Bill O'Reilly: Politics helped kill Kate Steinle, Zarate just pulled the trigger

Bill O'Reilly: Politics helped kill Kate Steinle, Zarate just pulled the trigger
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The acquittal of Kate Steinle’s killer on second degree murder charges is a blot on the legacy of America. The California jury apparently gave illegal immigrant Jose Zarate, a man who had been deported five times after being convicted of multiple felonies, the benefit of every doubt.

In fact, the jury did not even know about Zarate’s criminal past because it did not directly pertain to the actual killing of the 32-year-old woman thus was not allowed into evidence.

Since I was not in the courtroom, it would be unfair of me to condemn the jury’s decision. But Kate’s father, Jim Steinle, as honest a man as I’ve ever met, was in the courtroom. He said: “Justice was rendered, but it was not served.”

Two and a half years ago, I began covering the Steinle murder case and quickly came to the conclusion that politics had killed Kate along with the bullet.

First, the city and county of San Francisco refused to turn the criminal Zarate over to ICE after the feds asked for him to be detained. The sheriff of the county allowed him to be released from jail knowing he had a long rap sheet and five deportations. Citing San Francisco’s Sanctuary policy, the sheriff and most other SF politicians were unrepentant even after Kate was shot by Zarate. Outrageous doesn’t even begin to describe that.

Almost immediately, I asked Congress to pass new legislation that I designed called “Kate’s Law.” That would mandate federal prison time for any foreign convicted criminal who returns to America after being deported.

Republican Senators Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGrassley on Trump calling Putin: 'I wouldn't have a conversation with a criminal' Lawmakers zero in on Zuckerberg GOP senator blocking Trump's Intel nominee MORE (Iowa) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump can save Republicans and restore sanity to California in 2018 Cruz says Cambridge Analytica assured him its practices were legal Dem battling Cruz in Texas: ‘I can understand how people think this is crazy’ MORE (Texas), among others, supported the proposed law and I even spoke with Democratic Senator Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerAmtrak to rename Rochester station after Louise Slaughter Conscience protections for health-care providers should be standard Pension committee must deliver on retirement promise MORE (N.Y.) about it at the Al Smith dinner in New York City. Schumer told me he would “take a look at it.”

But Kate’s Law quickly ran into trouble courtesy of former Senator Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidTrump presses GOP to change Senate rules Only thing Defense’s UFO probe proves is power of political favors Nevada Democrat accused of sexual harassment reconsiders retirement: report MORE (D-Nev.), who as the majority leader prevented a vote. The gutless Reid would not take questions about his action but did put forth that he thought Kate’s Law demonized immigrants.

After Reid retired, Senate leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCollins: 'Extremely disappointing' ObamaCare fix left out of spending deal House poised to vote on .3T spending bill Budowsky: Stop Trump from firing Mueller MORE (R-Ky.) could have put forth Kate’s Law for a stand alone vote but refused even though President Trump called for it. So why did McConnell take no action? He won’t say. Great.

At this point, the only justice possible in this terrible situation is to resurrect Kate’s Law, and prosecute Jose Zarate on felonious violations of immigration law. I expect Attorney General Sessions will do the latter.

As for Congress passing a law that harshly punishes foreign felons who defy deportation, I just don’t know.

We the people need a champion to make Kate’s Law a reality. For the Steinle family’s sake, I pray someone emerges.

Bill O'Reilly hosts a daily podcast on BillO' His new book, “Killing England," is now available. He is also the former host of "The O'Reilly Factor" on Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @billoreilly.