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El Chapo appeals life sentence with claims of unfair trial

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Convicted Mexican drug lord Joaquin ” El Chapo” Guzman has appealed the life sentence he was handed a yr in the past, arguing that his prosecution was rife with “rampant excess and overreach” by the feds and court docket system.

Defense lawyer Marc Fernich filed the paperwork late Friday within the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, a yr after Guzman, 63, the pinnacle of Mexico’s highly effective Sinaloa drug cartel, was sentenced to life plus 30 years. He’s been stored in isolation at a supermax prison in Colorado since then.

“Chapo Guzman’s prosecution was marred by rampant excess and overreach, both governmental and judicial,” Fernich wrote within the 250-page attraction, filed underneath seal to keep away from making confidential materials from the investigation public.

The 50-page part made public claims partly that one of Guzman’s attorneys had a battle of curiosity; that jurors violated orders to not learn information and social media posts about El Chapo and the trial; that his Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights had been violated by the use of solitary confinement and different extreme safety procedures that amounted to “punishment without trial,” and that the court docket made a collection of flawed rulings about proof.

The new paperwork, filed one day after the kingpin was sentenced, demand that the court docket appoint a distinct decide to think about the attraction and probe accusations that the federal government dealt with the case improperly.

Among his crimes, Guzman was found guilty of working a large, drug trafficking empire that for many years pumped billions of {dollars} value of narcotics into the U.S.

A day after the conviction, his trial attorney said he “fully expected” his infamous consumer to be convicted.

“This case was impossible to win. I think he was convicted even before he came to America,” Jeffery Lichtman mentioned on the time, including that his workforce “fought like complete savages” for his or her consumer, however that proof in opposition to him “was overwhelming.”

But Fernich claimed Saturday to The Post that a lot of that proof was withheld, or introduced within the type of secret court docket filings.

Moreoever, he mentioned the Supreme Court has acknowledged the debilitating results of solitary confinement. Guzman, he continued, was held in solitary for 30 months earlier than his trial. That, mixed with pretrial restrictions on the power to interview witnesses, and the key and withheld proof made the trial unconstitutional.

“When you put them all together, it’s virtually impossible to prepare a defense and participate in your defense,” he mentioned. “You can’t fight a case when half of the evidence is secret.”

The lawyer mentioned he filed the attraction with out with the ability to converse in person with Guzman since March, as a result of of restrictions on face-to-face guests as a result of of the coronavirus pandemic.

He mentioned he’s had phone conversations with Guzman, however as a result of of the language barrier, “It is very difficult to communicate.”

Guzman infamously escaped jail in Mexico twice, together with one exit through a nearly mile-long tunnel that was caught on a video proven to jurors within the U.S. trial.

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