El Chapo’s Lawyer Promises The Drug Lord Won’t Kill Jury Members, But Prosecutors Don’t Believe It
Jury duty isn’t the funnest thing in the world, but it’s something all U.S. citizens are required to do, no matter how hard we try and get out of it.
However, what if you were told that the jury you’d be serving on would decide the fate of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán? We’ll let you think about that for a bit, though this might influence your decision:
EL Chapo’s defense team told the court that jurors don’t need protection from the drug lord with a bloody past.
— Josh Daniels (@JoshuaDaniels25) January 26, 2018
El Chapo’s federal trial is coming up very soon, so the next item of business is picking a jury. Naturally some people might be a bit apprehensive about serving on a jury that deals with one of the biggest drug kingpins of our time — at least that is what prosecutors are saying.
Prosecutors submitted court documents stating that jurors should have protection and anonymity while serving in case El Chapo orders his people to kill them. They allege that previous witnesses in cases involving El Chapo have been threatened with death, but his lawyers say that claim is false.
According to The New York Post: “Prosecutors have asked Brooklyn Federal Court Justice Brian Cogan to impanel an anonymous jury in the infamous cartel leader’s September trial, citing his long history of violence and instances in which he’s believed to have tried to whack past witnesses.”
To set jurors and the court at ease, defense lawyers also say El Chapo “promises to not kill them.” Uhh, that somehow doesn’t make it better.
— Tom Quinn (@TomTheProducer1) January 26, 2018
According to court documents, lawyers for El Chapo say that giving jurors special protections, such as a bodyguard, ““sends the message that he or she needs to be protected from Mr. Guzman. From there, members of the jury could infer that Mr. Guzman is both dangerous and guilty,” Eduardo Balarez, El Chapo’s attorney, wrote in a court filing, according to The Independent.
Prosecutors argue that El Chapo is capable of giving execution orders despite being behind bars, writing in court documents: “The defendant has demonstrated the ability to bring substantial resources to bear, even while confined, in his efforts to subvert justice… He was able to arrange the construction of a tunnel into his prison cell in order to escape.”
Such a sweet man! https://t.co/WwwcmYB7ON
— Conde (@Dhiggarey) January 26, 2018
El Chapo’s trial is set for April. He is charged with a “federal crime for overseeing a multi-billion-dollar international drug trafficking operation responsible for murders and kidnappings.”