After a series of requests by the lawyers of dangerous drug trafficker Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán to overturn the trial that keeps him behind bars in the United States, an appeals court on Tuesday upheld the existing conviction against the Mexican, rejecting the arguments of his defenders.
Reuters reported the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan rejected Guzman’s arguments in his desperate attempt to seek a new trial that would benefit his conviction,
According to the defense’s arguments, jurors improperly followed the case in the media during his trial and engaged in certain practices that could have worked against their defendant’s conviction.
The Court rejected this and other arguments, including the alleged “deplorable” conditions of his prison and that the U.S. government selectively targeted him for prosecution.
“I’m sure Mr. Guzman will seek Supreme Court review,” the defendant’s lawyer, Marc Fernich, said in an email.
Guzman was convicted in February 2019, accused of trafficking billions of dollars in drugs and conspiring to murder hundreds of enemies, stemming from his role as leader of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel.
He is currently serving a life sentence in Colorado’s Supermax, considered the most secure federal prison in the country, and was ordered to forfeit $12.7 billion.
The Court’s response came just a few days after Emma Coronel Aispuro, “El Chapo’s” wife, was found guilty by a jury in the United States of complicity with her husband in drug trafficking cases.
As a result, Coronel Aispuro received three years in prison on Tuesday, Nov. 30, despite prosecutors’ request for at least four years behind bars, reported Reuters.
The young wife, just 32, pleaded guilty in June 2021 to three counts accusing her of conspiring to distribute illegal drugs, conspiring to launder money, and engaging in financial dealings with the Sinaloa drug cartel.
As part of her plea deal, she also admitted to conspiring to help her husband escape in 2015 from Altiplano, a maximum-security Mexican prison, from where he fled through a sci-fi movie-style tunnel.
“Defendant committed a felony against the United States,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum. “Given the adverse impact drug trafficking has on society and the serious detrimental effects of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana on communities, it is important that the Court impose a sentence that will deter others from undermining the rule of law.”
Aispuro is now serving time in prison in the United States. Her husband “El Chapo,” is only visited by his lawyers and seven-year-old daughters through a glass partition in the Manhattan jail where he is isolated 23 hours a day.