Patterico's Pontifications

11/30/2017

Kate Steinle’s Killer Acquitted

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:42 pm

I didn’t see the trial, so I don’t know if the verdict was rational or irrational. However, only in the last few days did I learn some facts that made it sound like a tough case. It was a single ricochet shot off pavement. The interview was poorly conducted and failed to clearly establish that he pulled the trigger, due to a translation issue. I am not shocked by the verdict and it may be right.

Fortunately, a bunch of Internet randos are going to become instant experts on California murder law. It’s already happening on Twitter. Hip hip hooray.

144 Responses to “Kate Steinle’s Killer Acquitted”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. From the chronicle piece, they declined to call the strongest witness.

    narciso (d1f714)

  3. I’m left to guess that in California that the felony murder doctrine doesn’t apply?

    Dilligas (389b02)

  4. Off-topic with apologies, but: Will the Amazon website widget return?

    On-topic: This verdict will get lots of criticism. I don’t know if this case was well or poorly tried, or if the jury was rational or irrational.

    But good juries pay attention to the evidence, and they try not to consider things which haven’t been admitted into evidence, and they try hard to follow the instructions the judge gives them. The evidence didn’t include — and shouldn’t have included, under unequivocal and long-standing law — the facts that this guy had a long criminal record and was a multiple-time deportee, because those issues don’t relate to whether the state has or hasn’t proven beyond a reasonable doubt every essential element of the crimes he was charged with having committed.

    The public may have looked for this verdict to be a referendum among the jurors on illegal immigration, sanctuary cities, and other public policy issues that are indeed implicated by this sad, tragic story.

    The jurors were given a very different job. Without having seen any of the trial, or reviewed all of the evidence, though, none of us and no one in the public is well-situated to evaluate whether they did their job badly or well.

    I have a great many criticisms of the State of California and, particularly, its political leadership, and I have very pronounced opinions on the subjects of immigration and criminal justice and their intersection in sanctuary cities. I repeat, this case implicates those things, and it’s entirely legitimate to discuss those policies in the aftermath of this trial.

    But that’s a different thing than criticizing this particular jury or its verdict, because they weren’t tasked with addressing all those things.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  5. Not sure if the jury could have found this to be involuntary manslaughter rather than first or second degree murder.
    Once I heard the killing shot was a ricochet, at an angle, from a distance, I figured murder was off the table.
    But it seems that they found the accused guilty of felony possession of a firearm even though the defense succeeded in convincing the jury that the accused had no idea there was a gun inside its wrapping and it went off totally by accident.
    So clearly he had a gun, clearly it went off and clearly someone was killed.
    The prosecution proved only that the accused was culpable of having a gun… even if it was found seconds before the killing wrapped in a rag under the seat on the pier the accused was seated upon.

    Why did the SF DA charge murder? The expert testimony for the prosecution seemed to be that the accused meant to kill the girl, but was such a bad shot that he missed low and wide, but got lucky twice on the ricochet and still killed his chosen victim since the ricochet bounced the bullet back up and to the side so it could hit her.

    Manslaughter would have been a better charge (in hindsight)

    steveg (e8c34d)

  6. Stolen gun. Fired recklessly.

    Acquitted on murder, manslaughter, assault with a firearm. IN CALIFORNIA.

    Political decision to spit in the face of the rest of the nation. No different than OJ.

    NJRob (2f4947)

  7. (reposted from other thread)

    I’ve indeed read up on the definition of Involuntary Manslaughter; I assume the defense argued that the discharge of the gun was an accident. If nobody witnessed it, and there was no apparent motive, how can you prove otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt?

    What I don’t understand is that the accident defense requires that you were engaged in lawful activity; since the defendant was in illegal possession of the firearm, that seems like it should have been a pretty big problem for the defense.

    The murder charges, and the prosecution’s apparent attempts to prove the defendant aimed at the victim, without any real evidence (as far as I can tell), seem like they may have been a mistake to my non-lawyerly eyes.

    Maybe they should have concentrated on the manslaughter charge?

    From the chronicle piece, they declined to call the strongest witness.

    They weren’t allowed to re-call one controversial expert for a second time. He testified once.

    Dave (445e97)

  8. Did he catch any charges for stealing that gun or did he just “find it” on the street?

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  9. Fortunately, a bunch of Internet randos are going to become instant experts on California murder law. It’s already happening on Twitter. Hip hip hooray

    Here is one such know it all:

    Ted Cruz
    @tedcruz
    ·
    1h
    I am disappointed and angry at the not guilty verdict for Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, an illegal alien who had several felony convictions & was deported from the US five times. Justice must be served for Kate Steinle.

    Go save Texas.

    BuDuh (27f249)

  10. @ Dilligas (#3): I’m not admitted in CA and don’t practice criminal law regularly anywhere. About three minutes of Googling, which didn’t extend far beyond this on Wikipedia, suggests to me that California’s felony murder rule (first- or second-degree) probably didn’t include illegal possession of a firearm (the felony of which he was convicted) among the listed predicate felonies in which the doctrine might apply. But I’ll defer to our host, or any other lawyer commenters here with criminal law experience or California criminal law experience in particular.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  11. Did he catch any charges for stealing that gun or did he just “find it” on the street?

    He claimed to have found it.

    It’s unfortunate that they were unable to link him more directly to the theft of the gun.

    Dave (445e97)

  12. I bet Mr Beldar know about this case

    The physical evidence didn’t add up. Unless Greg had been beaten to death elsewhere, and his body had been returned to the room and carefully placed on the rug, nothing about the scene added up to a crime. How does a man get beaten so severely that ribs crack, inner organs tear, and the heart ruptures, all without significant damage to his torso? Other than the bruising and the cut at his crotch, Fleniken’s outer body showed no signs of a beating. And how could such a rumble have taken place in the hotel room without a thing being toppled or even disturbed? Without anyone in adjacent rooms hearing a thing?

    The Body in Room 348

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  13. I’m left to guess that in California that the felony murder doctrine doesn’t apply?

    It exists, but it does not apply to these facts. There has to be a specified underlying felony — examples include a robbery or a burglary.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  14. Beldar,

    It’s a long story. I am low-energy today. Hopefully Amazon will return. Whether that widget will return, I’m not sure.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  15. @ NJ Rob (#6): With due respect, the kind of indictment of this jury that you made in your comment above is exactly the kind of comment I do not think justifiable from this verdict.

    The gun was stolen; there was no proof that this defendant stole it.

    That the weapon discharged while this defendant was holding it was proved beyond a reasonable doubt. That he intended — or even physically caused — the discharge is a different question, and it’s the one that counts, and without motive and without any direct evidence, it’s not inconceivable to me that a reasonable jury might have had a reasonable doubt as to whether the prosecution proved that essential fact.

    If you were right — if the intent of the jury was like in the OJ case, a classic jury nullification scenario — then why would that jury have convicted him on the possession charge? If they wanted to thumb their noses at Trump or at, as you say, the rest of the nation, why wouldn’t they simply have acquitted him altogether?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  16. Political decision to spit in the face of the rest of the nation. No different than OJ.

    It could not be more different from OJ. But I choose not to try to convince you.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  17. I had some stuff I’d delayed ordering from Amazon in hopes I could do so to the benefit of this website, but I’ll favor, for now, some other worthy blogger, with hopes that the widget, or an equivalent Amazon Associates means, returns to Patterico.com.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  18. It seems the San Francisco pd is nearly as solid as the one described in hammetts tales

    narciso (d1f714)

  19. Here is one such know it all

    I am disappointed at Senator Cruz’s reaction. The verdict is not absurd based on publicly known evidence. There is plenty to be angry about here — in particular San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy that prevented the deportation of this illegal who had been deported many times before.

    But the outrage at the verdict is politics over principle. It’s not clearly an irrational verdict based on what I know.

    Whether the defendant’s actions were criminally negligent is a judgment call based on the facts presented at trial. Was it an accident? Did he behave with ordinary inattention or carelessness? If so, he is not guilty. Did he behave in a manner so different from the way an ordinary person behaves that his actions amount to indifference to human life? If so, he could be guilty of involuntary manslaughter. Evidently the jurors rejected the latter conclusion and opted for one of the former. Again, this does not seem patently irrational.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  20. Let’s see if he pushes into a hotel room to retrieve some Virgin of Guadalupe candles.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  21. Sessions released a thoughtful statement about the verdict.

    “When jurisdictions choose to return criminal aliens to the streets rather than turning them over to federal immigration authorities, they put the public’s safety at risk. San Francisco’s decision to protect criminal aliens led to the preventable and heartbreaking death of Kate Steinle. While the State of California sought a murder charge for the man who caused Ms. Steinle’s death—a man who would not have been on the streets of San Francisco if the city simply honored an ICE detainer—the people ultimately convicted him of felon in possession of a firearm. 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. 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.”

    Trump, of course, channeled NJRob. (will not link to it…)

    Dave (445e97)

  22. Beldar, if you can hold off another day or two I might have something up. Otherwise, favor the other folks.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  23. I think the main point should be even the most powerful handgun in the world will not reach SF from south of the Mexican border.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  24. Beldar,

    You disagree. Show why I am wrong.

    Patterico. Show me in California, one of the most unfriendly guns rights states in the nation, that you are not responsible for the actions resulting from a gun in your possession furthered by illegally having that gun in the first place.

    NJRob (2f4947)

  25. Only the law abiding should suffer, isn’t that crystal clear.

    narciso (d1f714)

  26. The beatings will continue

    https://tinyurl.com/ya5gpuvz

    Mitchell and nesson paid the danegeld

    narciso (d1f714)


  27. 25.Only the law abiding should suffer, isn’t that crystal clear.

    She did. She’s dead.

    Rev.Hoagie (6bbda7)

  28. So, how does this work?

    BREAKING: U.S. immigration officials say they will deport Mexican man found not guilty of murder in San Francisco pier shooting.

    He was convicted of a crime which carries a sentence of up to three years in prison.

    Why does he get a plane ticket home instead?

    Dave (445e97)

  29. good question Mr. Dave

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  30. One keeps trying to find good will in these decisions but keeping the lead witness off the stand bringing in the previous head of the crime lab? Suggests not.

    narciso (d1f714)

  31. It’s been 2.5 years since the shooting; is it because he gets credit for time already served waiting for trial?

    Dave (445e97)

  32. How many times must an illegal immigrant felon be deported only to return to commit more crimes before the people of San Franciso realize the error of their ways? How many more innocent victims have to pay the price for this nonsense?

    I’ll be happy to retire elsewhere in a few years. California is in a death spiral and much of the criminal justice system ain’t worth spit. My 2 cents.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  33. Show me in California, one of the most unfriendly guns rights states in the nation, that you are not responsible for the actions resulting from a gun in your possession

    You are responsible based on your actions and how they fit the legal definitions. I just gave the distinction between behavior that is and is not criminally negligent justifying an involuntary manslaughter conviction. You are not strictly liable for anything that happens while a gun is in your possession.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  34. @ NJ Rob: You ignored everything I wrote except that I disagree. I didn’t just write, “I disagree.” If you want a discussion, you have to actually read and acknowledge and respond to what I did write.

    Otherwise we’re just shouting “You’re wrong!” at each other.

    I asked you a specific question. You ignored it. Argue in good faith, or don’t bother.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  35. He was convicted of a crime which carries a sentence of up to three years in prison.

    Depending on his priors he could easily have time served. With no priors he serves eighteen months on a three-year sentence. He’s already been in longer than that.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  36. Send him to pelican bay, he’s not likely to get out of there.

    narciso (d1f714)

  37. No priors is that actually right?

    narciso (d1f714)

  38. This shouldn’t be catch and release trout fishing for chrissakes. One big perpetual motion jobs program.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  39. Tom Logan: I understand you had to hang someone here.
    David Braxton: I did that.
    Tom Logan: Ah, that’s tough. What was this, some kind of desperado?
    David Braxton: No, he was a thief… with probably a million good reasons for being on hard times. The main thing is that we put him out of his misery.

    The Missouri Breaks

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  40. If you were right — if the intent of the jury was like in the OJ case, a classic jury nullification scenario — then why would that jury have convicted him on the possession charge? If they wanted to thumb their noses at Trump or at, as you say, the rest of the nation, why wouldn’t they simply have acquitted him altogether?

    Beldar (fa637a) — 11/30/2017 @ 7:35 pm

    Because it’s still California where gun = bad.

    Now I answered your question.

    Good to know I can visit Cali, which I will never do, and as long as there are no witnesses, shoot a gun wildly and accidently kill people.

    NJRob (2f4947)

  41. When does the rioting commence?

    Oh nevermind. Just a depolrable killed. No reason to care.

    NJRob (2f4947)

  42. I asked you a specific question. You ignored it. Argue in good faith, or don’t bother.

    Beldar (fa637a) — 11/30/2017 @ 8:26 pm

    You started with an attack on my remark. I responded to it.

    NJRob (2f4947)

  43. No ballistics don’t care about politics. This fustercluck is just sop over there.

    narciso (d1f714)

  44. NJRob, for most of the charges on which he was tried, it would have been necessary to prove intent. The prosecution seems to have not come close to doing so. From the details I know, it may have been close to impossible to do so–the only real evidence on that point being any and all statements by the accused, who obviously wasn’t going to provide anything that proved intent. Which does raise the question of why the prosecution didn’t go for charges in which intent was not so crucial.

    But this is the reason we have trial by jury. The jury heard the actual evidence. We here have only news accounts to guide us.

    kishnevi (857e3e)

  45. The fact that the state didn’t bring in Patterico to prosecute the case speaks for itself.

    They must have wanted to lose!

    Dave (445e97)

  46. If she was 90 feet away according to that story that was quite a ricochet.

    narciso (d1f714)

  47. The expert I would be interested in hearing from is one who is up on federal immigration law. Specifically, if the feds decide to throw the book at this guy, what is the maximum sentence he would be subject to for entering the country illegally after having been deported 5 times. I think that’s a felony. Also, are there any sentence enhancers for committing a felony while here illegally?

    Anon Y. Mous (19e1f2)

  48. ….and if this had been a non illegal US citizen i doubt he would have been let off with just a felony weapons charge.

    it is an outrage when you know how Cali treats US citizens who own weapons legally and if they accidentally go off they are held accountable. Or any other kind of manslaughter case.

    There is no need for anyone to go into hysterics. The plain-jane facts speak for themselves.

    this is just a tiny sampling:

    http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/04/14/oakland-manslaughter-charge-in-accidental-shooting-death/

    http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/crime/article161499658.html

    http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/07/26/oakland-rapper-convicted-of-involuntary-manslaughter-for-fatal-shooting/

    http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-charges/involuntary-manslaughter-penalties-and-sentencing.html

    this case should have been cut and dry. and to think in Cali, in San Francisco, they didn’t have the means to properly communicate with this person or analyze the events of what led to the victims death. This being the 21st century and all.

    feels like I am reading about a 19th century shooting in Dodge City or something.

    please.

    Where Eagles Dare (8f562c)

  49. He has already served 46 months for felony re-entry.

    When he got out of federal prison, he was transferred to SF County jail to face charges on a 20 year old warrant for selling pot. But then the city prosecutors decided to drop the charges. The Feds asked to get him back, so they could deport him, and the city refused to comply with the voluntary “detainer” to hand him back to the feds.

    These “detainer” requests should have the force of law. The fact that they don’t is what allows sanctuary cities to ignore them.

    Dave (445e97)

  50. The argument against making detainers have the force of law, as I understand it, is that they are an administrative request issued by a bureaucrat, and lack the procedural safeguards of a warrant issued by a judge. That seems like something that could be remedied.

    Dave (445e97)

  51. 52 thru 54. all good points. among others.

    good nite.

    Where Eagles Dare (8f562c)

  52. Eagles,

    g’nite. I’m doing the same.

    NJRob (b00189)

  53. Barnard: “Where did you get the gun?”
    Sanchez: “In the ground. When the… when the… over there in the bench, um, um, I put my leg and I see the one T-shirt and then see over there something like that.”

    He claims a gun was wrapped in that T-shirt and that it went off when he picked it up.

    “Then suddenly I heard that boom boom, three times,” Sanchez said.

    He claims he kicked the gun into the San Francisco Bay, lit up a cigarette, and walked off, not knowing he shot someone until he was arrested by police hours later. Sanchez reportedly first told police he was shooting at sea lions.

    http://abc7news.com/830325/

    The gun accidentally went off three times. And, he was intentionally firing the gun at sea lions?

    Anon Y. Mous (19e1f2)

  54. /The rest of the nation should charge the mayor of S.F. with murder. Every sanctuary city should be burned to the ground.

    mg (60b0f7)

  55. Crimaliens crossing the border with their first grade education and no speaking the english need to be sent back postage due.

    mg (60b0f7)

  56. Build Kate’s Wall.

    mg (60b0f7)

  57. 10 – 1 the jurors don’t speak english and are not American.

    mg (60b0f7)

  58. California truly is a hell hole. I want my daughter the fu## out of San Clemente.

    mg (60b0f7)

  59. Linked this in a different thread.

    https://www.redstate.com/sarah-rumpf/2017/11/30/lied-kate-steinle-case/
    Davethulhu (6a4a84) — 11/30/2017 @ 8:39 pm

    The San Francisco Chronicle excerpt confused me. I have a Sig Saur .22 Mosquito. Just as an aside, I don’t know if it’s the ammo I buy or the gun but I don’t like it very much. Lots of misfires. I should have bought the Walther.

    It’s single or double action. It’s got a hammer, a decocker and a safety. I don’t see why any cop would carry a gun they could cock but not lock. And I don’t know that I would call a single action trigger pull 40% of double action a hair trigger. Maybe there’s an exact definition. I know one of my grandpa’s rifles had two triggers. The first one activated a true “hair trigger”.

    And real gun people don’t believe in fairy tales like “accidental” discharge. I think I already told on myself for juggling a .22 mag and a flashlight and nearly shooting myself in the foot this past spring. That was negligence.

    Glock Toe Caution Graphic

    Pinandpuller (33679e)

  60. Good to know I can visit Cali, which I will never do, and as long as there are no witnesses, shoot a gun wildly and accidently kill people.
    NJRob (2f4947) — 11/30/2017 @ 8:44 pm

    Your state doesn’t trust you with guns or gas pumps. I always open carry when I see NJ plates at the gas station.

    Pinandpuller (33679e)

  61. NJRob, for most of the charges on which he was tried, it would have been necessary to prove intent. The prosecution seems to have not come close to doing so. From the details I know, it may have been close to impossible to do so–the only real evidence on that point being any and all statements by the accused, who obviously wasn’t going to provide anything that proved intent. Which does raise the question of why the prosecution didn’t go for charges in which intent was not so crucial.

    kishnevi (857e3e) — 11/30/2017 @ 8:58 pm

    If it came down to intent then he benefited more from Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump.

    Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.
    James Comey

    Pinandpuller (33679e)

  62. this case should have been cut and dry. and to think in Cali, in San Francisco, they didn’t have the means to properly communicate with this person or analyze the events of what led to the victims death. This being the 21st century and all.

    feels like I am reading about a 19th century shooting in Dodge City or something.

    please.
    Where Eagles Dare (8f562c) — 11/30/2017 @ 9:32 pm

    Michael Savage touts a case in Marin County where a doctor was followed home by a guy in a road rage incident. He shot the guy in his driveway or garage and they went after him.

    He and his wife were riding in their red Smart Car on Paradise Drive when they cut off retired mortgage broker Bill Osenton in his silver Mercedes. Osenton followed the couple to their house, and into their garage. Simon got his gun, fired a warning shot, and then hit Osenton twice in the stomach. He survived.

    Dr. Simon called 911: “Hi, this is Dr. Simon. I had a man follow me into my garage, and I had to shoot him, and I’m sorry.”

    At a preliminary hearing, a judge ruled it was self-defense and dismissed the case. But, District Attorney Ed Berberian took it to the grand jury which handed down an indictment. Friday, a second judge blasted Berberian for failing to show the grand jury evidence that would have been favorable to Simon..

    Let off finally Source

    Pinandpuller (33679e)

  63. I wouldn’t think simply following someone into their garage necessarily gives them the right to shoot you.

    If they are threatening to harm you, then certainly; otherwise call the police.

    Dave (445e97)

  64. deport the murderer in a coffin

    mg (60b0f7)

  65. round zem up

    mg (60b0f7)

  66. illegals killing Americans Americans won’t kill.
    priceless

    mg (60b0f7)

  67. If Kate were my daughter those lawyers would be dead men walking.

    mg (60b0f7)

  68. This just in:
    Cause of death – CALIFORNIA

    mg (60b0f7)

  69. robots for jury duty

    mg (60b0f7)

  70. #67

    See PC 198.5
    I cribbed the below from a website featuring lawyers named Wallin and Klarich.

    Although California does not specifically have a “stand-your-ground” law, the Castle Doctrine is similar. Under Penal Code Section 198.5, you are allowed to use deadly force within your own home if you have a “reasonable fear of imminent peril or great bodily injury.”
    If someone forces his or her way into your home unlawfully, a few things must occur to justify using deadly force:
    You knew or had reason to believe the person entered your home unlawfully;
    The intruder was acting unlawfully (not a police officer who was doing their job);
    There was a reasonable fear of death or injury to you, a family member or another member of the household; and
    You or the occupants of your home did not provoke the intruder in any way.

    These lawyers also cite Jury instructions 505 and 506 which go like this:

    A jury is instructed to find you innocent of homicide, assault or other charges if you were acting reasonably under the circumstance. A reasonable circumstance under California Jury Instructions #505 and #506 means:
    You reasonably believed you were in danger of being injured or killed;
    You reasonably believed that you needed to use force to prevent this from happening; and
    You used no more force than was necessary to stop the threat.
    If you are facing a reasonable threat of being injured or killed, you do not have to run away under California law. As long as you did not make the first strike, a skilled criminal defense attorney can argue that you were acting in self-defense.

    steveg (e8c34d)

  71. Civil War is on the horizon
    Build the Wall
    Deport them all

    mg (60b0f7)

  72. Yeah, it’s perfectly rational that a five time deported illegal has a gun in public, shoots it and an innocent white girl dies.

    jcurtis (587c89)

  73. Build the Wall

    Trump (the greatest negotiator of all time) promised hundreds, if not thousands, of times that Mexico would pay for every cent of the wall.

    How’s that working out? How much money has he gotten Mexico to agree to pay, so far?

    Dave (445e97)

  74. Illinois has more respect for a person’s home:

    (720 ILCS 5/7-2) (from Ch. 38, par. 7-2)
    Sec. 7-2. Use of force in defense of dwelling.
    (a) A person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate such other’s unlawful entry into or attack upon a dwelling. However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if:
    (1) The entry is made or attempted in a violent, riotous, or tumultuous manner, and he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent an assault upon, or offer of personal violence to, him or another then in the dwelling, or
    (2) He reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of a felony in the dwelling.

    (b) In no case shall any act involving the use of force justified under this Section give rise to any claim or liability brought by or on behalf of any person acting within the definition of “aggressor” set forth in Section 7-4 of this Article, or the estate, spouse, or other family member of such a person, against the person or estate of the person using such justified force, unless the use of force involves willful or wanton misconduct.

    nk (dbc370)

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

    —- Defense Attorney Matt Gonzalez

    I was in the wrong yesterday eve, this clown is not an asshole. He’s a sanctimonious asshole.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  76. But a good lawyer. Better than the prosecutors, anyway. The jury did not have to believe any part of the defense theory. He sold it to them.

    In law, there is something called a permissible inference. If you have a stolen gun, a jury is allowed to infer that you obtained it unlawfully no matter how many times you say you found it. If it goes off while in your hands, a jury may infer that you intended to shoot it. If your bullet hits something or somebody, a jury may infer that you intended that consequence.

    But I was not at the trial, so I don’t know what instructions the judge gave the jury. Also, California may have a tougher standard about permissible inferences and burden-shifting under its Constitution and statutes than the Fifth Amendment requires.

    nk (dbc370)

  77. It’s almost as if the left was doing everything in its power to create as many new Trump supporters as they can before 2020. Carry on.

    Rev.Hoagie (6bbda7)

  78. I am disappointed at Senator Cruz’s reaction. The verdict is not absurd based on publicly known evidence. There is plenty to be angry about here — in particular San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy that prevented the deportation of this illegal who had been deported many times before.

    But the outrage at the verdict is politics over principle. It’s not clearly an irrational verdict based on what I know.

    I think Cruz is upset that this will make it harder to pass Kate’s Law. It may even make it impossible. I don’t blame him for being upset about that.

    I also understand the intent problem but it seems like a plausible reckless disregard/manslaughter case. Popehat suggested the prosecution didn’t argue it that way. If so, today we may have jurors saying they don’t like how this worked out. And it could ge like the OJ case — not because of nullification but because of prosecutorial choices that ultimately doomed the case.

    DRJ (15874d)

  79. Could the federal authorities file a civil rights violation case against Garcia?

    DRJ (15874d)

  80. Yet a good man Like general flynn is charged for speaking truth to power, tell me again how Mueller’s minions crossed every t

    narciso (d1f714)

  81. Really they didnt like this worked out, you had one job and you blew it.

    narciso (d1f714)

  82. 86. Nk may know much more about this, but a prosecutorial overreach strategy might be used in the upcoming trial of CPD Off. Van Dyke (Laquon McDonald fatal shooting) to encourage a not guilty or hung jury.

    urbanleftbehind (fc08fe)

  83. True enuf, Hoagie. Uneducated, deported 5 times, 7 felonies, this sh*theel had no business being in this country.

    Colonel Haiku (63965c)

  84. Flynn is charged with lying to the FBI. If he is a good man who lied, he will admit it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  85. I would have also been looking for or concocted a dead sea lion or shark at the bottom of the bay, has to be some statutes violated there.

    urbanleftbehind (fc08fe)

  86. Let alone, be protected by the piss’nfeces filled city of San Francisco.

    Colonel Haiku (63965c)

  87. Neither did the Berlin mauler nor the one at ground zero or the Ohio or you get the gist.

    narciso (d1f714)

  88. Westminster, Leicester, nice, louver, diesnt matter where it happens the authorities let it a Bronx cheer.

    narciso (d1f714)

  89. How does the rest of the country kick California the hell out of America?
    I like the sound of 49 states.

    mg (60b0f7)


  90. “A Marxist system is recognized by the fact that it spares the criminals and criminalizes political opponents.” Solzhenitsyn

    Where the left has brought our Republic.

    Rev.Hoagie (6bbda7)

  91. ” Sanchez reportedly first told police he was shooting at sea lions.”

    Yeah, kind of destroys the “I didn’t know it was a gun” defense.

    If he’d shot a sea lion, he’d be getting 20-to-life. A baby sea lion and they’d give him the drip.

    /sarc

    harkin (bd8145)

  92. Plus the sea lions would be in the other direction, away from steinle, unless he wA on an acid trip

    narciso (d1f714)

  93. it’s unclear though how lying to the corrupt sleazy fbi’s any different from lying to low-life p.o.s. thugtrash off the street

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  94. Distinction without a difference, ask rub hard jewel how well. He wa treated

    narciso (d1f714)

  95. Could the federal authorities file a civil rights violation case against Garcia?

    Technically, yes, but their guidelines are against it if there was a fair trial in the state court. https://www.justice.gov/usam/criminal-resource-manual-682-successive-prosecutions

    nk (dbc370)

  96. Garcia gave conflicting statements in his police interview and the police did not pin him down, making it easy for the defense to argue Garcia (who has only a second grade education) was scared and confused about what the police asked him.

    There was also a defense claim that there was a problem with the police translator. It’s not enough to have a translator in legal matters. The government must have a certified translator who knows the terminology the police/courts use and can accurately translate it. That is a problem, even here in Texas where lots of people speak Spanish. You have to speak the language well enough that you can communicate specifically and hold an accused responsible for what he says.

    DRJ (15874d)

  97. Thanks, nk. I fear this guy will leave and come back again.

    DRJ (15874d)

  98. for sure though Kate Steinle pretty much wins the #metoo contest this week i think

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  99. urbanleftbehind @86. That was a righteous shooting, in my opinion. It might have violated Chicago PD rules, but anybody has a right to shoot someone threatening him, or another person, with a knife, from close enough to use it. And the police are not allowed to try and run away from it, even without a stand your ground law. But, you know, politics, from the other direction.

    nk (dbc370)

  100. What the Christian Phalangists have done for us…for a price.

    http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/362692-erik-prince-testifies-before-house-intelligence-committee

    Admiral Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  101. Guns do not fire by themselves. Handguns are set up so that they cannot accidentally go off. In fact, most have a trigger pull of at least six pounds.

    Apparently San Francisco jurors cannot grasp this. Don’t forget they gave us the infamous Twinkie defense.

    At the very least, the defendant was negligent in handling the gun. I can agree that the evidence may have been insufficient to prove an intent-to-kill murder. But the crime of involuntary manslaughter only requires negligence. (Second degree murder can be found if he had shot the bullet deliberately but did not have an intent to kill per se but merely a disregard for other’s safety.)

    One LA law professor commended the jurors for not letting politics influence their deliberations. But is that true. Maybe these San Francisco jurors were acting like John McCain and saw this as an opportunity to stick it to the man.

    AZ Bob (f60c80)

  102. Me think they just dudnt like Harvey milk and the other guy.

    narciso (d1f714)

  103. I have a new lawsplainer up on this. Mere negligence isn’t quite the standard.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  104. Misguided virtue signaling that uneducated, illegal immigrant career criminals should be welcomed and protected in this country is dangerous. as is a criminal justice system that affords same.

    Colonel Haiku (63965c)

  105. Huddled Masses Haiku

    Admiral Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  106. Flynn will reportedly plead guilty at a Friday morning hearing in Washington, D.C. It is a sign that President Trump’s former national security advisor may have reached a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller’s office. Flynn’s legal team broke off a joint-defense agreement with Trump’s lawyers last week and Flynn’s attorney reportedly met with members of the special counsel’s office on Monday.

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/michael-flynn-charged-with-lying-to-fbi

    Admiral Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  107. RIP for the vic here, but if you substitute sea lion for deer, this would have been instructive had it occured 3 years ago: http://buffalonews.com/2017/11/30/hunter-charged-in-fatal-shooting-of-chautauqua-county-woman/

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  108. i also like to substitute greek yogurt for the sour cream cause sea lion’s so much fattier than deer

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  109. That is, the subtext here is that, even as Mueller’s team preps a plea deal with Flynn, he’s well aware that he remains a key target in conjunction with Flynn events, and may get hauled back before Mueller’s team for all the other stuff. Effectively, they were locking in Kushner’s testimony — including, presumably, about what kind of permission/instructions Flynn had to engage in the corrupt foreign deals he was pushing — from Kushner and his pop-in-law before flipping Flynn.

    https://www.emptywheel.net/2017/11/30/on-the-jared-and-flynn-stories/

    Admiral Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  110. This was a law enforcement handgun, AZ Bob, with a “trigger pull of 4.4 pounds.”

    DRJ (15874d)

  111. The defense succeeded in convincing the jury that the handgun that shot the victim was prone to accidental discharges, the defense also pointed out there was zero evidence tying the accused to the theft of the firearm.
    It then turned quickly into a case of low IQ idiot finds something wrapped up under seat on pier, points it down range and boom, it is a gun that goes off shooting the bullet into the concrete, where the bullet is bounced up and to the side and unluckily into the victim. I’m not a big handgun user, but if I picked up a bunch of rags and the rags shot, it’d recoil out of my hand and/or I’d drop it, but this genius had the gun go off “oops” maintained his grip and boom “this bunch of rags is crazy”, bam “these rags are possessed by Beelzebub” and he pitches it overboard without a discharge.

    So the jury wiped it all out except for felon in possession of a firearm.
    All of the sudden the jury were sticklers for the law: You did not know there was a firearm in the wrap, but there it was, and ignorance is no excuse.

    Also like to add that a low IQ guy with a second grade education managed to outwit the Border Patrol 5X

    steveg (e8c34d)

  112. I have always felt a pogrom against pit bulls could be the equivalent of Reagan firing the Air Traffic controllers in terms of “an unrelated action having a chilling effect on bad actors in another situation”. This story out of GA only reinforces this in me (also note the reluctance of “authorities”):

    http://abc7chicago.com/woman-gets-death-threats-after-posting-viral-dog-video/2721910/

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  113. I don’t care how many pounds of trigger pull there is the trigger didn’t pull itself.

    Rev.Hoagie (6bbda7)

  114. Pit bulls get a bad rap…sweethearts.

    Admiral Ben burn (b3d5ab)


  115. Also like to add that a low IQ guy with a second grade education managed to outwit the Border Patrol 5X

    Make tat 6X.

    Rev.Hoagie (6bbda7)

  116. More than 6,000 drug cases will be dismissed due to the misconduct of former state drug lab chemist Sonja Farak. That includes 3,940 cases from Hampden County, 1,497 cases from the Northwestern District, which covers Hampshire and Franklin counties, and additional cases from Worcester, Middlesex and Suffolk counties, for a total of 6,057.
    It bears repeating that the whole criminal justice system has been corrupted by this business for four decades now. The opportunities for wholescale cheating and thievery are vast and the people intent on taking advantage of them are infinitely creative. This runs from the abuse of the forfeiture system through corrupt DA’s, dirty cops, all the way down to people like Sonja Farak, who saw an opportunity and grabbed it, and the 6,000 people who now are going to be let out of jail because she did.

    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a13989488/scott-pruitt-oklahoma/

    Admiral Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  117. The gun is intended to have a hair trigger, and that has consequences:

    Most police agencies don’t make records public, but those that do reveal disturbing data. In a four-year period (2012-2015), the New York City Police Department reported 54 accidental firearm discharges, 10 involving SIG Sauers. Los Angeles County reported more than 80 accidental discharges between 2010 and 2015, five involving SIG Sauers. From 2005 to January 2011, the San Francisco Police Department reported 29 accidental discharges (a time when it issued SIG Sauers as its primary sidearm).

    Accidents aren’t limited to police in New York City, Los Angeles or San Francisco.

    In 2002, a San Fernando police officer dropped his SIG Sauer, causing an accidental discharge that killed him, refuting claims the trigger must be pulled to fire the gun.
    – In 2008, an officer in Connecticut accidentally discharged his SIG Sauer while holstering it.
    – In 2011, a security guard in St. Louis dropped his SIG Sauer, unintentionally shooting someone.
    – In 2012, a New York transit officer accidentally discharged his SIG Sauer while holstering it.
    – In 2014, a federal air marshal in New Jersey unintentionally shot himself while handling his SIG Sauer service weapon.
    – In 2015, a Pennsylvania state trooper and firearms instructor accidentally killed another trooper with his SIG Sauer while conducting safety training.
    – In 2016, a tactical response training instructor near Sacramento dropped his SIG Sauer, firing a bullet into a student’s truck.
    – In 2017, a sheriff’s deputy in Michigan accidentally discharged his SIG Sauer, striking a schoolteacher in the neck.

    Even at SIG Sauer’s own training academy in New Hampshire, the arms manufacturer has admitted to accidental discharges causing injury in both 2016 and 2017.

    Civilian examples are numerous, such as occurred in 2006, in Spokane: While using a restroom at Costco, a man discharged a SIG Sauer he carried in a shoulder holster, when his shirt somehow engaged the trigger.

    The SIG Sauer in Lopez Sanchez’s case has three features prone to accidents:

    1. No safety lever, making it perpetually ready for firing.

    2. Manufacturer-issued trigger pull of 4.4 pounds of force (in single-action mode), which is among the lightest on the market.
    3. An unlabeled decocking lever despite being essential to disengage the single-action mode. (The SIG Sauer safety manual urges “DO NOT THUMB THE HAMMER DOWN the consequences can be serious injury or death — only and ALWAYS use the decocking lever.”)

    DRJ (15874d)

  118. Accidental discharges occur with teenage boys on a date not with guns. I have a Gold Cup .45 with a tuned trigger at 1.4 lbs. and it’s never “accidentally discharged”.

    Rev.Hoagie (6bbda7)

  119. I’d like to hear more about Elliott Spitzer’s proclivities, among them his penchant for stripping bare-assed naked and being led around on a dog leash.

    WTF is it about these leftwingers that bends them this way?

    Colonel Haiku (63965c)

  120. off topic

    of the dozen sleazy RINOs [PDF] what signed a letter yesterday opposing ANWR drilling

    all but new jersey’s chris smith and south carolina manslut Mark Sanford are members of cowardpig John McCain’s Soros-funded Republican Main Street Partnership

    this is a true fact

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  121. WTF is it about these leftwingers that bends them this way

    How should it be explained to someone who screws their pants on?

    Admiral Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  122. They never did respect S. Palin, so thats kind of a f-u to “drill, drill, drill”; besides there’s so much frack in the lower 48, it makes sense to maintain the reserve at this time.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  123. there’s so much frack in the lower 48, it makes sense to maintain the reserve at this time

    omg that’s so putin

    are you colluder?

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  124. 4.1 earthquake in NE.

    West Virginia pulls the pin.

    Admiral Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  125. Like the rapturist preachers who spend their Sundays rooting for the end of the world, Mulvaney believes in a paradise that apparently rests somewhere just beyond the smoldering catastrophe that would follow a default on the national debt.

    “I have yet to meet someone who can articulate the negative consequences [of defaulting],” he said during the debt-ceiling debate in 2010.

    Congress is home to a lot of third-rate lawyers and between-jobs bowling buddies of regional rich folk who got pushed into public service almost by default.

    Even in this crowd, Mulvaney has always been thought of by his peers as overmatched. When Trump made him OMB chief, the move was widely interpreted on the Hill as a Bannonite sabotage ploy, a short-cut to crushing government from within.

    Now this same policy cooler is going to be put in permanent charge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This, after a Trump-appointed judge denied the request for an emergency restraining order against his appointment sought by deputy CFPB Director Leandra English.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/taibbi-trump-makes-a-joke-of-financial-reform-w512812

    Admiral Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  126. I guess the prosecution couldn’t find an expert willing to testify that accidental discharges aren’t possible, Hoagie, especially since the manufacturer reportedly thinks they are possible.

    DRJ (15874d)

  127. It happened with one model:

    Confronting fresh evidence of a dangerous potential defect in its popular P320 pistol, the gunmaker Sig Sauer announced on Tuesday that it’s launching a “voluntary upgrade” to the model to remedy the risk that the guns may fire when dropped.

    “Recent events indicate that dropping the P320 beyond U.S. standards for safety may cause an unintentional discharge,” a press release issued by Sig Sauer reads. Details of just how the German-American gunmaker plans to fix the P320 won’t be made public until Monday, August 14, according to the release.

    DRJ (15874d)

  128. In this case, Garcia picked up the gun so I think the defense argument was that the trigger may have been touched and went off.

    DRJ (15874d)

  129. Michael Flynn will reportedly testify that President Trump instructed him to make contact with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign,

    Just left court. We’re in the WH.

    Admiral Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  130. It comes down to did trump obstruct justice in any way,” said Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group. “It’s another potential political blindside. We’ve gotten a lot of those,” he said.

    Admiral Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  131. We’ll grow ourselves out of the additional $trillion just like Reagan did

    Admiral Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  132. DRJ (15874d) — 12/1/2017 @ 7:52 am

    This was a law enforcement handgun, AZ Bob, with a “trigger pull of 4.4 pounds.”

    That would mean no accidental discharge?

    I always thought this was a test-firing of the gun, and it couldn’t be anything else, and he might have just bought it within the past hour or two, if that.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  133. They never did respect S. Palin, so thats kind of a f-u to “drill, drill, drill”; besides there’s so much frack in the lower 48, it makes sense to maintain the reserve at this time.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb) — 12/1/2017 @ 8:16 am

    No it doesn’t. The luddite left will resist any opportunity for energy independence and are constantly attacking pipelines and fracking opportunities.

    NJRob (d9cfb8)

  134. The absolute best case scenario in this case is that the racist left figured an illegal criminal alien from one of those Brown countries was too stupid to understand that pulling the trigger on a gun could possibly kill someone.

    That’s the best case scenario.

    In reality, this was the left saying they don’t respect the rules of this nation and California continues to be in open rebellion. Time for the army to put them down like Lincoln did.

    NJRob (d9cfb8)

  135. @67 Dave

    Well, there’s a whole thing about age disparity and threat of great bodily harm. And if you decide to advance after someone fired a warning shot it sort of goes to intent. But you live in California and I don’t so it’s not my problem.

    And I don’t even have a garage!

    You can call home and ask my wife!

    Charlie Daniels

    Pinandpuller (2d0b0f)

  136. @99 nk

    Navon Johnson got a fair trial as well.

    Pinandpuller (2d0b0f)

  137. In order to fire accidentally, there must be a round in the chamber and the weapon cocked.
    Which brings up the question of why this touchy thing which goes off when somebody looks at it wrong didn’t go off during all the handling from the theft from the slow-witted fed agent through some imaginary number of intervening purchasers/sellers.
    The examples given above–weapon dropped, something twitched when holstering, and so forth–make the likelihood that this thing was standing strong, just waiting for Kate Steinle to come along, resisting all temptation to go off on other miscues most unlikely. Had I been a juror, not only would I not believe the prosecutors on general principles, I would know better than the defense trying to get this one over on us.
    Bullshot.

    Richard Aubrey (0d7df4)

  138. If you find and handle bundle of rags that suddenly shoots a bullet the natural reaction to the surprise and the recoil would be to drop the whole mess.
    But no, this genius manages to pop off two more negligent discharges

    steveg (f82c2d)

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