SBF trial turns into naptime for one sleepy juror

As the prosecution spent an hour explaining code, futures trading and wire transfers, a juror was seen taking a nap


txking/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


While members of the press and public line up outside the courthouse at four in the morning to try to snag a seat in the courtroom for Sam Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial in New York, at least one juror is dozing off. 

A front-row juror was seen sleeping in the jury box Wednesday afternoon and again Thursday morning as the prosecution’s second witness, Bankman-Fried’s former friend and employee Adam Yedidia, got into the nitty gritty of FTX’s inner workings. 

Neither the defense nor the prosecution has addressed the matter in open court or in sidebar conversations with Judge Lewis Kaplan that have been published in trial transcripts. 

Don’t miss any part of SBF’s trial (unlike this juror). Catch all the news coming from the courtroom.

Carlo D’Angelo, a crypto criminal defense attorney, spoke to Blockworks about how such a situation might generally be handled. He said that in his personal experience, “if it’s brought to the court’s attention, a judge would generally recess the trial and bring that juror before the judge and inquire [and] instruct the juror how important it is to stay awake.”

The judge would then typically consult with counsel on whether or not to dismiss the juror. 

“Unless counsel puts that issue on the record, it will not be preserved for direct appeal purposes,” D’Angelo added. 

Kaplan has already expressed frustration with the jury. On Wednesday morning after the 12 jurors and six alternates were selected, several reached out to the judge to express concerns and conflicts about serving. 

“I have an array of juror notes in front of me,” Kaplan said, adding that one had just informed the court that they work night shifts. 

“It would have certainly been helpful” to know this ahead of time, Kaplan said, but “the ship has sort of sailed.” 

The juror seen sleeping in court on Wednesday and Thursday was not the individual who said they work night shifts. 

Danielle Sassoon, lead attorney for the government, spent about an hour and twenty minutes questioning Yedidia Thursday before Bankman-Fried’s team took over for the cross-examination. When she asked Yedidia to explain futures trading and wire transfers, several jurors were seen yawning. Few were taking notes. 

Bankman-Fried’s trial continues in Manhattan Friday morning. The court will recess for the weekend and is scheduled to resume on Oct. 10. The trial is expected to last six weeks.

Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

Explore the growing intersection between crypto, macroeconomics, policy and finance with Ben Strack, Casey Wagner and Felix Jauvin. Subscribe to the On the Margin newsletter.

The Lightspeed newsletter is all things Solana, in your inbox, every day. Subscribe to daily Solana news from Jack Kubinec and Jeff Albus.


Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

MON - TUES, OCT. 7 - 8, 2024

Blockworks and Bankless in collaboration with buidlbox are excited to announce the second installment of the Permissionless Hackathon – taking place October 7-8 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve partnered with buidlbox to bring together the brightest minds in crypto for […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research Report Templates.png


ZKPs enable efficient offchain transaction processing and validation, resulting in increased throughput and reduced fees. Solana's ZK Compression leverages ZKPs to minimize onchain storage costs, while Sui's zkLogin streamlines user onboarding by replacing complex key management with familiar OAuth credentials.


Plus, a look at planned ETH ETF fees and how they differ from their BTC counterparts


North Korea suspected in breach of Indian exchange’s multisig wallet


Plus, Sanctum’s CLOUD token has officially launched — but not without problems


It’s not yet clear whether Donald Trump is pumping bitcoin. But an unofficial memecoin is still seeing benefit.


StarkWare takes a step towards making StarkNet for Bitcoin