The trial of Martin "Pharma Bro" Shkreli, the infamously trollish pharmaceutical executive who famously hiked up the price of a life-saving HIV/AIDS drug, has fascinated the public. Although the securities fraud charges he was ultimately found guilty of were unrelated to the incident which garnered him national outrage, the public's opinion of him affected jury selection and reactions to the trial.
Now, a New York Times article shares some of the details from behind the scenes of the contentious situation.
One juror described Shkreli as "his own worst enemy" at his trial, specifically referring to his refusal to apologize or show any remorse for his behavior.
“All he had to do was to tell everyone, ‘I’m sorry, I lost the money, all I can say is I’m sorry,’ and that would be it,” said the juror, Lois Pounds. “But there’s a side of him — I think it’s partly ego — that he wanted to be thought of as this great financial individual.”
“Most of us agreed that there was a little something off with him... [but] not enough that he was incompetent,” said Pounds of Shkreli. “There’s a good side to him, in which he wanted to make everyone whole."
Shkreli was found guilty on three of eight charges. Pounds added that the jury did not find “that he had the intent and purpose to specifically rob and cause a person to lose money and property” in the other five.
“You can’t lie about the money,” said Annette Pittman, another juror, who noted Shkreli's failure to hire an auditor and discrepancies between bank deposits and financial statements sent to investors. “If you’re going to send a statement to someone who invested, it should be truthful.”
“He knew right from wrong,” Pittman said. “He knew what he was doing.”
Another anonymous juror told The Times that the jurors largely agreed on the details of each charge but disagreed specifically about the fifth, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, leading to a day-and-a-half-long closed-door discussion. The debate revolved around the word "intent" — the jurors decided that Shkreli had not intended to defraud his investors, leading to them finding him innocent on that specific charge.
The anonymous juror added that the jury got along rather well, and argued politely and without anger or hostility: “We took each charge and broke it down based on the judge’s instructions,” said Pounds. “There was a lot of going back and forth, a lot of debate, particularly on the conspiracy charges.”
The jurors all noted the stress of the situation, saying that the Judge's instructions took hours to read. Some exchanged phone numbers to keep in touch after the case concluded.
[Photo: Getty Images]