Controversy Surrounds Jury Questions in FTX Founder’s Trial

Controversy Surrounds Jury Questions in FTX Founder's Trial

Controversy Surrounds Jury Questions in FTX Founder’s Trial

The Justice Department considers the jury queries posed to FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried to be “unnecessarily intrusive” and helpful to his defense.

This week, Bankman-Fried and the Department of Justice presented voir dire questions spanning from general inquiries about juror familiarity with the case to ADHD-specific inquiries.

The prosecution and defense can use these queries to select a fair jury.

In a letter to Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York, prosecutors described Bankman-Fried’s inquiries as “intrusive.”

They questioned prospective jurors about FTX, the allegedly fraudulent cryptocurrency exchange that imploded spectacularly in November of last year.

The letter stated that the defense asks prospective jurors numerous open-ended questions about the case, the defendant, and the defendant’s firms, as well as whether or not they can “completely ignore” what they have seen. This is excessive and unjustifiable.

The letter stated that queries about Sam Bankman-Fried’s alleged philosophical foundation, effective altruism, are irrelevant and “are a thinly veiled attempt to advance a defense narrative that the defendant was simply ‘accumulating wealth’ to ‘improve the world.'”

The lawsuit argued that because Bankman-Fried takes ADHD medication, inquiries about it are “irrelevant and prejudicial”.

“The defense cannot assert a mental illness, defect, or condition as a defense because the deadline imposed by the court provided no notice,” stated the brief. “Telling the jury that the defendant has ADHD would cast him in an unfavorable light at the outset of the trial.”

The prosecution has requested a high-speed ethernet connection, a government printer, and headphones for the jury.

They wrote to Judge Kaplan, “This would significantly enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the presentation of evidence.”

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