The Steinle Case

I’ve wondered from the beginning why the prosecution was so stupid as to attempt to convict him of first-degree murder. They never had a case (and probably not even for a manslaughter charge, though they could maybe get him for negligent or reckless homicide, but I’m not familiar with CA law about that).

Anyway, Sarah Rumpf explains the ways they screwed up. And as many have noted, the real issue was that he should never have been in the country to do this

11 comments on this post.
  1. Leland:

    From what I understand reading at Patterico, California allows for prosecution with the lesser included. Thus trial for 1st degree murder includes potential judgment for the lesser included crimes of 2nd degree murder or manslaughter. Its not necessarily the charge, but how you present the case. Because they were trying for 1st degree murder, they didn’t provide evidence to assure conviction for one of the lesser crimes.

    Based on the evidence described, I can understand reasonable doubt for 1st degree murder. I can’t see any indication of intent or premeditation. I think there is potential arguments of guilt for a convicted drug dealer and illegal alien in possession of a firearm murdering someone to have knowledge of the dangers of the firearm, how to use it, and carelessly fired it in the general direction of others. Personally, I’m not buying the “accidental” argument for a firearm that is routinely carried by law enforcement. Nor do I buy the argument that “the loud noise frightened” the guy which caused him to throw the firearm in the water. I think he through it in the water because he knew it was illegal for him to possess it, and he just discharged it.

    My question is whether the prosecutor politically wanted a conviction.

  2. wodun:

    Not too often that the, “I’m so stupid that I don’t know what a gun does.” defense works for a grown man. Or the, “It just went off!” defense. Ooor the, “Even though I was firing into a crowd of people, the bullet hit the ground first, so anyone injured by that round isn’t really my fault.”

  3. Leland:

    Indeed. Texas may have relaxed gun laws, but conversely, we take issue when they go off in the hands of criminals.

  4. Leland:

    homonyms are not my friends

  5. peterh:

    A Comifornia prosecutor in a sanctuary city, give the political issues connected with the case, there very well is a valid question if they really wanted a conviction.

  6. Bart:

    Things that are legal in California:
    1) Knowingly infecting someone with AIDS
    2) Entering the United States illegally
    3) Murdering someone in cold blood with a stolen firearm
    4) Being a sexual predator if you work in Hollywood

    Things that are illegal in California:
    1) Assuming gender

  7. wodun:

    What I can’t believe is that all of those racists who want to kill all the hispanics rushed out into the streets and started burning down buildings and fighting with the cops when they learned the verdict. I mean, we have heard every day on the TV that this was going to happen and the WaPo wrote a bunch of articles but I just never thought I would see it. Don’t they realize they’re damaging their own communities?

  8. Leland:

    And then the police not giving them space to destroy; I just thought type of behavior was a thing of the past.

  9. Kirk:

    Thank you for article, Rand. Though I wasn’t following this closely, I’d suspected that the prosecution had overreached with murder 1, and that the jury would have otherwise been more likely to have gone with a lesser charge. I hadn’t realized that the prosecution had downplayed the lesser charges in order to boost their chances getting the murder 1 conviction.

  10. ken anthony:

    I convict the jury. The facts that are not in dispute are enough for the lessor charge no matter how or what the prosecution argued. My only question would be the judges instructions and what evidence the jury wasn’t allowed to hear?

    Was the jury selected from Leno’s jaywalking all stars?

    Throwing the gun into the water betrays state of mind and not ‘guns scare me!’

  11. peterh:

    Add the judge to the people to examine for maybe opposing a conviction for political reasons. This is Comifornia.

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