In a separate filing, prosecutors set about preparing the high-tech of the courthouse.
The US Department of Justice thinks the proposed jury questions of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried are “unnecessarily intrusive” and may be intended to support his defense.
Bankman-Fried and the DOJ proposed voir dire questions earlier this week, from standard questions about whether potential jurors were familiar with the case to more specific questions about whether they knew people with ADHD. These questions will help the prosecutor and the defense determine a fair and impartial jury.
Some of the questions proposed by Bankman-Fried are “intrusive”, prosecutors wrote in the letter to Judge Lewis Kaplan, from the Southern District of New York. They asked questions that examined the opinions of potential jurors towards FTX, the allegedly fraudulent crypto exchange that collapsed in a spectacular way last November.
“The defense asks many open questions about the opinions created by potential jurors about the case, the defendant, and the defendant’s companies, and asks if potential jurors can ‘completely ignore’ what they have seen before, ” the letter said. “This is unnecessarily intrusive, and goes beyond the purpose of voir dire.”
Questions about whether altruism is effective – Sam Bankman-Fried’s claimed philosophical base – are not only unnecessary, but ” they are a thin attempt to advance a defense story in which the defendant was simply ‘gathering wealth’ to ‘improve the world,'” the letter said.
Similarly, questions about ADHD, for which Bankman-Fried takes medication, are “irrelevant and harmful,” the filing said.
“The protection is closed from mental illness, defect, or raising condition protection – the deadline imposed by the court did not provide any notice of such protection …”said the filing. “Telling the jury that the defendant has ADHD would only unduly throw the defendant at the beginning of the trial in a sympathetic light.”
Prosecutors also have the technological infrastructure of the trial on their minds: they asked for a high-speed ethernet connection as well as a printer for government use, as well as headphones for the jury. “This will greatly facilitate the effective and efficient presentation of evidence,” they wrote in a letter to Judge Kaplan.
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