some significantly below, and those median numbers are still middle class, especially in high cost of living parts of the country and high tax states like NY.

    The part of LI I spent a lot of time in when I was a teenager was pretty well off, near Dix Hills and Northport. I only sort of lived there but yes, it was wonderful.

  51. paulie

    If the defendant was tried for murder, then the headline is accurate.

    Headline seems OK to me, even speaking as someone who is not a fan of the persecution side of the prosecution. However, I would add Libertarian and Independent to the categories, since part of the article is about Wayne Root and since it also mentions Gonzalez’s independent candidacy.

  52. robert capozzi

    PF,

    Median income doesn’t capture cost of living. LI’s median incomes SOUND high, but after housing and taxes, my sense is the picture is not as affluent as it might appear.

    It also doesn’t capture the age distributions. I suspect that a big driver of the high median income levels includes a disproportionate number of pensioners. Fat government and union pensions.

    Anecdotally, driving around the vast center of LI, and see vast swathes of failed businesses, boarded up homes, and other signs of decline.

    Demographics aside, it’s just not a place that I saw SJW-ism. I do see it more in CA. I think DW was perceiving based on a stereotypical assumption, which was my main point.

  53. paulie

    Median income doesn’t capture cost of living. LI’s median incomes SOUND high, but after housing and taxes, my sense is the picture is not as affluent as it might appear.

    True, and I mentioned cost of living in a prior comment.

    It also doesn’t capture the age distributions. I suspect that a big driver of the high median income levels includes a disproportionate number of pensioners. Fat government and union pensions.

    Quite possibly. I’d have to look at age distribution, but I’m not motivated enough to do that right now.

    Anecdotally, driving around the vast center of LI, and see vast swathes of failed businesses, boarded up homes, and other signs of decline.

    Been a while for me, but I believe it for sure.

    Demographics aside, it’s just not a place that I saw SJW-ism. I do see it more in CA. I think DW was perceiving based on a stereotypical assumption, which was my main point.

    All true. And I already agreed with your main point.

  54. paulie

    I’m surprised he even mentioned the LP, though.

    Former VP candidate makes him sound important. It was a very brief period of his life, but it’s his most impressive sounding accomplishment.

    He and the rest of the conservative opportunists should find themselves welcome in the current GOP.

    He and they do. He’s an enthusiastic Trumpeter.

  55. Tony From Long Island

    RC: ” . . . . . .Anecdotally, driving around the vast center of LI, and see vast swathes of failed businesses, boarded up homes, and other signs of decline. . . . . . ”

    I don’t think that Long Island’s “boarded up homes” and “failed businesses” are any different than any other part of the country.

    In the 1990’s the town centers in Bay Shore, Patchogue, etc. were terrible. Entire blocks of failed businesses. Both of those towns are thriving right now.

    I would say that Mr. Capozzi is exaggerating just a bit.

    I can’t think of one boarded up house in my town, but I do know of a few that are currently unoccupied.

  56. robert capozzi

    TfLI,

    The signs of declines on LI are much more pronounced than my previous home in VA and my current home in CA.

    My sense that the south and north shores show less signs of decline than iit does north of Sunrise and south of 25.

  57. Don Wills

    The Politico article by an alternate juror was a reasonable explanation that leads me to the conclusion that the lead prosecutor was incompetent, offering a muddled and incomplete story that made no sense.

    But why did that happen? IMO, there is a real possibility that the reason for the choice of who would lead the prosecution team was similar to why Tom Cruise’s character was chosen to be the plaintiffs’ attorney in “A Few Good Men” — someone higher up in the food chain of deciding on the prosecution team wanted an acquittal. Another possible is because somebody in the DA’s office wanted the spotlight in what appeared to be an easy, very high-profile case, but was incompetent. We’ll never know why the prosecution was so awful…

    BTW, I agree with other posters here that the federal grand jury’s indictment amounts to double-jepardy and should not happen. Zarate was indicted by a federal grand jury yesterday for being a felon in possession of a firearm and for being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm. He was already convicted of the state charge the duplicates the first federal charge, which is a blatant violation of the 5th amendment proscription against being tried twice for the same crime. And the second charge is also mooted by the state conviction (it’s like charging someone with assault when they’ve already been convicted of attempted murder). With respect to being an illegal alien who is a felon, he should be deported as soon as the state of Kalifornia lets him out of jail. And like I said, hopefully he’ll stay south of the border in the future (but I’m not holding my breath). I wonder – how many times do you need to jump the fence before you get a sizable federal prison sentence?

  58. Thomas L. Knapp

    Don,

    Now you’re talking sense. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the prosecutor had instructions from higher up to “give the jury an excuse to acquit.”

  59. William Saturn

    Double jeopardy refers only to the same sovereign. California cannot try him again for the matter but the federal government may.

  60. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Double jeopardy refers only to the same sovereign. California cannot try him again for the matter but the federal government may.”

    That’s not what the Fifth Amendment says:

    “[N]or shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.”

    Not “nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb unless it’s a different level of government doing the subjecting.”

    Not “nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb unless we decide hey, we’d really like to do that.”

    Just “nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.”

  61. Thomas L. Knapp

    OK, so there’s an evil doctrine based on a willful misinterpretation of the Constitution’s actual language and obvious meaning. I’m not surprised. But neither am I willing to pretend that it’s anything other than what it is.

  62. Don Wills

    Mr. Saturn – So why does the federal government indict only those who are exonerated at the state level, but not those who are convicted? Selective prosecution based on the judgement of men means that we are not a nation of laws, but are just another nation of tyrants making up the law that suits their desires.

    Whenever somebody writes “but that the what case law prescribes”, I roll my eyes and reflect on the history of American jurisprudence with respect to how far away from the Constitution the judicial system has strayed for the Constitution’s entire history.

  63. Don Wills

    should be “but that’s what case law prescribes”

    paulie – IPR BADLY NEEDS THE FEATURE TO ALLOW EDITING OF COMMENTS !!!

  64. Thomas Knapp

    “IPR BADLY NEEDS THE FEATURE TO ALLOW EDITING OF COMMENTS !!!”

    It has that ability — for registered users. Unfortunately, in addition to resolutely sticking with WordPress’s primitive commenting system instead of installing a modern commenting system like Disqus, IPR apparently has user registration disabled.

    I do love IPR, but when it comes to commenting specifically, I love it in the same way that I love seeing a car from the 1930s tooling down the road today. It’s a nice bit of nostalgia.

  65. dL

    The doctrine of separate sovereigns is the accepted interpretation

    that arbitrary gobbledygook started w/ prohibition. SCOTUS perpetuates that precedent on the pretext that abandoning it would threaten federalism. The nonsense of that sentiment is demonstrated perfectly by this case, given that it has become a proxy for the sanctuary cities fray.

  66. dL

    It has that ability — for registered users. Unfortunately, in addition to resolutely sticking with WordPress’s primitive commenting system instead of installing a modern commenting system like Disqus modern surveillance DMP audience platform like Discus

    Issues like inability to edit posts and impersonation make authentication(i.e, user accounts) preferable, but IPR’s account registration is flaky.

  67. paulie

    Don, not sure why that was directed at me. Warren and Steve Redlich are probably who you were looking for but the issue isn’t new nor is Knapp’s bizarre preference for Disqus. We don’t know of a plugin that allows unregistered users to comment, and issues with going to disqus or any other comment system have been hashed to death many times here in past threads and on our writers and editors email list. You can read the comments for and against on, for example, http://independentpoliticalreport.com/2017/05/commenting-issues-on-ipr/ If you want to discuss the issue further after reading that thread please do so there, and/or write Warren Redlich (contact info in about ipr tab at the top of the page). Contrary to popular opinion I don’t own or run IPR. I can’t install a plugin even if I had one picked out.

  68. Don Wills

    paulie – I stand corrected. You seem to care about what happens here so much that I just assumed…

  69. paulie

    No worries, and feel free to discuss the commenting system issues further but if you do please do that on that other thread. Or email the Redlichs. But I suggest you at least through that thread first to save yourself time. It’s far from the only time those issues were discussed.

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