Less than a month remains before the court case of Sam Bankman-Fried begins, and the Department of Justice (DOJ) officials are finalizing their arguments.
The outcome of the trial will be determined by a jury, so the DOJ has taken the time to prepare questions for the jurors in order to ensure their impartiality.
Key Questions for the Jury
According to a document containing the final list of jury questions, it is crucial for potential jurors to disclose whether they have any financial ties to the FTX empire. It is understandable that jurors who have lost funds due to the mishandling of the exchange’s finances by Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) might have a bias against him, which could impede a fair trial.
Additionally, the court has included other expected questions. Jurors were asked whether they have any conflicts of interest due to previous or current interactions with the US Justice system, FTX Group employees and companies, or startup companies in general.
The potential jurors were also questioned about their awareness of the case and their familiarity with blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
“Do you have any familiarity with FTX.com or Alameda Research? Are any of you familiar with, or have you had any dealings, directly or indirectly, with FTX, Alameda Research, or their affiliates? Have you invested in cryptocurrency, or digital assets more broadly? Do you have any familiarity with cryptocurrency or digital assets?”
The document also provides an estimated timeframe for the resolution of the case, which is anticipated to last approximately six weeks.
DOJ’s Alleged Bias Regarding SBF’s Witnesses
On the other side, SBF’s legal team has accused the DOJ of bias for seeking the dismissal of SBF’s expert witnesses. They argue that the witnesses’ testimony would confuse the jury due to their opinions, which they deem as “inadmissible hearsay testimony.”
The attempt by the DOJ to exclude these witnesses has been met with criticism for overreach and unfairness. SBF’s lawyers have also filed a motion to block the testimony of Professor Peter Easton, an expert witness for the prosecution. However, the DOJ has responded to this request, asserting that Professor Easton should be allowed to testify fully.
“The defendant’s motion to exclude Professor Easton’s testimony, which seeks total preclusion but is focused on discrete aspects of his testimony, is based on a misreading of the expert’s disclosure, is inconsistent with the case law, and has largely been mooted by the Government’s disclosure of draft exhibits. Professor Easton should be allowed to testify in full.”
SBF’s trial is scheduled to begin on October 2nd, with or without his expert witnesses.
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