Martin Shkreli’s Trial Is Off To A Great Start With Prospective Jurors Calling Him ‘Evil’ And ‘Snake’ Face

Getty Image

Nearly two years ago, Martin Shkreli jacked up the price of a life-saving drug that treats AIDS and cancer patients, and the world will (justifiably) never forget. This lasting memory extended to this morning’s apparent debacle when Shkreli arrived in Brooklyn federal court for his securities fraud trial, which is expected to last anywhere from four to six weeks.

Lawyers on the case are finding it difficult to find a jury of Shkreli’s peers who aren’t aware of his notoriety, which is to be expected after Shkreli kept his scandalous vibe alive by tweeting (before he got banned) about his pharmaceutical prowess. The Daily Beast reports that out of a pool of 130 prospective jurors, over half were swiftly dismissed after declaring various conflicts of interest, including their inability to look past Shkreli’s reputation as a price gouger. Even more ominous? The jurors who didn’t know who he was couldn’t help but feel uneasy while looking at his punchable face. Indeed, there may be no hope for a fair white-collar trial, for here are a few sample quotes from prospective jurors:

“I think [Shkreli’s] a very evil man.”

“I know he’s the most hated man in America, in my opinion. My father’s cancer medication costs $1,000 a month. I don’t think I can be fair and impartial.”

“A person who puts profit over everything else.”

“The price gouger of drugs.”

“I looked right at him, and in my head I said, ‘That’s a snake,’ not knowing who he is.”

In the event that Shkreli is convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison. His attorney, Ben Brafman, spoke with CNN Money to express concern over whether his client would hold his nightly livestream sessions during the trial’s duration, which could only further harm his chances of acquittal. Yet Brafman admitted, “While I can control his conduct in the courtroom, I cannot control his life nor do I have the right to interfere with his personal life.”

Last week, the man who will forever be known as Pharma Bro — despite his other antics, both harmful and merely annoying — didn’t appear to be worried. He livestreamed a typically bombastic Shkreli statement: “I’m so innocent, the jury, judge, and the prosecution are gonna give me an apology.”

(Via New York Times, The Daily Beast & CNN Money)