Wednesday, January 30, 2019

El Chapo Trial: Juror asks if Chapo is paying for his attorneys

Chivis Martinez Borderland Beat-with material from Alan Feuer

Just before the government closing argument was to begin a juror had a question of Judge Cogan.

A female juror said it was important that she know if Chapo was paying for his attorneys.

Judge Cogan spoke with the juror saying, while the question "wasn't illogical" it was “impermissible under the law."

She had another question: whether Chapo had himself decided on the defense's presentation.

Judge Cogan gave the same answer.

Cogan asked the juror if she could decide the case solely on the evidence presented in the courtroom. She assured him she could.

Chapo was very involved in the decision making, resulting in a number of bad decisions. His biggest error, in my opinion, was hiring Jeffrey Lichtman, especially in the midnight hour.

Remember,  Lichtman’s first duty was the opening statement which was bungled.  He was rebuked in the midst of it by Cogan Judge who said Lichtman went 'far afield' of proof after he accused two Mexican presidents of taking bribes in statement.

What Lichtman said when he signed on shortly before trial:
“What drives me, what makes me rage-filled is the thought that anybody is not taking me seriously enough in my ability to win a case,” Lichtman said. “Nothing gets me crazier than the thought that someone thinks I can’t win or doesn’t appreciate my abilities. 
"I am at the stage now where there is not a case I think I can’t win. That is what makes me nuts. When the prosecutors are sleeping, or taking a day off, I am working. I am not working just to work. I am working to win.” 
“When you are trying a case, a difficult case, part of the significance of doing the cross-examinations is you want to the do the cross-examinations the way you want them to be done. But you also want as much face time you can in front of the jury,” he explained.

“The more time you spend with the jury, opening, and closing, the more time you spend with them the greater the relationship becomes. When you are not standing up for every witness you develop a lesser of a relationship.”
I am thinking he may choose Lichtman for the closing.  He seems enamored with the attorney.  It is difficult to figure out why.  Yes, Lichtman did well by John Gotti Jr.  but that was a decade ago.

He represented John Gotti Jr. and won a dismissal of three charges; murder conspiracy, an acquittal on a $25 million securities fraud charge, and a hung jury on every remaining count.