A juror in the recent Kleiman v Wright trial has revealed details of the jury’s deliberations ahead of the verdict handed down earlier this month. The jury ultimately sided with Wright in six of the seven civil charges brought by Ira Kleiman, the brother of Wright’s former colleague Dave Kleiman.
Ira alleged that Wright and Dave—who died in April 2013—had collaborated on Bitcoin’s development and on a venture that mined Bitcoin in the years immediately following the technology’s 2009 release. Wright maintained that, while Dave helped him edit the text of the Bitcoin white paper, Dave had no input into the Bitcoin code, nor was there any partnership between the two friends to jointly mine Bitcoin or develop Bitcoin-related technology.
The jury did find that Wright committed conversion of assets belonging to W&K Info Defense Research LLC—an outfit formed in 2011 by Dave Kleiman, Dr. Craig Wright and his ex-wife Lynn to pursue U.S. military technology contracts—in which Dave held a minority stake. (A separate dispute over ownership of the shares held by the respective parties remains ongoing.)
On Wednesday, Law360 reporter Carolina Bolado published details of an interview with a member of the KvW jury regarding its six days of deliberations following the three-week trial. The unidentified juror said the jury agreed early on that Wright was liable for conversion for transferring W&K’s intellectual property to companies under his control.
But the juror also revealed that the deliberations might have concluded much sooner were it not for efforts by two jurors to find some evidence that Wright owed Dave a portion of the 1.1m BTC tokens that Satoshi—the pseudonymous identity under which Wright wrote the white paper—is believed to have mined. After finding “no positive connection” linking Dave to any of Wright’s Bitcoin tokens, the juror said the two Kleiman supporters ultimately “agreed that as far as liability towards Bitcoin, there was none.”
This revelation stands in stark contrast to contemporaneous public pronouncements by BTC maxis on Crypto Twitter™ who repeatedly insisted that the deliberations were dragging on due to a lone Wright-friendly juror digging in his/her heels. All the more reason to observe the old adage: Believe nothing you hear, and only half that you see.
Wright is (in)famous for his occasionally brusque social exchanges—a result of his Autism spectrum disorder—but the juror told Bolado that this failed to tilt the jury to Kleiman’s side. Indeed, the juror said Ira Kleiman was the individual whose actions and demeanor “gave me an idea that he was trying to hide something.”
Here again, the jury’s actions belied the public consensus that Wright’s behavior in the witness box was dooming his case. Even Law360’s Bolado, who brought an appropriately neutral stance to most of her daily trial coverage, later described Wright as the “most unlikable, awful person I’ve ever seen on the stand.”
The juror left the case with a more positive image of Dr. Wright than Bolado, giving Wright props for acquiring so many educational degrees despite (or perhaps because of) his autistic challenges. The juror said they were “really amazed” by Wright’s “tunnel vision” in pursuit of higher education.
Whatever their feelings towards the principals, the juror maintained that the jury reached its verdict based solely on the evidence. Notably, the juror stressed that the jury found “a lot of ambiguity” and no “concrete proof” to support the Kleiman camp’s allegations that Wright had forged documents related to his activities before and after Dave’s death.
In rejecting Ira Kleiman’s assertions that his brother Dave played a key role in Bitcoin’s development, the jury bolstered the mounting public perception of Wright as the sole inventor of Bitcoin and the real-world individual behind the Satoshi mask. This augurs well for Wright’s future legal dustups and BSV, the only technology that upholds the white paper’s vision of Bitcoin as a ‘peer-to-peer electronic cash system’ that enables low-cost nano-transactions and data storage. And to all a good night.
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