DOJ Slams Sam Bankman-Fried’s ‘Intrusive’ Proposed Jury Questions – The U.S. Department of Justice believes that the jury questions suggested by FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried are deemed as excessively invasive and might be aimed at bolstering his defense strategy. Both Bankman-Fried and the DOJ put forth voir dire questions recently, which encompassed the usual inquiries regarding jurors’ familiarity with the case, as well as more detailed inquiries about their knowledge of individuals with ADHD.
These questions serve the purpose of aiding both the prosecution and the defense in selecting an unbiased and just jury. In a letter addressed to Judge Lewis Kaplan in the Southern District of New York, prosecutors highlighted that some of Bankman-Fried’s suggested questions are overly invasive. They specifically pointed out inquiries that delved into potential jurors’ views on FTX, the crypto exchange accused of fraud that experienced a dramatic collapse last November.
“The defense requests numerous open-ended questions about what opinions potential jurors have formed about the case, the defendant, and the defendant’s companies, and asks whether potential jurors can ‘completely ignore’ what they have previously seen,” the letter said. “This is unnecessarily intrusive, and goes beyond the purpose of voir dire.”
The letter stated that inquiries related to effective altruism, which Sam Bankman-Fried claims as his philosophical foundation, are not only superfluous but also seem to be a concealed effort to promote a defense storyline suggesting that the defendant’s primary aim was to accumulate wealth for the purpose of enhancing the world.
Likewise, the filing contended that questions concerning ADHD, for which Bankman-Fried receives medication, are both irrelevant and could introduce bias into the proceedings. “The defense is foreclosed from raising a mental disease, defect, or condition defense – no notice of such a defense was provided by the Court-imposed deadline,” the filing said. “Telling the jury that the defendant has ADHD would serve only to improperly cast the defendant at the outset of the trial in a sympathetic light.”