El Chapo says he will not kill or bribe his jurors and so there is no need for the court to sequester them during his trial…
I have one friend who loves to serve on juries. She’s done it several times, and she insists that she cherishes the memories.
“It’s my civic duty.” It’s trite, but she says it with pride.
She called me at work once to announce the fantastic news – she received a jury summons!
“What if the jury gets sequestered,” I asked her. “Would you still want to serve?”
“Absolutely not,” she said quickly. “I would fake a stroke to get out of that.”
So, why the sudden change of heart?
Life is hard for sequestered jurors. You are confined to a hotel or courthouse, and you may have a stranger for a roommate. Any phone calls you make may be monitored. You can’t read the newspaper or even watch television. Your life is interrupted – even more so than if you are just required to show up in court every day for weeks or months.
Why Are Juries Sequestered?
Juries are sequestered when the judge has concerns that members’ ability to be objective will be compromised accidentally by news coverage or conversations, or deliberately through bribes, threats, or persuasion.
Sequestered jurors are not tainted by sensational news coverage or social media, and defense attorneys in some cases argue that they are better able to focus on relevant evidence and follow the judge’s instructions.
This is why attorneys request sequestration in a lot of high-profile cases – the jury in O.J. Simpson’s murder trial was sequestered for 265 days, and jurors were sequestered for more than a month in the trial of Casey Anthony, who was found not guilty of murdering her child.
The prosecution in the trial of Mexican Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán has requested that jurors be sequestered and protected by armed guards out of fear they will be threatened, killed, or bribed.
Though El Chapo has been accused of hiring hitmen to kill witnesses and informants multiple times, his defense attorney insists the drug lord won’t hurt anybody and that sequestering the jury would “create the extremely unfair impression that he is a dangerous person from whom the jury must be protected.”
I’m guessing that most people would not want to be a juror in this trial, sequestration or not…
SC Criminal Defense Trial Lawyers in Myrtle Beach
Jury sequestration is rare in South Carolina, but it can and does happen when necessary. Trials tend to be shorter in SC than many other states – we do not get attorney conducted voir dire, for example, which can shorten a trial by a week or longer. Also, we don’t usually prosecute the leaders of drug cartels in SC…
If you have been charged with a crime in the Horry County area including Myrtle Beach, Conway, or Georgetown SC, we will get your case dismissed, find a favorable resolution, or take your case to trial. Call me at (843) 492-5449 or fill out our online contact form to set up a free, confidential consultation about your case.