Sam Bankman-Fried: Is Autism the Missing Piece of Mitigation?


Sam Bankman Fried is almost certainly on the Autism Spectrum.  And, if his lawyers can fully understand ASD, they would have a better chance at acquitting their client by explaining to the jury why his actions may not have been nearly as intentional and  calculated as they seem.  Moreover, if he’s convicted, ASD would go far to present a compelling mitigation narrative.

But, there seems to be zero mention of ASD in the case thus far.  That means, SBF is not only almost certainly going to be convicted in short order at trial, but the judge will punish him more severely at sentencing due to the inevitable weak-sauce mitigation story his lawyers will end up telling. 

We talk about all of this, including SBF’s sentence exposure, and predictions for the sentencing outcome in the case.   It’s a long episode, but it jammed packed with useful information.

Defense lawyers:  NOW IS THE TIME TO LEARN ABOUT AUTISM SPECTURM DISORDER.  We have all had clients on the spectrum. We’ve missed it. It matters at every stage of the proceeding.  There are experts who know these issues inside out and they often help achieve seemingly impossible results in our cases. 


  • Why autism matters at every stage of the proceeding;
  • SBF’s guidelines if convicted;
  • Possible mitigation narratives for sentencing;
  • How the guidelines do not expressly call for “stacking” when the guidelines exceed the statutory maximum on any given count of conviction;
  • Why SBF may still qualify for the “Zero Point Offender” reduction (and why it won’t matter);
  • Even though he’s looking at potentially 110 years if convicted, how Mark Allenbaugh’s sentencing stats analyses could save his life;
  • Potential fine ranges if convicted (Doug and Mark disagree with the fine potential);
  • How the instability of cryptocurrency is sentencing mitigation;
  • Life expectancy as mitigation;
  • The deplorable conditions of BOP “camps” which will create excruciating conditions of confinement for SBF;
  • Mark and Doug make their (wildly divergent) sentencing predictions if convicted.



We made reference to a potpourri of past podcast episodes, so here are the links in case you haven’t heard:

Episode 46, Defending Autism with Mark Mahoney (PART ONE):

Episode 46, Defending Autism with Mark Mahoney (PART TWO):

Episode 5, Understanding Autism at Sentencing with Jamie and Toni Sparks:

Episode 66, Straight to Sentencing: Pre-Trial Detention Through the Lens of SBF and DJT:

Episode 3, Telling the Story of Prison at Sentencing (with Maureen Baird):

Episode 72, Imperfect 10: Why Thousands Will be Deemed Ineligible for the Zippo and What to Do About It:


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