Sam Bankman-Fried’s Lawyer Challenges US Gov’t Proposed Jury Questions – Sam Bankman-Fried’s attorney argues that the suggested inquiries imply his involvement in fraud and money laundering. Mark Cohen, the legal representative for Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of the now-defunct crypto exchange FTX, asserts that the jury questions proposed for the forthcoming fraud trial have the potential to elicit prejudiced responses, according to a court filing on September 29.
This, he claims, may lead to an unjust trial for Bankman-Fried due to bias within the questions put forth by the United States government. “The Government’s proposed voir dire discourages full disclosure from potential jurors, fails to elicit sufficient information to allow the defense to ascertain potential juror bias, and risks tainting the jury by presenting the allegations in a prejudicial manner.”
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Furthermore, he contends that the wording of the jury selection queries already presents a prejudiced image, assuming Bankman-Fried’s culpability in fraud and money laundering. “In particular, by referring to “his fraud,” rather than “his alleged fraud” or simply “fraud,” the final sentence in paragraph 3 improperly suggests that fraud by Mr. Bankman-Fried is an established fact.”
Cohen emphasizes the vital importance of the court reminding potential jurors about Bankman-Fried’s entitlement to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Furthermore, Cohen has urged the court to consider utilizing the voir dire proposed by Bankman-Fried. However, a recent report from Cointelegraph reveals that the U.S. government has objected to Bankman-Fried’s proposed questions, deeming them unnecessary and time-consuming.
In particular, they raised objections to questions related to pretrial publicity, the effective altruism philosophical movement, political donations and lobbying, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The jury selection process is set to commence on October 3, preceding the trial’s official start on October 4. As per the recently released trial calendar, there will be 15 full trial days in October and an additional six in November.
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Meanwhile, Bankman-Fried has remained in detention at the Metropolitan Detention Center since August 11. Despite numerous requests, U.S. Judge Lewis Kaplan has consistently denied his requests for temporary release to adequately prepare for the upcoming trial. The legal battle continues to unfold, with both sides presenting their arguments as the trial date approaches.