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Prospective Jurors At The Martin Shkreli Trial Just Couldn’t Contain Their Hate For The Pharma Bro

by Penn Collins

August 17, 2017

Is Martin Shkreli still the most hated man in America? It’s possible, but these days there’s a strong challenger for that title. Last year, during jury selection for Shkreli's securities fraud trial, the “pharma bro” stood alone. The only thing people could agree on was that the guy who raised the cost of Daraprim, a medication that treats toxoplasmosis, by 5,000% — all while wearing a soulless smirk on his face — was just the worst. 

If you thought they would mince words for the sake of courtroom decorum, you’re underestimating the vitriol the jury pool felt for Shkreli. In the process of jury selection, the court dismissed 200 potential jurors, many for their inability to set aside their feelings for Shkreli to decide the case fairly. 

Harper’s recently obtained and released transcripts from the jury selection process, and … oh, boy. If people are saying these sorts of things in a courtroom, imagine what people would say to Shkreli on the street. Not to pour on the hate, but the man was banned from Twitter — three times! We’re all painfully aware how hard it is to do something so bad that Twitter bans you, so this man must be a monster. 

This tweet serves as a sort of “greatest hits” from the procured transcript. 

Image via Harper’s/Twitter.

Juror #1, starting things off with a bang! 

“I’m aware of the defendant and I hate him,” reads the (presumably) first person questioned for duty. 

People, even those tapped for jury duty, are well within their rights to feel however they’d like to about a person. But what’s remarkable about this transcript is just how compelled people felt to unleash — in a courtroom — their anger against a defendant. 

Then again, this is the defendant in question: 

He represents not only the ugly side of capitalism but of basic humanity. In pop music circles, Shkreli has achieved notoriety for buying unreleased albums for gaudy sums, then refusing to share them with the world. 

More notably, he bought a Wu-Tang Clan album for $2 million, teased the public with its release, then never delivered. 

That opened up a whole new demographic to the concept of “hating Martin Shkreli.” Unfortunately, for Shkreli, a jury of his peers included hip-hop fans, which gave us the quote of the trial during jury selection. 

He should have known better. 

This may not be a courtroom, but I’m going to go ahead and rest my case nonetheless. 

Share image via USA Today/Instagram.

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