On September 11th and 12th, the U.S. government responded to the defense’s suggested questions to be asked during jury selection for the case against the former FTX CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, who is facing seven charges of fraud and money laundering that could potentially lead to decades in prison. In a letter to Judge Lewis Kaplan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams stated that the defendant’s proposed voir dire contains questions that are unnecessary and time-consuming, repetitive, prejudicial, and argumentative.
Williams went on to state that four of the fourteen sections proposed by the defense were objected to, as the pretrial publicity section had a weak legal foundation, questions about the effective altruism movement were a thinly veiled attempt to advance a defense narrative, and questions about ADHD and political donations were both irrelevant. He noted that Bankman-Fried’s ADHD is not relevant to the case.
In contrast, the government’s proposed questions were described as standard, neutral, and appropriate. Both sides suggested that potential jurors be asked about their attitude towards cryptocurrency. Among the defense’s questions was “If a company involved in the cryptocurrency industry or the financial industry fails, do you feel that only the owners of the company must be to blame?”. Bankman-Fried has denied all charges brought against him and the trial is set to begin on October 3rd in New York.