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BREAKING! ACHTUNG! Republicans are utterly lacking in human decency and will exploit any tragedy to rile up the pitchfork mob! STOP THE PRESSES!

Okay, maybe this isn’t actually news, particularly the morning after those bastards just stole healthcare from 13 million Americans to buy every billionaire a shiny, new yacht. But the ugliness generated by anti-immigrant wingnuts after Kate Steinle’s death was something to behold.

The facts were complicated: Steinle was killed on July 1, 2015 while walking with her father on a San Francisco pier. Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was a homeless, undocumented immigrant who had been deported five times and convicted of several low-level drug offenses. Garcia Zarate fired a gun toward the ground, and the bullet ricocheted 78 feet striking Steinle in the back. During a lengthy police interview, Garcia Zarate seemed confused, was not permitted to “remain silent,” and gave several conflicting explanations as to how he got the gun and why he fired it. Nonetheless, he signed a confession that was admitted at trial. Like we said, the facts were complicated.

Luckily, the Fox News mob wasn’t concerned with facts. A pretty white girl was dead, and they weren’t about to let that opportunity go to waste! Rapey O’Reilly led the charge.

Now, there is some good news today as Kate may not have died vain. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell told The Factor he is meeting with the senate leadership to discuss Kate’s law. As we suggested last night Congress should pass legislation that would impose a mandatory minimum five-year sentence on any illegal alien that’s deported and then comes back. The word “mandatory” is crucial.

There are laws on the books now that are being ignored. Congress must write Kate’s law so if officials do not enforce the mandatory sentence, they themselves, can be prosecuted.

And candidate Trump promised that he would make it all better if Americans would just send him to the White House.

This senseless and totally preventable act of violence committed by an illegal immigrant is yet another example of why we must secure our border immediately. This is an absolutely disgraceful situation and I am the only one that can fix it. Nobody else has the guts to even talk about it. That won’t happen if I become President.

With this political circus as a backdrop, prosecutors charged Garcia Zarate with premeditated murder. When the case came to trial this November, they tried to convince a jury that Garcia Zarate brought the gun to the pier with a plan to kill someone and intentionally shot Steinle. They asked the jurors to disregard Garcia Zarate’s claim that he found the stolen weapon on the pier, disregard the ease of accidentally firing the SIG Sauer model that killed Steinle, and most importantly, disregard the fact that the bullet hit the ground near Garcia Zarate before ricocheting 78 feet towards Steinle. No sharpshooter on earth could have reproduced that shot, of course, much less a confused homeless guy who had never fired that gun. So the jury acquitted Garcia Zarate of murder and manslaughter, but convicted him of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Which kind of shreds the CRAZED MEXICAN VICIOUSLY MURDERS PRETTY BLOND LADY!!!!1!! narrative, although the wingnut-o-sphere was undeterred.

Really, only Tucker Carlson can provide an adequate reaction to such a moronic opinion.

Whatcha got, President Tee Time?

What’s that sound? Oh, it’s every lawyer in America sighing heavily. Well, except for this asshole.

Fox News “legal analyst” and “Trump surrogate” David Wohl is making some pretty big lie words about the rules of evidence here. Prior convictions for unrelated crimes are absolutely inadmissible in court because they tend to make the jury dislike the defendant without contributing any evidence of guilt or innocence of the crime being tried. Garcia Zarate had recently been released from custody for possession of marijuana, but that’s not evidence of his likelihood to commit murder. Ditto the border crossings, which no judge in America would have allowed into evidence. Here, take it from Wonkette’s secret lawcrush Renato Mariotti.

We note that Mariotti spent ten years as a federal prosecutor, while David Wohl’s claim to fame is having sired the most annoying Trump-fluffing fraudster on Twitter. In fact, Wohl spent decades doing criminal defense work, so he knows damn well that immigration status and prior drug convictions are inadmissible. Could it be that Wohl is lying to please his Murdoch masters???? WHOA IF TRUE!

There is a rational argument that the prosecutor should have aimed to convict Garcia Zarate of involuntary manslaughter, rather than insisting that he’d killed Steinle on purpose. Weirdly enough, RedState has two really good pieces on this.

But let’s take it from criminal defense attorney Ken White, aka @Popehat.

Naturally, the wingnuts gave serious consideration to the evidence and legal theories put forth by White and RedState’s @Patterico.

Hmmmm. Maybe not.

In closing, let’s remember the victim, Kate Steinle. We cannot imagine the tragedy of losing a child, and our hearts go out to her parents Jim Steinle and Liz Sullivan. Hard cases make bad law, and this case is very, very hard.

[ Fox News / RedState / RedState, again / WaPo / Patch / CNN]

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