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2020 election and Kate Steinle


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15 hours ago, Return of the Gaucho said:

I don't get this contention.  He was convicted of being a felon in possession of a handgun.  As a result of his posession of said gun, whether intention or not, a human being died.  California Penal Code Sec. 192(b) outlines Involuntary Manslaughter as:

Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice. It is of three kinds:

(a) Voluntary...

(b) Involuntary—in the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony; or in the commission of a lawful act which might produce death, in an unlawful manner, or without due caution and circumspection. This subdivision shall not apply to acts committed in the driving of a vehicle.

(c) Vehicular...

The jury convicted him of the underlying unlawful act, then decided not to hold him responsible for the death that resulted from it.  I just can't see how they could do that aside from either a) absolute complete incompetence or b ) the prosecution focusing so hard on murder that they didn't touch this lesser included offense.  Either way, both parties failed.

I am not going to assume the jury was made up of San Franciscans trying to make a political point, but this decision was a farce.  I am frankly a little embarresed for the city I live in right now.  

 

*I will admit that I have never actually shepardized the Penal Code applicable here to determine if the underlying unlawful act has to be of a certain category, but the plain meaning seems clear enough to me

My suspicion would be either the prosecution focused on murder and never touched on IM, or the jury instructions/case law were such that said offense did not qualify here. My guess was that this was not "in the commission of an unlawful act" as, from what I recall, that is typically taken to meant an affirmative illegal act (robbery, assault, etc.). That could totally be wrong but I think thats the only likely answer. 

Its difficult to say that a given decision is a farce if the jury, after deliberating and weighing all of the evidence, returns a verdict consistent with the instructions they have been provided. 

Frankly, the narrative of this case since Day 1 has created a presumption that this was just another ILLEGAL ALIEN MURDERING A POOR WHITE GIRL. And it seems very apparent now that said narrative not only worked against prosecutors, it created yet another presumption in casual observers that this was open and shut "justice" rather than a tragic accident. 

Here's an Op-Ed apparently written by one of the alternate jurors. The questions you've asked are addressed herein: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/12/06/kate-steinle-murder-trial-jury-didnt-botch-216016

Quote

 

"But why the manslaughter acquittal? Most of the confusion I've encountered has been over this part of the verdict, and it does seem to me personally that manslaughter is the appropriate charge for Steinle’s killing. However, given the evidence and the law presented in this trial, it is clear to me that the jury made the right decision.

The involuntary manslaughter charge that the jury was read included two key requirements: 1) A crime was committed in the act that caused death; 2) The defendant acted with "criminal negligence"—he did something than an ordinary person would have known was likely to lead to someone's death.

The jury was not free to select the crime for part (1) – they had to use the one chosen by the prosecution, and the prosecution chose that crime to be the "brandishing", or the menacing waving, of a weapon. As a juror, I found this choice puzzling, because the prosecutor presented absolutely zero evidence of brandishing during the trial. I don’t think we even heard the word “brandishing” until it was read as part of the charge during the jury instructions at the trial's end. No witnesses ever saw the defendant holding a gun, much less brandishing it. Given that baffling choice by the prosecution, the manslaughter charge was a non-starter for the jury. Had a different precursor crime been chosen—for instance, the unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon—the outcome might have been different."

 

 

 

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This is why toxic politicization of tragedies is so stupid. It sets up a weird confirmation expectation which invariably leads to a re-telling of the story. And in the event that a jury, again with access to ALL OF THE EVIDENCE and ALL OF THE RELEVANT TESTIMONY, returns a verdict which does not meet that confirmation expectation, you have the freaking President of the United States and his blogosphere sycophants attacking the faith and credibility of the rule of law.....again. 

"I dont like the verdict" is not sufficient justification for a verdict being wrong. And for many (not Gaucho), thats where we are. 

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2 hours ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

This is why toxic politicization of tragedies is so stupid. It sets up a weird confirmation expectation which invariably leads to a re-telling of the story. And in the event that a jury, again with access to ALL OF THE EVIDENCE and ALL OF THE RELEVANT TESTIMONY, returns a verdict which does not meet that confirmation expectation, you have the freaking President of the United States and his blogosphere sycophants attacking the faith and credibility of the rule of law.....again. 

"I dont like the verdict" is not sufficient justification for a verdict being wrong. And for many (not Gaucho), thats where we are. 

I remember you saying this in the Trayvon Martin case as well...well done sir

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1 hour ago, WhenFalconsWin said:

I remember you saying this in the Trayvon Martin case as well...well done sir

1) This situation isnt really all that similar to the Trayvon Martin case. Frankly, from a factual basis, any comparison between the two is pretty embarrassing. 

2) One of the few similarities is that there was overaggressive prosecution in that case

3) There was an obvious intervening factor which had a massive impact on that decision....namely the "Stand Your Ground" law. That isnt an issue here. 

I don't think the Trayvon Martin jury verdict is some travesty of jurisprudence. I think its the product of a stupid law serving as coverage for a stupid move by a stupid guy. It doesnt make his unnecessary death any less of a tragedy. 

Any other nonsensical "what abouts" you want to toss out here in an effort to avoid the argument? 

 

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5 hours ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

My suspicion would be either the prosecution focused on murder and never touched on IM, or the jury instructions/case law were such that said offense did not qualify here. My guess was that this was not "in the commission of an unlawful act" as, from what I recall, that is typically taken to meant an affirmative illegal act (robbery, assault, etc.). That could totally be wrong but I think thats the only likely answer. 

Its difficult to say that a given decision is a farce if the jury, after deliberating and weighing all of the evidence, returns a verdict consistent with the instructions they have been provided. 

Frankly, the narrative of this case since Day 1 has created a presumption that this was just another ILLEGAL ALIEN MURDERING A POOR WHITE GIRL. And it seems very apparent now that said narrative not only worked against prosecutors, it created yet another presumption in casual observers that this was open and shut "justice" rather than a tragic accident. 

Here's an Op-Ed apparently written by one of the alternate jurors. The questions you've asked are addressed herein: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/12/06/kate-steinle-murder-trial-jury-didnt-botch-216016

 

 

That Op-ed is enlightening.  The prosecution chose brandishing as the underlying crime?  I have no idea if being a felon in possession of a firearm is a proper underlying crime for manslaughter, but I do know that the brandishing charge was a reach given what I saw.

In any event, if that op-ed is accurate, the prosecution let the people down here, not the jury...

 

Also, thanks for posting the op-ed.  Very informative.

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18 hours ago, WhenFalconsWin said:

Can't argue with you Lare, you're like Trout.  You two yutes never think you're wrong.  That's your disability, not mine...just sayin'

 

Know why Trout and I aren't wrong all that frequently? Because we know when to defer to uncertainty or someone else's knowledge of the subject at hand. 

Others lack such an ability. 

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