NEW YORK – A jury has been selected for the US trial for MexicoSeven women and five men were selected on Wednesday as jury in the case against Joaquin Gusman. The trial is due to begin on 13 November with the opening of statements at the Brooklyn District Court.
Guzman, who has twice escaped Mexican prisons, has admitted 17 cases are not guilty, including drug smuggling, money laundering and conspiracy to kill. Guzman is believed to have been driving the Sinaloa cartel for decades, becoming the largest drug trafficking organization in the world. US prosecutors say they oversaw hundreds of murders, kidnappings and other violent acts.
His reputation has caused security measures involving the detention of anonymous judges beyond the length of the trial. Federal agents and K-9 officers stood outside the courtroom and the corridor leading to the courthouse where the jury selection began on Monday, according to CBS News producer Cassandra Gauthier. Judges are expected to be accompanied by and to the court every day by US soldiers,
Guzman was also kept in isolation and had no visits from his wife. This week, a defense lawyer asked the judge to allow Guzman's wife to embrace him before a court before making statements. The judge has not ruled on this.
One of the jurors, a Spanish-speaking woman, said on Wednesday to district court judge M. Brian Cogan with tears that she did not want to serve, Gauthier says.
Seven women and five men consist of the jury of 12 people, with six jurors forged as substitutes. Three of the jurors are immigrants from Europe, Africa and South Asia. Several others speak fluent in Spanish and some have either had a previous law enforcement career or had a family in law enforcement, according to Gauthier.
One of the native immigrants replied "I have no idea" when asked if he knew about Guzman, Gauthier says. Others had a general knowledge of the case and some had seen the Netflix drama series that chronicled Guzman's story.
Lawyer Guzman Eduardo Balarezo said he was "satisfied" with the judges' choices.
"We believe they will do their job," Balarez said.
Cogan addressed the neo-liberal jury and warned them to avoid media coverage and not to discuss the case.
The counselors are expected to become officially sworn in before the statements begin on Tuesday.
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