An attorney for Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman asked a federal judge to intervene over what she described as “cruel and unusual” prison conditions for the drug kingpin who is in custody in a federal prison in New York.
The attorney described what she called a series of punishments against the drug lord saying the light is always on in his cell, leading to a “serious issue of sleep deprivation” for Guzman.
“This deprivation of sunlight and fresh air, over an excessive 27-month period, is causing psychological scarring. He is suffering many symptoms of distress as a result of this lengthy unwarranted punishment” she said.
In addition to the lack of light, the air conditioning in his cell is so loud, he is unable to sleep through the noise, his attorney said. As a result, Guzman has been using toilet paper as earplugs, and he complains of daily headaches and ear pain that makes it impossible for him to use earphones.
Guzman, once the leader of a murderous drug cartel in Mexico, was convicted in February of running a criminal enterprise and other drug-related charges. He will be sentenced on June 25. He’s been in US detention for 27 months, and is in solitary confinement in a 10-by-8-foot windowless cell in Manhattan, according to his defense attorney, Mariel Colon.
In the more than two years, he’s not had access to fresh air or natural sunlight while in detention, the attorney wrote in a letter to Judge Brian M. Cogan of the Eastern District of New York.