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Ricochet: The Path to Justice is not a Straight Line cover image

Ricochet: The Path to Justice is not a Straight Line 2021


Distributed by Good Docs
Produced by Jeff Adachi and Chihiro Wimbush
Directed by Jeff Adachi and Chihiro Wimbush
Streaming, 76 mins

College - General Adult
Criminal Justice; Human Rights; Immigrant Rights; Social Justice

Date Entered: 05/31/2022

Reviewed by LaRoi Lawton, Library & Learning Resources Department, Bronx Community College of the City University of New York

On July 1, 2015, a white female, Kate Steinile was shot and killed allegedly by the hands of an illegal Mexican immigrant, Garcia Zarate. California is called a “Sanctuary City,” which limits the extent to which it will volunteer resources (law enforcement, local and state laws) to support any federal immigration enforcement agents’ responsibility to enforce federal immigration law.

This crime has become the rallying point for then-President Donald Trump on the quest to change immigration laws and sanctuary cities. Jeff Adachi and Chihiro Wimbush have created a film so powerful and, at the same time, contradictory about everything America is supposed to represent: the right to a fair trial; a trial by jury from an impartial jury; an unbiased approach to civil rights and legal process; This documentary illustrates that while our courts have recognized that a fair trial depends on an impartial jury if a person is excluded from serving on a jury pool based on sex, race, ancestry, or religion, the U.S. Constitution’s promise of an impartial jury of one’s peers is illusory.

On November 17, 2017, after much ado via the then-President Donald Trump, conservative and Republican party followers across the United States, on sanctuary cities, illegal immigration reforms, and mass deportations, Garcia Zarate was found not guilty on all charges. In December 2017, a federal grand jury found Mr. Zarate guilty of ‘possession of a firearm concerning the shooting and death of Kate Steinle. He was later declared incompetent to stand trial by a federal judge in February 2020.

The fate of this illegal immigrant under the skewered presentations illustrated throughout this documentary shows how easily this defendant could have been found guilty on all counts of the felony charges presented to the court. Trial by the press, political and social pressure, and even the Executive and Legislative Branches of our government have no place in the courtroom.

Jason D. Mak Award for Social Justice, DisOrient Asian American Film Festival; Audience Award for Best Documentary, CAAMFest; Opening Night Film, DisOrient Asian American Film Festival; Special Recognition for Best Editing, Thin Line Fest; Best Director, OKCine Latino Film Festival

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