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.”

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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 won't attend GOP convention amid coronavirus uptick Meadows teases Trump action on immigration, China, prescription drugs Trump second-term plans remain a mystery to GOP MORE (Iowa) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGianforte halts in-person campaigning after wife, running mate attend event with Guilfoyle Trump administration grants funding extension for Texas testing sites Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill banning federal government use of facial recognition tech | House lawmakers roll out legislation to establish national cyber director | Top federal IT official to step down MORE (Texas), among others, supported the proposed law and I even spoke with Democratic Senator Charles SchumerChuck SchumerRussian bounties revive Trump-GOP foreign policy divide Public awareness campaigns will protect the public during COVID-19 Republicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names 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 ReidMcConnell warns Democrats not to change filibuster rule Filibuster reform gains steam with Democrats The Hill's Morning Report - Trump wants executive order on policing; silent on pending bills 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.

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After Reid retired, Senate leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Trump administration releases PPP loan data | Congress gears up for battle over expiring unemployment benefits | McConnell opens door to direct payments in next coronavirus bill Trump renews culture war, putting GOP on edge The Hill's Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Reid Wilson says political winners are governors who listened to scientists and public health experts; 12 states record new highs for seven-day case averages 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.