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Will Bankman-Fried Testify Himself in Goal to “Get at Least One Juror to Believe”

Last Updated October 24, 2023 4:55 PM
Teuta Franjkovic
Last Updated October 24, 2023 4:55 PM

Key Takeaways

  • Sam Bankman-Fried contemplates testifying as his trial continues, with associates’ testimonies raising concerns.
  • His defense strategy revolves around showing diminished capacity, seeking to use medical evidence to cast doubt on his intent to defraud.
  • Convincing a single juror of his diminished capacity is crucial to reducing his sentence in this ongoing trial.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the creator of FTX and known for his love of high-stakes wagers, is debating taking the greatest wager of all by testifying in his own defense.

The former crypto-celeb has spent over three weeks watching some of his former close friends and colleagues testify at the trial and provide what seemed to be damning testimony.

SBF’s Defense Strategy Hinges on Proving Diminished Capacity

Bankman-Fried is currently facing charges of fraud, money laundering, and other offenses and is being tried in New York. the prosecution informed the jury that Bankman-Fried intentionally planned, carried out, and profited from a number of criminal activities that caused the FTX crypto exchange to fail and resulted in the loss of billions of dollars in client cash.

In general, it may be uncertain whether Bankman-Fried will testify, according  to Jefferey Bellin, a professor at William & Mary Law School. He stated that “only about half of criminal defendants take the witness stand” in an article for a law magazine titled “The Silence Penalty.”

According to the crypto lawyer David Lesperance, who spoke with CCN, the prosecution has presented a strong group of witnesses and corroborating evidence.

“This leads me to believe that SBF’s only reasonable strategy would seem to be to try and get at least one juror to believe there is reasonable doubt about his willful intention to defraud because of diminished capacity.

“This would require introducing expert medical evidence that his medicinal cocktail impacted him to such a degree that he could not properly form the mens rea to commit a fraud. If the medical evidence does not appear to impress the jury sufficiently, SBF may be forced to testify to try and sufficiently plant that seed of doubt in the mind of at least one juror,” he told CCN.

Lesperance said he expects the prosecution to rest. According to him, the defense will bring a motion to dismiss for now.

SBF Is Coming To The Chair – He Needs One Juror To Trust Him

As per Lesperance, saying the prosecution didn’t meet their burden, probably won’t work.

“Does he or doesn’t he come to witness? Yeah,” he stated.

“And and what am I going to put the seed of doubt in? Well, I have to hand it to the prosecution so far and what I’ve seen in kind of the reporting is they seem to be much sharper on the on the the answering. So I don’t think they’re going to kind of, like, baffle them with crypto stuff.”

However, when talking about Bankman-Fried being on Adderall, it is important to know Adderall tends to increase a person’s risk-taking.

“It tends to make you do impulsive buying,” said Lesperance.

He added that his lawyers will obviously try to prepare him as much as possible – to lead him down the garden path as much as possible direct and hope that he survives to cross enough to instill doubt in that one.

Lesperance said Bankman-Fried needs only one juror to trust him in order to minimize his future sentence.

“That one juror, That’s the goal. It’s not going to convince everybody that he’s not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. But he doesn’t need to convince everybody. He needs to convince one person that he’s a completely, you know, innocent Angel, but that he was either extraordinarily risky or just a gambler.”

This medicine made his gambling even more, but he didn’t have the mens rea.

Asked if Sam has a possibility to admit he is guilty, Lesperanze said that if he’s gotten this far and he has, the judge will not offer him a plea deal.

“The best he’s going to do is before, you know, the jury comes out, he could stand up and say, OK, I’m, they’re going to come back guilty. You don’t really see it at that point. People hang on,” he stated.

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