Martin Shkreli is a private citizen with a very public life. He’s a businessman who would probably consider himself a mogul.
The US justice system requires each person arrested and charged with a crime to face a jury of their peers. Martin Shkreli’s peers HATE him.
There’s really good reason to dislike the guy. He’s the “pharma bro” who unapologetically – enthusiastically, almost – spiked the price of some medical treatments 5000% over the original cost in a single decision last year. Shkreli is also the guy who openly didn’t give a damn about who was going to suffer as a result of being unable to afford that medication.
And he’s also the guy who bought the only copy of Wu Tang’s “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” threatened to destroy it, threatened to post it online and got into a really friggin’ stupid online video battle with some of group’s members.
There’s a new book detailing the whole thing, by the way.
(This is without considering all the ugly, terrible things he’s said about writer Lauren Duca and the vitriol she’s faced from his so-called supporters, just for speaking out and defending herself.)
This guy is a world-class idiot, right?
Turns out, the potential jury pool for his recent trial over security fraud thought so too.
The transcripts from the three-day process to seat a 12-person jury have just been released. Get the popcorn.
By the way, Benjamin Braffman, the man doing some of the questioning here, is Shkreli’s attorney.
He’s just got that kind of face, you know?
Among the gems:
The Court: The purpose of jury selection is to ensure fairness and impartiality in this case. If you think that you could not be fair and impartial, it is your duty to tell me. All right. Juror Number 1.
Juror no. 1: I’m aware of the defendant and I hate him.
Benjamin Brafman: I’m sorry.
Juror no. 1: I think he’s a greedy little man.
The Court: Jurors are obligated to decide the case based only on the evidence. Do you agree?
Juror no. 1: I don’t know if I could. I wouldn’t want me on this jury.
Well, the juror was honest. That’s respectable.
Another – this one might be my favourite (though I’m not speaking on behalf of the rest of the G&B crew here):
The Court: Juror Number 144, tell us what you have heard.
Juror no. 144: I heard through the news of how the defendant changed the price of a pill by up-selling it. I heard he bought an album from the Wu-Tang Clan for a million dollars.
The Court: The question is, have you heard anything that would affect your ability to decide this case with an open mind. Can you do that?
Juror no. 144: I don’t think I can because he kind of looks like a dick.
The Court: You are Juror Number 144 and we will excuse you.
(Note to Juror No. 144: You rock.)
Don’t mess with medication
Some people were very upfront with their inability to give Shkreli a fair trial, not because of his appearance but because of the pharmaceutical dealings. This is despite the fact, stressed by the jury selectors, that this trial had nothing to do with the medications.
The Court: Juror Number 67?
Juror no. 67: The fact that he raised the price of that AIDS medication, like, such an amount of money disgusts me. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget that. Who does that, puts profit and self-interest ahead of anything else? So it’s not a far stretch that he could do what he’s accused of.
The Court: Please go to the jury room and tell them you have been excused. Juror Number 70.
The Court: Hello, Juror Number 125.
Juror no. 125: I’ve read extensively about Martin’s shameful past and his ripping off sick people and it hits close to me. I have a mother with epilepsy, a grandmother with Alzheimer’s, and a brother with multiple sclerosis. I think somebody that’s dealt in those things deserves to go to jail.
The Court: Just to be clear, he’s not being charged with anything relating to the pricing of pharmaceuticals.
Juror no. 125: I understand that, but I already sense the man is guilty.
This is why lawyers talk with potential jurors before selecting them for service.
And don’t ever question the loyalty of Wu-Tang Clan fans
Then there’s this juror, who deserves some kind of love from Wu-Tang.
Juror no. 59: Your Honor, totally he is guilty and in no way can I let him slide out of anything because —
The Court: Okay. Is that your attitude toward anyone charged with a crime who has not been proven guilty?
Juror no. 59: It’s my attitude toward his entire demeanor, what he has done to people.
The Court: All right. We are going to excuse you, sir.
Juror no. 59: And he disrespected the Wu-Tang Clan.
By the way, Shkreli was found guilty on two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy. The securities fraud charge carries a maximum jail sentence of 20 years.