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 GrassleyThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s walk-back fails to stem outrage on Putin meeting Senate GOP poised to break record on Trump's court picks This week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation MORE (Iowa) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzRussia raises problems for GOP candidates Deal to fix family separations hits snag in the Senate O'Rourke calls for Trump's impeachment over Putin summit MORE (Texas), among others, supported the proposed law and I even spoke with Democratic Senator Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats slam Trump for considering Putin’s ’absurd’ request to question Americans Judge Kavanaugh confounds the left This week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation 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 ReidSenate GOP breaks record on confirming Trump picks for key court Don’t worry (too much) about Kavanaugh changing the Supreme Court Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick 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 McConnellSenate GOP breaks record on confirming Trump picks for key court Senate Democrats block resolution supporting ICE The Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s walk-back fails to stem outrage on Putin meeting 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'Reilly.com. 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.