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Re: 'America's Border Wall – Part Three…' [Maynard letter, Village News, 7/7/22]

Once again, Mr. Maynard has created a compelling visualization, reporting “the brutal murder of Kate Steinle by illegal immigrant Garcia Zarate.” The narrative has almost everything – drama, pathos – everything except the truth.

Here’s the truth. Zarate was not a model illegal immigrant. At the time in 2015, Zarate had already spent 17 of his 51 years in jail, cycling through mostly on drug possession charges: none on violence related charges. And it is policy to release non-violent offenders early. While Zarate may have been prosecuted by “soft on crime” Gascon, San Francisco’s District Attorney, it was a jury that found Zarate not guilty on all charges. Those charges included murder, manslaughter and illegal possession of a firearm.

Fortunately for Zarate, the forensics team that investigated the “crime” scene did their job and the jury on Zarate’s case did theirs. If you look at the evidence, you would be more inclined to think Gascon was trying to railroad Zarate. Briefly, here’s what the forensics team found. Zarate picked up a cloth wrapped object (a gun) which then discharged. The slug hit a concrete surface about 12 feet away, then ricocheted approximately 80 feet, striking Kate Steinle.

Certainly Ms. Steinle’s untimely death was a tragedy for her parents and her brother, Brad. But trying to conflate that scenario with a preposterous quote of 30,000 homicides by illegal immigrants is a cheap shot. In 2020, the total homicide rate for the U.S. was 45,222. That would make illegal immigrants responsible for 66 percent of the homicides. The probability of that is zero. Or, perhaps, Mr. Maynard is once again reporting from an alternate universe.

John H. Terrell


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