El Chapo’s long-awaited trial kicked off Tuesday (Nov. 13) in federal district courtroom in New York, however it was briefly delayed due to an “anxious and upset” juror who introduced a physician’s be aware to courtroom in an effort to assist get her faraway from the case.
The lady, recognized solely as juror No. 1, got here to courtroom with a physician’s be aware saying she couldn’t serve on the trial, which may final up to three to 4 months, the decide mentioned.
“I acquired a handwritten letter which particulars medical points which have been led to by her choice,” Brooklyn federal Choose Brian Cogan instructed attorneys. “This individual has been anxious and upset since choice … If I had been to ask additional questions, it should lead to a breakdown and crying.”
Juror No. 1 reportedly burst into tears final Wednesday (Nov. 7) after discovering out she was amongst the seven ladies and 5 males chosen as jurors in the trial for Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman—the infamous chief of the harmful Sinaloa drug cartel.
At the time, Choose Cogan refused to let her off, saying he didn’t see any “actual hardship there.” He added, “My concern is that if one will get off with a number of tears, we’re going to have a path of tears.”
Nicely, thanks to juror No. 1’s well-timed physician’s be aware, she was dismissed from the case. As a substitute of changing her with one in every of the six alternates, attorneys on each side agreed to choose a contemporary juror, which they did Tuesday morning.
Coincidentally (or not), a second juror later complained that he would lose out on earnings if he continued to serve, although he’s unemployed. Like juror No. 1, the man was ultimately dismissed from the case as nicely. A number of others have expressed concern about serving on the jury.
For what it’s value, El Chapo has promised not to kill anybody (together with jurors) from the federal trial, his lawyer mentioned earlier this 12 months.
61-year-old Guzman, wearing a blue go well with and tie, reportedly waved to his magnificence queen spouse, Emma Aispuro, who smiled again in the closely secured courtroom. He shook fingers with every of his attorneys and likewise gave a slight wave to the decide earlier than taking his seat.
In opening statements earlier than jurors, Assistant U.S. Legal professional Adam Fels described Guzman as a person who went from small-town drug seller to a kingpin able to turning $10 million cocaine offers.
Fels accused Guzman of getting a military of tons of of males with assault rifles in Mexico and alleged that Guzman himself had a monogrammed diamond-encrusted handgun and a gold-plated rifle. “Guzman himself pulled the set off and ordered the disposal of our bodies,” Fels mentioned. “Cash. Medication. Homicide. … That’s what this case is about.”
Guzman’s protection lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman mentioned Guzman spent vital time behind bars in Mexican prisons, and the move of medicine into the United States by no means slowed down. “But, he’s blamed for being the chief. The reality is, he was the chief of nothing,” Lichtman mentioned.
Guzman’s a number of escapes from Mexican prisons additional fueled the fantasy that he was a harmful drug cartel boss, Lichtman mentioned. “A conviction of Guzman is the largest prize the prosecution may have dreamed of,” he instructed the jurors. “They declare he’s the largest drug seller in the world. It’s false.”
Guzman, who has been held in solitary confinement since his extradition to the United States early final 12 months, has pleaded not responsible to fees that he collected a multi-billion-dollar fortune smuggling tons of cocaine and different medicine in an enormous provide chain that reached nicely north of the Mexican-United States border.
If convicted, El Chapo may spend the remainder of his life in jail.