Verdict in Steinle case falls short for left-leaning SF Chronicle

Thursday's not-guilty verdict in the trial over Kate Steinle’s killing death even has San Francisco's left-leaning newspaper saying justice was not served.

The editorial board at the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday criticized the acquittal of suspect Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, an ex-convict facing a sixth deportation. 

"No verdict in the trial of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate could deliver satisfactory justice for the killing of Kate Steinle," the newspaper wrote.

"No verdict in the trial of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate could deliver satisfactory justice for the killing of Kate Steinle."

- San Francisco Chronicle editorial

The newspaper says Judge Samuel Feng was correct in telling the jury that “political dynamics had no bearing in Garcia Zarate’s culpability.” But it also says that the acquittal has potentially dire implications for public safety.

The Chronicle notes that California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, recently signed into law a bill that "prohibits state and local law enforcement from asking about a person’s immigration status or participating in immigration raids with the feds."

It also notes that in San Francisco County, "federal authorities could be notified of an impending release only if the prisoner had a serious felony record within the past seven years."

But even that revision from an even less-cooperative local policy "still leaves the city in a vulnerable place," the Chronicle writes.

New Sheriff Vicki Hennessy, it adds, has been pushing for "more autonomy in making judgment calls" -- in a bid to prevent other cases similar to Garcia Zarate's.