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Convicted drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman seeks new trial

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(Reuters) Attorneys for Joaquin Guzman, the Mexican crime lord referred to as El Chapo, on Tuesday stated his drug smuggling conviction must be put aside and a brand new trial ordered, as a result of juror misconduct disadvantaged him of his constitutional proper to a good trial. 

In a submitting with the federal courtroom in Brooklyn, New York, the legal professionals stated a brand new trial was wanted after an article in Vice Information stated a number of jurors ignored the trial choose’s ban towards following media protection of the case through the 11-week trial. 

“We look ahead to vindicating his rights in a brand new trial,” Eduardo Balarezo, a lawyer for Guzman, stated in an announcement. 

Guzman, 61, was convicted on Feb. 12 on all 10 counts he confronted, after jurors heard proof from greater than 50 prosecution witnesses, providing an unprecedented take a look at the internal workings of the Sinaloa Cartel. 

Prosecutors stated Guzman trafficked tons of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine into the US over twenty years, amassing energy in Mexico by means of murders and wars with rival cartels. He faces life in jail at a scheduled June 25 sentencing. 

John Marzulli, a spokesman for U.S. Legal professional Richard Donoghue, whose workplace prosecuted Guzman, declined to remark. 

The Feb. 20 Vice Information article was primarily based on an interview with an unnamed juror, and stated at the very least 5 fellow jurors violated Choose Brian Cogan’s orders to not comply with Guzman’s case within the media or on Twitter. 

Guzman’s legal professionals stated this uncovered jurors to a “flood” of prejudicial data not admitted at trial. 

They stated this included a New York Instances article primarily based on public courtroom filings that stated Guzman drugged and raped women as younger as 13 years outdated, and printed simply two days earlier than deliberations started. Guzman beforehand denied these accusations. 

The Vice article additionally stated jurors knew from Twitter that Cogan would ask if they’d seen the Instances article, and several other lied when he requested. “All of us denied it, clearly,” the unnamed juror stated, in response to Vice. 

“If a justice system’s measure is the way it treats essentially the most reviled and unpopular, then ours might have failed Joaquin Guzman by denying him the truthful trial earlier than an untainted jury to which he is constitutionally entitled,” Guzman’s legal professionals stated. 

The legal professionals need a listening to to look at whether or not there was juror misconduct. This might require that jurors, who had been transported to and from courtroom through the trial underneath tight safety, be questioned themselves.

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