Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s lawyers are asking for a new trial — following a bombshell article claiming multiple jurors in his recent trial regularly flouted court rules by reading news reports and social media posts about the case.
The Mexican drug lord’s attorneys on Friday alerted Brooklyn federal Judge Brian Cogan that they plan on filing a motion for a new trial at an evidentiary hearing “to determine the extent of the misconduct” after the report published by Vice on Wednesday.
“In that story, the author claims to have spoken for over two hours with a juror in Mr. Guzmán’s trial. The article states that multiple jurors engaged in misconduct by intentionally violating the Court’s direction to ‘stay away from media coverage, not doing any research on the internet or otherwise and [to not] communicate anything about the case to anyone,’” writes attorney Eduardo Balarezo.
“Mr. Guzmán intends to file motion for a new trial based on the disclosures in the article and to request an evidentiary hearing to determine the extent of the misconduct.”
The anonymous juror told Vice at least five panelists and two of the six alternates brazenly ignored Cogan’s orders not to read media reports about the high-profile case.
“We would constantly go to your media, your Twitter,” the juror told the Vice interviewer. “I personally and some other jurors that I knew.”
Among the illicit material they viewed were the details of sealed allegations that Guzman drugged and raped girls as young as 13 years old.
The jurors then learned from Twitter that Cogan was about to grill them on whether they’d seen the salacious material — giving them time to prepare to lie, according to the loose-lipped juror.
“I had told them if you saw what happened in the news, just make sure that the judge is coming in and he’s gonna ask us, so keep a straight face. So he did indeed come to our room and ask us if we knew, and we all denied it, obviously,” the juror said.