Photo: Jesus Garcia / Impremedia / Getty Images
NEW YORK.- The former Mexican Secretary of Public Security, Genaro Garcia Lunahis hair looks grayer than when he was transferred to a prison in New York three years ago, but he is relaxed and has even smiled in the jury selection process for his trial.
Former government official Felipe Calderon He is wearing a navy blue suit, white shirt and light blue tie, sitting next to his lawyer César de Castro and the assistant lawyer.
The judge Peggy Kuo is responsible for leading the selection of the jury, although the trial will be led by Judge Brian Coganbefore whom the prosecutors and the defense will open with their respective positions in the following days.
There are 60 possible members of the jury who are interviewed by Judge Kuo, who also attends to the questions of the parties and their objections.
of that group there will be a total of 30 finalistswhere the 12 members of the panel and the extra jurors determined by the judge will come from.
Among the New York residents who have been questioned are people with connections to law enforcement agencies, such as the NYPD, or prosecutors, but not all of them have been ruled out as potential jurors, considering they might be fair.
Among the critical moments of the process, interviewee 14 acknowledged that she felt “intimidated” by the case, but even García Luna laughed when the judge told her if she felt intimidated at that moment. Her nerves gave her away. She was excused.
Previously, possible juror 10, a teacher, burst into tears because of the anxiety caused by this case about drug trafficking and corruption. She was excused.
Interviewee 28 was a police officer, so he was blunt when Judge Kuo asked him if he would think he would be a good juror, in a hypothetical case of being accused of drug trafficking. “Probably not,” she expressed. He was excused.
It is possible that the selection of the jury concludes this Wednesdayafter which it is determined that the presentation of the prosecutors and the defense is Thursday morning, then Judge Cogan would determine whether to call the first witness that same day or the following Monday.
García Luna faces five charges, one for leading a criminal group, three for conspiring to traffic cocaine, and one for giving false testimony before immigration authorities.
An additional security module was placed on the eighth floor of the Eastern District Court of New York, similar to the one implemented during the trial of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
Anyone wishing to enter that wing of the court and the courtroom is expected to be required to pass the stringent metal detector surveillance and x-ray screening of their belongings.
The press was barred from the main courtroom on Wednesday to prevent potential jurors from feeling intimidated, according to bailiffs.
The defendant’s family did not go to court, but could do so at the start of the hearings.