Originally, this newsletter was an analysis on whether or not Sam Bankman-Fried would be released from jail ahead of trial. A short while ago, Judge Lewis Kaplan, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, ruled he wouldn’t be. So this is now just that article, with some added stuff, basically.
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Sam Bankman-Fried lost a bid to be released from jail ahead of his trial next month. All hope isn’t lost for him, but time is running out for the FTX founder.
Why it matters
On Tuesday, Judge Lewis Kaplan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that Bankman-Fried did not make a particularly persuasive argument that he should be released from jail – where, as a reminder, the judge put him last month on public safety grounds.
Breaking it down
After weeks of back-and-forth on whether or not Bankman-Fried would be released from jail ahead of trial, we have an answer: He won’t be. The judge wrote a brief, fairly dismissive memo citing multiple reasons for his decision, ranging from finding arguments about the amount of time left before trial unpersuasive to saying the defense team didn’t really make a case. The judge left the door open for a new motion that might be more persuasive, but at this point timing may become an issue. A whole month passed between Bankman-Fried’s team first trying to get him out of jail and Tuesday’s ruling. The trial begins in just three weeks.
My speculative guess is that, at some level, Bankman-Fried’s team didn’t truly expect him to be released. The arguments about the Sixth Amendment seemed more of a rhetorical device. What I think is going to happen is if Bankman-Fried is convicted on one or more of the seven charges he faces at present, his defense team will file an appeal.
In that appeal, I expect they’re going to point to these pretrial motions and argue that he didn’t really have a fair shot at building his defense because of his pretrial incarceration.
This is all speculation though.
What we do know is there are three weeks left until the trial begins. The first step is the final pretrial conference. Judge Kaplan will likely…