mexico8217s8217el-chapo8217-hopes-new-trial-citing-jury-misconduct
This handout picture released by the Mexican Interior Ministry shows Joaquin Guzman Loera aka 'El Chapo' Guzman escorted in Ciudad Juarez by the Mexican police as he is extradited to the United States [File: Handout/Interior Ministry of Mexico/AFP]
This handout picture released by the Mexican Interior Ministry shows Joaquin Guzman Loera aka’El Chapo’ Guzman escorted in Ciudad Juarez from the Mexican Authorities as he’s extradited to the United States [File: Handout/Interior Ministry of Mexico/AFP]

Defence attorneys asked a federal judge on Tuesday to grant a new trial to the Mexican drug lord known as El Chapo, stating jurors improperly adopted media coverage of this dramatic drug conspiracy case.

Joaquin Guzman’s defence team said in court filings that jurors repeatedly disregarded instructions to avoid that the”blizzard of media policy” before convicting Guzman of murder, conspiracy and drug-trafficking charges a month.

The defence requested US District Judge Brian Cogan to hold an evidentiary hearing in the aftermath of a Vice News report which stated at least five jurors followed media reports and Twitter feeds throughout the past trial.

The attorneys said juror misconduct refused Guzman his right to a fair trial.

“If a justice system’s step is how it treats the most reviled and most popular, then ours might have neglected Joaquin Guzman by denying him the fair trial before an untainted jury to that he is constitutionally eligible,” Guzman’s lawyers wrote in a court filing. “Because sunlight is the best disinfectant, this potential merits serious consideration, close identification and a new trial as suitable.”

A spokesman for the US attorney’s office in Brooklyn failed to comment.

The defence movement claims jurors”actively sought out and publicly discussed” dramatic allegations which was excluded in Guzman’s proceedings, including a claim by a government witness that Guzman raped girls. The government did not control Guzman together with rape.

The defence team also accused jurors of both”cannily lying” to the judge if he asked them about their vulnerability to media coverage in Guzman’s case.

“We look forward to vindicating his faith in a new trial in front of a jury that will abide by its oath,” defence lawyer Eduardo Balarezo said in an email.

Guzman faces life in prison in his June sentencing.

SOURCE:
AP news service

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