Spanish speakers, immigrants, and relatives of law enforcement are reportedly among the 12 individuals selected to serve on a jury for the trial of Mexican drug cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the New York Post reports. All of the selected jurors, who remain anonymous, reportedly “expressed left-leaning views of drug policy,” with a number of them believing marijuana should be legalized and regulated. One juror reportedly retired from the Department of Corrections in 2007. One did not know what the word “cartel” meant, while another reportedly claimed he had “never heard of El Chapo,” according to the report.
The jurors will be officially sworn in by Brooklyn federal court judge Brian Cogan next Tuesday, and the trial is expected to last 3 to 4 months. Until the swearing in, Cogan reportedly told jurors to keep away from the media and to keep their roles “top secret.” The judge also noted to prosecutors and the defense that one juror left the courtroom in tears upon being selected as a juror. According to the newspaper, the juror reportedly told Cogan her colleagues at an “unspecified media company” found out she was being questioned to sit in on the case. Despite the woman’s distress, Cogan reportedly said he would not let the juror out of her service because he did not see any “real hardship there.” Guzman was extradited to the U.S. from Mexico, and is accused of playing a role in at least 30 murders.