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El Chapo's sentencing may be the last time the public ever sees him



Guzman, 62, was convicted in February by a jury of all 10 counts he faced, including engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise and drug trafficking charges, among others. Prosecutors have called him a "ruthless and bloodthirsty leader" of the Sinaloa cartel and are seeking a life sentence.

Attorney Mariel Colon, who has visited Guzman regularly in prison before, during and after his trial, says she is a guilty person who has been guilty of a torture and murder of perceived cartel enemies. optimistic about his chances on appeal.

But if the appeal is not successful, "then this will be the last time the public will see El Chapo," Colon told CNN. "

Colon said Guzman's wife, Emma Coronel, has not decided if she will appear at his sentence before US District Judge Brian Cogan, who presided over his trial . But she is not allowed to visit Guzman in prison. He is limited to phone calls and visits from certain family members, including his twin 8-year-old daughters.

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Even if Guzman files an appeal, it would be unlikely that he would appear in court, Colon said.

In the months since Guzman was convicted by a jury, he has signed his rights to his name so that Coronel may start a El Chapo-branded clothing line and ask for better conditions at the Manhattan prison where he is being held. He also has been asked by the US government to overkill over $ 12.6 billion.

The identities of the judges who have decided his fate have remained anonymous for their own safety. But shortly after the verdict, one juror spoke to Vice News anonymously and alleged a wide range of possible juror misconduct, ranging from the news reports on the trial, which was explicitly forbidden, lying to Cogan about whether they had been exposed to certain media reports.

Cogan denied Guzman's request for a new trial and hearing to investigate the claims.

Guzman, who has been in isolation for two and a half years, is expected to serve his sentence in the nation's

"He's going to Supermax, I'm sure, in Colorado," Guzman lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman told CNN's "New Day" the day after he was convicted. "

Until he is transferred, Guzman remains at the Metropolitan Correction Center and the federal prison in Manhattan. He is able to be visited by members of his legal team any day of the week and is allowed to receive a phone call from his sister every 15-20 days, Colon said. But once he is transferred to Colorado, attorney visits may be more limited, she said.

"What we've really been discussing is the appeal," Colon said. "

Guzman's history escaping prison has weighed on the prosecutors' minds, both during his trial and after his conviction . Guzman escaped from Mexican prisons twice.

In 2001, Guzman escaped by hiding in a laundry cart. He spent the next 13 years hiding in and around his home state of Sinaloa.

He was recaptured in 2014, but former associate Damaso Lopez testified during Guzman's trial that Guzman's wife and other family stayed in touch with Guzman while he was in prison in the Mexican city of Altiplano. Lopez testified that Guzman asked for a tunnel to be built directly into Guzman's cell.

The mile-long tunnel, complete with electricity and ventilation, was in the works for the month, and Lopez learned that Guzman was "noises where he was, those who were excavating (the tunnel) were already underneath."

Guzman escaped from the Mexican prison a second time, on July 11, 2015.

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While Guzman has been held in the US, his communications have been limited to members of his legal team and his sister, with occasional visits from his twin daughters. He is not allowed to meet with his wife. And with his attorneys, he is only allowed to discuss aspects of his case.

Since his conviction, Guzman's legal team has filed requests for better prison conditions at MCC, where he is kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day in his 10 x 8 cell. His attorneys say that since he was brought to the US he spent more than two years without any access to fresh air or natural light, adding that he must sleep with the light on his cell, conditions that say "psychologically scarring. " He also asked for two hours of outdoor exercise a week.

Cogan denied Guzman's requests for improved prison conditions.

Prosecutors have said the only place for outdoor exercise is on the rooftop of the MCC, which is surrounded by tall buildings in Lower Manhattan and covered with a protective wire mesh. They raised concerns about the possible escape plans by the notorious former drug lord, and cited an attempted 1981 jailbreak from that very spot in which an inmate's associates hijacked a sightseeing helicopter and attempted to cut through the wire screens surrounding the rooftops.

So Colon is trying to prepare Guzman for what conditions he would like at the Colorado prison.

"It's worse than where he's at right now," she said. Colon added that Guzman's isolation from his family will be difficult. "It's sad, it's stressful, it's emotionally heartbreaking," she said.


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