The accused Mexican drug lord faced a 10-count indictment, and one of the charges includes 27 separate violations. The jury had to decide whether prosecutors met the burden of proof for each and every charge, then fill out a complicated eight-page form explaining the decision.
Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was convicted of drug charges Tuesday by a jury that had deliberated for six days, reports the Associated Press. Jurors sat through nearly three months of damning testimony and heard just 30 minutes from the only witness called by the defense, reports Vice News. How is there any doubt that the leader of the Sinaloa cartel is guilty as charged? Extensive testimony, combined with hard evidence like wiretapped phone calls, intercepted text messages, and Chapo’s own handwritten drug ledgers and notes, made a quick conviction seem like a no-brainer.
There are some good reasons why the deliberations took so long. The evidence was overwhelming. In addition to the testimony by 57 witnesses, there were hundreds of exhibits admitted into evidence, including photos, recordings, documents, kilos of cocaine, and several AK-47s. It’s a lot to process, and reaching a verdict wasn’t so simple as deciding guilty or not guilty. Chapo faced a 10-count indictment, and one of the charges includes 27 separate violations. The jury had to take the time to decide whether prosecutors met the burden of proof for each and every charge, then fill out a complicated eight-page form explaining their decision. The conviction will probably land Chapo in prison for the rest of his life.