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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 GrassleyDems angered by GOP plan to hold judicial hearings in October American Bar Association dropping Kavanaugh review Clinton's security clearance withdrawn at her request MORE (Iowa) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzBeto O'Rourke will not share million he raised with other Dem Senate candidates Election Countdown: Cruz, O'Rourke fight at pivotal point | Ryan hitting the trail for vulnerable Republicans | Poll shows Biden leading Dem 2020 field | Arizona Senate debate tonight Donald Trump Jr. blasts Beto O’Rourke: ‘Irish guy pretending to be Hispanic’ MORE (Texas), among others, supported the proposed law and I even spoke with Democratic Senator Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerFive takeaways from the final Tennessee Senate debate Schumer rips Trump 'Medicare for all' op-ed as 'smears and sabotage' GOP senator suspects Schumer of being behind release of Ford letter 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 heads home to campaign after deal on Trump nominees GOP has always been aggressive in trying to weaponize the system of judicial nominations Republicans come full circle with Supreme Court battle to the end 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 McConnellJuan Williams: Trump’s policies on race are more important than his rhetoric It’s Mitch McConnell’s Washington – and we’re just living in it Trump makes new overtures to Democrats 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.