Gimme Shelter

The verdict in the trial of career criminal and illegal Mexican alien Jose Ines Garcia Zarate may not have been a miscarriage of justice; under our system of jurisprudence, prosecutors often overreach and jury nullification, whether by juror selection or choice of venue, is perfectly legal. There is not some sort of instant replay system whereby a flagrant miscall can be overturned by consulting the videotape. When the jury votes for acquittal, that's it, and we wouldn't want it any other way.

The knee-jerk reaction to it on both sides, therefore, is irrelevant. Conservatives, in general, were outraged that, legally, the man who pulled the trigger on the gun that fired the bullet that killed Kate Steinle got off with only a felony possession of a firearm conviction. Leftists -- including the attorney who effectively won the case -- saw it as vindication, and criticized the reaction on the right as, you guessed it, an assault on the legal system.

It's "horribly improper" for politicians to attack the American criminal justice system, a top defense attorney told CNN after President Donald Trump slammed the not-guilty verdict in the case of an undocumented immigrant accused in the shooting death of a California woman. Jurors in the Kate Steinle case "did what they were supposed to do," Mark O'Mara told CNN's Michael Smerconish, adding that critical politicians should "leave our criminal justice system alone."

"The reality is the system works, and it should not be denigrated by people using it for political back-and-forth" O'Mara said Saturday. "I think it is horribly improper and degrades the process for any politician, be it POTUS, the attorney general or anybody else to come in and attack the system when it works."

In other words, the verdict had little or nothing to do with the victim or the defendant; rather, it was a thumb in the eye of the Trump administration, which has since its inception opposed the concept of "sanctuary" jurisdictions as part of its efforts to end illegal immigration.

And here's nub of it: the Steinle case is important, not simply as a matter of (at the very least) criminally negligent homicide, but as a fatality caused by a man who should not have been in San Francisco, or anywhere else in the U.S., at all. It's good that the feds are now going to charge him, but the damage has been done. Deported multiple times, the perp kept coming back, knowing he would find "sanctuary," not only in San Francisco but everywhere else in the state of California.