Professor Chin Comments on Steinle Case for Public Radio International, KXTV
Professor Gabriel “Jack” Chin commented for media including Public Radio International (PRI) and Sacramento ABC affiliate KXTV on the trial of Garcia Zarate for the 2015 killing of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco. Zarate, an undocumented immigrant, was recently acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges in a case that drew national attention after then-candidate Donald Trump used the shooting as justification for increased immigration enforcement policies.
In the trial, Zarate’s attorney successfully argued that his client had found a gun wrapped in clothing, and it inadvertently fired as he picked it up. “It must have been a heck of a defense case,” Chin said in his interview with KXTV.
Speaking with PRI, Professor Chin said that the case was an anomalous one and should not be used to shape policy. "It's another example of policymaking by anecdote," he said. "It's an unfortunate way to construct a justice system because we should really be thinking about typical cases. Be aware of outlier cases, but we should wait until all the facts come out."
Gabriel "Jack" Chin is Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Law and holder of the Edward L. Barrett, Jr. Endowed Chair at UC Davis School of Law. He is a prolific and much-cited criminal and immigration law scholar whose work has addressed many of the most pressing social issues of our time.