Trump tweet slams 'disgraceful' Kate Steinle verdict

Trump tweet slams 'disgraceful' Kate Steinle verdict

The basic question the jury had to decide was whether Garcia Zarate intentionally and willfully fired the single shot that killed Kate Steinle.

Zarate had been deported from the United States five times before Steinle was shot and killed.

During the presidential race, then-candidate Donald Trump cited the killing as a reason to toughen US immigration policies.

While the jurors didn't hear evidence regarding Zarate's immigration status, the shooting came roughly three months after a San Francisco jail released him despite federal immigration authorities' request he remain detained before his deportation. They say San Francisco's status as a "sanctuary city" limits their cooperation with USA immigration authorities. But Zarate's defense attorney contended the shooting was accidental. "It was used to catapult a presidency along that philosophy of hate of others", defense attorney Francisco Ugarte said after the verdict.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has threatened to cut off Justice Department funding to sanctuary cities, on Thursday condemned the jury's decision. He was found guilty only of possession of a firearm by a felon.

Prosecutors said Garcia Zarate was playing his own "secret version of Russian roulette" and deliberately fired into an unsuspecting crowd on the pier, killing Steinle. Sanctuary City policies limit cooperation between local law enforcement and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "He took the life of a young, vibrant, beautiful, cherished woman by the name of Kate Steinle", she said.

More news: RK Nagar bypoll on December 21

Steinle was killed on July 1, 2015, while walking along a San Francisco pier arm-in-arm with her father.

After the verdict, a Public Defender Jeff Adachi also released a statement saying Zarate was "extremely relieved" by the decision and while Steinle's death "was a frightful tragedy", it was used as "political fodder for the then candidate Donald Trump's anti-immigration agenda", Fox News reported.

Trump has said that Steinle's death, just two weeks after he launched his presidential campaign, is emblematic of the problems in the USA immigration system, particularly the continued existence of sanctuary cities where local officials refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials.

"There was a tremendous amount of misinformation that was spread about this case from day one", San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi told reporters outside the courtroom. She was a 32-year-old medical equipment saleswoman.

Trump also mentioned Steinle in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention after winning the Republican presidential nomination. The bullet ricocheted on the pier's concrete walkway before it struck Steinle.

This summer, the House of Representatives passed a bill known as Kate's Law, which would toughen penalties for illegal immigrants who have been deported and then illegally re-enter the country.

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