In the rare example of an evil person in our culture actually facing consequences for their evil actions, Martin “Big Rolls” Shkreli was recently convicted on three counts of security fraud and could face up to 20 years in prison. The trial leading up to that conviction, however, was an ordeal for everyone involved, especially during the jury selection part of that process. It’s been repeatedly said that Shkreli’s legal team had a hell of a time finding jurors who didn’t carry a bias against him, which is understandable since his numerous offenses include jacking up the price life-saving drug Daraprim by 5,000 percent.
But that wasn’t what Shkreli was on trial for, a fact his lawyers had to state again and again and again according to these excerpts from the selection process that Harper’s just published. Culled from the three-day process at the end of June, the excerpts find potential jurors more than eager to flaunt their disdain for the man.
Juror No. 25: This is the price-gouging, right, of drugs?
The Court: This case has nothing to do with drugs.
Juror No. 25: My kids use those drugs.
The Court: As I said, the case does not concern anything that you might have read or heard about the pricing of certain pharmaceuticals.
Juror No. 25: It affects my opinion of him.
The price-jacking, unsurprisingly, comes up quite often.
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.
Even people who had no clue who Shkreli was or what he’d wanted his ass thrown in jail.
The Court: Ma’am, we’re going to excuse you. Juror Number 52, how are you?
Juror No. 52: When I walked in here today I looked at him, and in my head, that’s a snake — not knowing who he was. I just walked in and looked right at him and that’s a snake.
[Benjamin] Brafman (Shkreli’s lawyer): So much for the presumption of innocence.
In the end, more than 200 potential jurors were excused from the trial. And while they’re all heroes, Juror No. 59 might be our favorite.
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.
We hear they ain’t nothing to fuck with.