Experts Say Kate Steinle Verdict Based on Reasonable Doubt - NBC Chicago
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Experts Say Kate Steinle Verdict Based on Reasonable Doubt

Some observers have questioned why Garcia Zarate was not at least convicted of involuntary manslaughter

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    Jury Finds Zarate Not Guilty in the Death of Kate Steinle

    A jury on Thursday found Jose Ines Garcia Zarate not guilty in the death of Kate Steinle, a case that sparked a nationwide debate on immigration. Garcia Zarate, a Mexican man who was in the United States illegally, shot Steinle on a San Francisco pier in 2015. Sam Brock and Ian Cull report. (Published Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017)

    The acquittal of an undocumented Mexican immigrant in the shooting death of a woman on a San Francisco pier apparently came down to a question of reasonable doubt, according to experts in criminal prosecution.

    The jurors were evidently not convinced that the defendant, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, acted with intent — a bar prosecutors needed to clear to convict him of the most serious charges, NBC News reported.

    "As controversial and tragic as this case may be, and as political as it has become, my best guess is that this turned out to be a very conventional case in that ... the defense just cast doubt on the prosecution's theory," said Robert Weisberg, a criminal justice professor at Stanford Law School.

    But some observers have questioned why Garcia Zarate was not at least convicted of involuntary manslaughter, a charge that is generally applied to crimes that are unlawful but unintentional.