• Maibort Petit

No New Trial for El Chapo

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York rejected the appeal filed by the lawyers of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to ask for a new trial and overturn his conviction, which will force him to remain in prison for life.

by Maibort Petit

photo of el chapo
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in NY rejected appeal filed by El Chapo

Guzman was sentenced to life in prison in July 2019. After his conviction, the notorious drug trafficker's legal team filed an appeal arguing that Guzman was entitled to a new trial and that his conviction be overturned due to accusations of bias among jurors.


About the Author

Maibort Petit is a Venezuelan writer, researcher and political scientist specialized in Transnational Organized Crime. Based in New York, she works for various Hispanic media outlets and as a consultant for various firms in New York and Washington DC.


The rejection of the appeal released Tuesday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit indicates that "El Chapo Guzman" will remain behind bars for the rest of his life.

According to information provided by attorney Marc Fernich, a member of Guzman's defense team, his client will continue to use available legal remedies.

"I am confident that Mr. Guzman will seek a review by the Supreme Court," Fernich told Reuters.


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Fernich told Newsweek that Guzman's legal team was "disappointed" by the Court of Appeals' decision.

"While we respect the Court's ruling, we are disappointed that substantial allegations of serious jury misconduct continue to be swept under the rug and left unexamined at all in a case of historic proportions, all, it seems, because of the defendant's unparalleled notoriety," Fernich said. said in a statement emailed to Newsweek.

A jury of 8 women and 4 men found Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera guilty of 10 counts in a unanimous verdict that the U.S. government called historic and a major victory for American justice.

El Chapo Guzman was found guilty of 10 counts that are as follows:

-Participate in an ongoing criminal enterprise

-Use of firearms

Conspiracy to launder narcotics proceeds

Cocaine Importation Conspiracy

Cocaine Distribution Conspiracy

International conspiracy for the manufacture and distribution of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana.

-Charges for International Distribution of Cocaine

-Money laundering conspiracy

During the trial, federal prosecutors presented evidence, including testimony from 14 cooperating witnesses; seizures of narcotic drugs totalling more than 130,000 kilograms of cocaine and heroin; weapons including AK-47s and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher; textbooks; videos; Intercepted photographs and recordings detailed the drug trafficking activity of Guzman Loera and his co-conspirators over a 25-year period from January 1989 to December 2014.

Guzman was sentenced in June 2019 to life in prison in addition to a 30-year sentence he was due to serve consecutively. He was also ordered to pay $12.6 billion.

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