The San Francisco Public Defender’s Office says it is time for their former client Jose Garcia Zarate to be released from prison.
They are calling on the Democratic President in the White House to make it happen.
“The people voted to restore a sense of intellectual honesty to the way leaders run our government. These charges are politically motivated, and we’re asking the Biden administration to drop them,” said Immigration Attorney Francisco Ugarte.
Back in 2015 Garcia Zarate, an undocumented immigrant with a non-violent criminal record, was arrested for the shooting death of Kate Steinle on Pier 14 in San Francisco.
2 years later he was acquitted of a murder charge after a jury found that the shooting was accidental.
He was then charged and convicted for being an ex-felon in possession of a gun. In 2019, that conviction was overturned on appeal.
However, that same year he was charged in federal court for being an ex-felon and an undocumented person in possession of a weapon.
He has yet to enter a plea on those charges as a result of the court seeking additional information regarding his competency as a defendant.
“Essentially, what the reality is, he is languishing in custody for no reason at all.”
The San Francisco public defender’s office alleges the previous presidential administration used Kate Steinle’s death for political reasons.
“This case was used to catapult Donald Trump’s campaign. We’re asking the Biden administration to take a very close look at this case and look at the motivations behind why chargers were brought. And to really rid the government of politically driven, racially motivated, criminal charges.”