Court officials seemed to have trouble finding jurors for the court case of former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli, who gained notoriety for significantly raising the cost of certain drugs.
Prior to his trial for securities fraud, which was unrelated to the price hikes, the court asked a number of civilians if they were able to remain fair and impartial. It quickly became apparent that many potential jurors would not be fit for the duty of civic participation.
“I’m aware of the defendant and I hate him,” said one potential juror, according to Harpers Magazine. “I think he’s a greedy little man. I wouldn’t want me on this jury.”
Other jurors said something similar.
“I don’t think I can [remain neutral] because he kind of looks like a dick,” said juror No. 144.
“The only thing I’d be impartial about is what prison this guy goes to,” said another.
“He’s the most hated man in America,” said an unidentified interviewee. “In my opinion, he equates with Bernie Madoff with the drugs for pregnant women going from $15 to $750.”
Officials seemed to try their best to accept jurors for the case, but so many of their responses during questioning were deemed far too blunt.
“When I walked in here today I looked at him, and in my head, that’s a snake — not knowing who he was,” juror No. 52 said. “I just walked in and looked right at him and that’s a snake.”
“So much for the presumption of innocence,” bemoaned Benjamin Brafman, the lawyer representing Shkreli.
Some of the questioned citizens also referenced his $1 million purchase of a rare album by the Wu-Tang Clan, with one saying he “disrespected” the rap group. Prior to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Shrekli said he would publish the album, as well as other unreleased music projects from artists like Beatles and Nirvana, if then-Republican candidate Donald Trump won. If then-Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton won, he suggested he may destroy the Wu-Tang album, reports XXL Magazine.
A jury ultimately found Shkreli guilty of two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit fraud in early August for swindling investors in hedge funds he ran for years.
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