(CNSNews.com) Binh Thai Luc, an illegal alien from Vietnam who had previously been incarcerated at San Quinten prison after committing an armed robbery in San Jose, was convicted on Monday of entering a home in San Francisco and murdering five people with a hammer.
“Prosecutors said Luc used a hammer to commit one of the worst mass homicides in modern San Francisco history, though the weapon was never found,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported yesterday.
The multiple murder took place on March 23, 2012. The jury arrived at its verdict yesterday after considering the case for seven days.
In 2014, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R.-Okla.) of Oklahoma introduced the “Keep Our Communities Safe Act," which would have ended the “catch-and-release” policy of letting illegal aliens go free in the United States when other countries will not accept them for deportation. At the time, Inhofe specifically cited Luc’s crime as the kind he was trying to stop.
“A Vietnamese immigrant, Binh Thai Luc, was ordered deported in 2006 after serving time in prison for armed robbery and assault,” said a press release Inhofe put out on June 11, 2014. “Due to the Supreme Court decision in Zadvydas v. Davis, Luc was released from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody when Vietnam refused to admit him. He is now facing charges for the murder of 5 people in San Francisco in March of 2012.”
Inhofe’s bill has not been enacted into law, but he has reintroduced it in the current Congress.
After Monday’s verdict, the San Francisco Chronicle reported the following about Luc’s previous conviction and imprisonment:
“Before the killings, Luc was convicted in 1998 of committing an armed robbery at a Chinese restaurant in San Jose. After he served eight years in San Quentin State Prison, officials handed him over to federal immigration authorities for deportation back to his home country of Vietnam.
Vietnamese authorities, however, refused to provide Luc with travel documents, and he was released from custody as required by federal law.
“Prosecutors said Luc used a hammer to commit one of the worst mass homicides in modern San Francisco history, though the weapon was never found. The defendant was also found guilty of five counts of attempted robbery and two counts of burglary.”
Luc’s victims, as reported by the Associated Press, included a man and his wife, their daughter and son, and the son’s wife. Their names were Hua Shun Lei and Wan Yi Wu; Ying Xue Lei; Vincent Lei and Chia Huei Chu.
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon did not seek the death penalty for Luc, according to the Chronicle. Instead, according to the paper, “he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.”
At the start of Luc's trial in October, the San Francisco Chronicle explained why he had been allowed to remain at liberty in the United States:
“He was released from San Quentin State Prison after serving eight years of his 11-year sentence, and was taken into federal custody for deportation back to his native Vietnam.
“But because Vietnamese authorities declined to take him back, he was released under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that undocumented immigrants must be freed within six months in such cases.”