Prosecutors have pushed back against jury selection issues raised by the defense in the case against former CEO of now-defunct FTX exchange Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF).Co-founder Facing seven fraud-related criminal chargesincluding wire transfer fraud by FTX customers.
September 11, Bankman-Fried’s legal counsel Suggested questions to ask potential jurors A variety of topics including effective altruism campaigns, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), political giving, and more. Prosecutors also submitted proposed issues for jury selection the same day.
DOJ denounces SBF lawyers for ‘unnecessary intrusion’
On Friday, September 15, the Department of Justice (DOJ) wrote The complaint, filed with Judge Lewis Kaplan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, blasted the nature of the questions raised by Sam Bankman-Friend’s legal team. Prosecutors argued that the preliminary hearing presented by the defense contained many “unnecessary and time-consuming questions.”
Part of the letter reads:
The defense asked for a raft of open-ended questions asking potential jurors what they think of the case, the defendants and the defendant companies, and asking potential jurors whether they could “totally ignore” what they had seen. This is unnecessary intrusion and goes beyond the purpose of the preliminary hearing.
Voir dire, French for “to tell the truth,” refers to the preliminary questioning of a witness or jury by a judge or attorney.
Related Reading: Former Mt. Gox CEO Responds to FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried’s Demand for Freedom Before Trial
Specifically, the Department of Justice asked questions in sections dealing with pretrial advocacy, using resources to help others (effective altruism), political donations, and ADHD.
In one of their objections, prosecutors said the question about effective altruism “is a thinly veiled attempt” to cast Bankman-Fried in a positive light and ultimately strengthen their case. defend.
The U.S. Department of Justice claims:
Regardless of whether the defense can establish an acceptable purpose for the defendant’s alleged charitable commitments, a “pretrial” is not the appropriate forum to demonstrate to the jury that the defendant is simply a good man who wants to make the world a better place.
Ultimately, the Justice Department wants the court to use its own preliminary plan, which it claims contains “standard, neutral and appropriate questions.”
Are Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyers looking for sympathy?
As noted, Bankman-Fried’s attorneys addressed the subject of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder during his proposed preliminary hearing. This is not surprising considering that SBF is reported to suffer from this disorder.
However, prosecutors argued the questions about ADHD were irrelevant and prejudicial because they would only “inappropriately” paint Sam Bankman-Fried in a sympathetic light at the start of the trial. Accordingly, the Justice Department urges courts to prevent references to a defendant’s mental health condition or symptomatic body language to jurors.
The Justice Department further argued:
The defendant is currently taking medication to treat ADHD, which should effectively control any symptoms. Furthermore, the description of potentially significant symptoms of ADHD was both vague and broad, and led defendants to disrupt the trial under the guise of exhibiting ADHD symptoms.
Sam Bankman-Fried has maintained his innocence in the case and his trial is set to begin in New York in early October. unless there is any delay.
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