Dec 1, 2017

Man believed to have killed Kate Steinle found not guilty

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate. Photo: Michael Macor / San Francisco Chronicle via AP

A San Francisco jury has found Jose Ines Garcia Zarate not guilty in the murder of Kate Steinle in 2015.

Why it matters: Steinle's murder was the backbone of a law voted on by the House earlier this year, called Kate's Law, which was originally introduced in 2015. The law would make punishment for convicted and deported criminals more severe if they re-entered the country. Garcia Zarate is a Mexican citizen who was released from jail after a federal request to hold him for his sixth deportation from the United States, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. He had "a history of drug crimes but no record of violence," per the Chronicle.

In response, President Trump tweeted, "A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case! No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration."

  • Prosecutors argued that Garcia Zarate had "the intent of doing harm" that day.
  • Defense lawyers said the shooting was an accident after he "found the gun wrapped in a T-shirt...just seconds before it discharged in his hands."
  • Public defender Matt Gonzalez showed a video to the jury showing Garcia Zarate sitting on the pier in a spot immediately after a group of six had been in the same spot. He argued "it was possible that those people had discarded the gun," per the Chronicle.
  • The jury had the option of convicting Garcia Zarate of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, or involuntary manslaughter.

Go deeper

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.