The lawyer representing Sam Bankman Freed, the former CEO of the now-defunct FTX exchange, has claimed that proposed jury questions for the upcoming fraud trial may elicit biased responses.
In the courtroom Deposit On September 29, attorney Mark Cohen, who represents Bankman-Fried, asserted that the jury questions submitted by the US government contained loopholes that could lead to an unfair trial for Bankman-Fried.
“The government’s proposed voir dire does not encourage full disclosure from potential jurors, fails to obtain sufficient information to allow the defense to ascertain potential juror bias, and risks tainting the jury pool by presenting allegations in a prejudicial manner.”
Cohen stresses the importance of the court reminding potential jurors that Bankman-Fried is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
He also argues that the language used in the jury selection questions actually portrays a biased picture, and assumes Bankman-Fried’s guilt in fraud and money laundering.
“In particular, by referring to his ‘fraud’ rather than his ‘alleged fraud’ or simply ‘the fraud’, the last sentence in paragraph 3 incorrectly suggests that the fraud by Mr Bankman-Fried is an established fact.”
Furthermore, Cohen said the court should use the voir dire proposed by Bankman-Fried.
However, Cointelegraph recently reported that the US government opposed the questions proposed by Bankman-Fried, declaring them unnecessary and time-consuming.
Specifically, he objects to his questions regarding pretrial publicity, the effective philosophical altruism movement, political donations and lobbying, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
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Jury selection is scheduled to begin on October 3, before the trial begins on October 4.
According to the recently released trial calendar, there will be 15 full trial days in October and another six days in November.
Bankman-Fried has been detained at the Metropolitan Detention Center since August 11. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan has consistently denied his numerous requests for temporary release to prepare for trial.
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