Jury selection started out slowly in the trial of the price-gouging “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli, because potential jurors just don’t like him.
More than 120 potential jurors were dismissed Monday from the federal court trial in Brooklyn, where Shkreli faces eight counts of securities and wire fraud related to his two hedge funds and the drug company Retrophin, reported the New York Times.
Some of the jurors knew about the 34-year-old Shkreli, who became known as “the most hated man on the internet” two years ago after hiking the price of the drug Daraprim overnight from $13.50 per pill to $750 as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals.
“This is the price gouger of drugs,” one potential juror said. “My kids are on some of these drugs. This impacts my kids.”
Another potential juror made a throat-throttling gesture as she denounced Shkreli.
“Who does that?” the woman said. “A person that puts profit over everything else?”
Many jurors seemed to see Shkreli as “the face of corporate greed in America,” as one man said.
“I think he’s a very evil man,” said another woman. “I don’t think I can be fair. My opinion is pretty well formed. I wouldn’t want to serve on this jury.”
But even jurors who had never heard of Shkreli seemed to hate him on sight.
“I looked right at him, and in my head, I said, ‘That’s a snake’ — not knowing who he was,” said one woman.
Shkreli’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, joked about the woman’s strongly negative reaction.
“So much for the presumption of innocence,” Brafman said.
Another man just didn’t like the looks of him.
“He kind of looks like a dick,” the man said.