More potential ‘El Chapo’ jurors excused for safety fears

Evarado Alatorre
Noviembre 9, 2018

Among other potential jurors struck were one who had a panic attack and was taken to hospital; a Michael Jackson impersonator whose job was deemed too identifiable; and a man who liked an "El Chapo" sandwich at a deli near his workplace, and complained that could make him identifiable.

Guzman also has been held in solitary confinement and barred from having visits from his wife.

Guzman, who's been in solitary confinement and unable to touch anyone since he was shipped to a U.S. jail in January 2017, has asked Brooklyn federal Judge Brian Cogan if he can share an "embrace" with his former beauty queen wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, before opening statements in his drug trafficking case next week.

El Chapo, one of the most notorious criminals in the world, attended the second day of jury selection dressed in a black suit, pale blue shirt and large plaid-patterned tie. According to official court documents, "The only human contact Mr. Guzman has had since his extradition has been with the jail personnel when putting and removing his shackles, and a quick handshake from his attorneys when he goes to court".

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Allowing "an embrace with the railing between them would not pose a threat to security", the letter read.

The judge has yet to rule yay or nay on Guzman's request for a hug. The 12 jurors and six alternate jurors eventually chosen will remain anonymous and be escorted to and from court by armed federal marshals during the trial, which is expected to last up to four months.

One young woman said that her mother had told her "we've got to move and get a new house".

The woman was kept on after defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman argued that dismissing her would set the precedent that jurors could get out service 'with a few tears'.

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