Indictment of a failed Leftist Culture
The tragedy of the Steinle verdict lays, not with external forces, but within the hearts and minds of those twelve San Francisco jurors, who, incapable of honestly applying fact to law, rendered a decision contrary to truth, law and justice.
The battle is a cultural one rooted in institutions (academia and media) dominated and controlled by a leftist progressive ideology that has bankrupted the culture and enervated the capacity for moral and rational thought. In communities, such as San Francisco, were such leftist ideologies are predominate, not only is there mass unchecked third world immigration, but being a victim of crime can also mean being a victim of injustice if that victim happens to be on the wrong side of identity politics.
My background is in criminal law. Prior to being promoted to supervisor I served on the homicide team. That is, my sole responsibility was prosecuting murder cases.
As such, I have expertise in (California) Criminal Law and Procedure and, most importantly for this discussion, experience with the critical thinking skills (or lack thereof) of the average juror over a lengthy career as a trial attorney.
Though I reside in California, my viewpoint is a conservative one. For the conservative, there is such a thing as truth. That regard for truth is a matter of moral principle which takes precedence over politics.
For the progressive, “truth” is a malleable commodity which can be bent and changed as a means to achieve a certain political end.
Before discussing in more detail why Steinle’s jury exonerated the defendant of murder and related charges, a brief review of the facts in the context of our law will shed light on how gross an injustice the jury verdicts were in this case.
At the time in question, defendant Zarate fired a stolen Sig Sauer .40-caliber handgun into a crowd of people walking on a San Francisco pier. The bullet stuck Kate Steinle in the back who died minutes later in her father’s arms. Defendant, whose actions were caught on surveillance cameras, tossed the gun into San Francisco bay and fled. During his initial questioning by police Zarate stated that he had fired the gun on purpose but claimed he was only aiming at a seal. Later, defendant changed his story claiming that he had found the gun on the pier and stating that the weapon accidentally fired when he picked it up.
Fundamentally, the Steinle case should have been an easy one for Second Degree Implied Malice Murder. The act of shooting a gun into a crowd of people is so grossly and outrageously negligent, that, under our law the malice for murder is implied. It doesn’t matter that you weren’t aiming at nor intended to kill a specific person What do you expect other than someone is going to be killed when you shoot a gun in the direction of other people on a crowded pier? Defendant initially admitted that he had intentionally fired the gun. His later excuse, changing his story, (“it accidentally went off when I picked it up”) is a convenient lie which the law allows the jury to consider in establishing his “consciousness of guilt.” That is, changing your story to cover up what happened evidences your knowledge that what you did was wrong. So does attempting to destroy the evidence, by tossing it into the bay, and fleeing the scene.
In this case, not only did the jury acquit Zarate of Murder (both First and Second Degree), but they also found him not guilty of the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter.
That is, the jury could not even conclude, on these facts, that Steinle’s death was a result of gross negligence without any intent (whether actual or implied) to kill.
No, but they did find this seven time convicted felon and repeat immigration violator guilty of illegally possessing a firearm – a crime which at this point Zarate essentially has “credit for time served.”
I guess if you live in San Francisco, touching a firearm makes you bad. Using it to murder someone, no big deal, especially if the shooter is a member of a victim/minority class and the dead chick some 32 year old white girl.
The fundamental reason for my success at trial was not my expertise in criminal law and procedure but my ability at jury selection – the critical task of choosing and retaining members of the jury possessed of common sense and critical thinking skills.
Alas, during the latter part of my career that task became increasingly more difficult due to the declining numbers of citizens possessed of the ability to perform dispassionate logical syllogistic reasoning informed by a sense of morality.
I was initially shocked by the Steinle verdict until I considered the venue where the trial was held. The jury pool came from the citizenry of San Francisco. Yes, there are some places left in this country – primarily in fly-over country – where it is possible to obtain a just determination of guilt or innocence regardless of race or identity politics, but San Francisco ain’t one of them.
In the final analysis, facts, law and personal responsibility are not the currency of decision making for those indoctrinated in leftist ideology that treats a jury verdict as a means to a political end. This case is OJ all over again. The fault is not in the jury system, but in the jurors who rendered the Stienle verdicts.
Is it ok for us to make judgements anymore in our society about what is right or what is wrong? Can we have the courage to stand on fact and law regardless of what race, group or political party we identify with? A good question and one that is necessary to rightly resolve for the peace and well-being of our society.
Hurtfully ironic how the left will turn the argument around, and, engaging in an extreme form of self-projection, accuse the conservative and those on the right of precisely their own bad conduct. It is only by having the courage to stand on the law regardless of race and politics that we can insure the fair administration of justice and an ordered and functioning society. That Kate Steinle did not receive justice is not due to outside forces. It is a manifestation of the decay within by a culture dominated by leftist ideology.