Well-known drug lord, El Chapo, whose real name is Joaquín Guzman Loera, has been found guilty of the charges against him in court. The 61-year-old could be sentenced to spend the remainder of his life in prison for drug trafficking and conspiracy.
The jury had an intense job on their hands. They had to review data and evidence from as long ago as the 1980s that involved the Sinaloa drug cartel.
Interestingly, even when they the guilty verdicts were read in court, El Chapo’s wife still gave him a thumbs-up sign.
The prosecution had a strong case against the man, including testimony from people who had worked for him. His defense, on the other hand, lasted only a half hour. The purpose wasn’t to deny that he had committed the crimes he was on trial for, but instead to contend that El Chapo was the fall guy for government witnesses.
This was a complicated case, and the jury had to make decisions on around 53 different matters. The trial delved deep into the corruption of the cartel, including allegations that army commanders, politicians and even prosecutors had been bribed by the cartel.
El Chapo chose not to testify in court. He was previously extradited to the United States after escaping custody in 2014.
El Chapo’s lawyers say they plan to appeal the case, based largely on the extradition process that brought him to the U.S. One of his attorneys said, “I’ve never faced a case with so many cooperating witnesses and so much evidence. We did all we could as defense lawyers.”
While most drug-related cases aren’t as complex as this one, experienced defense attorneys work to do the best they can for their clients given the individual circumstances.