Martin Shkreli, the "pharma bro" who became infamous after greedily hiking up the price of a life-saving HIV/AIDS drug, is now on trial for a handful of charges related to fraud. Companies he worked for prior to the incident which garnered him nationwide hate claim that he operated a "Ponzi scheme" in which he used funds from one company to pay off personal debts, amongst other nefarious mishandling of finances. Now, The New York Post reports that prosecutors are having trouble picking jurors — because everyone seems to already have negatively formed opinions of Shkreli.
Prosecutors and defense lawyers have gone through 178 potential jurors, with some describing Shkreli as a “snake,” “evil” and a “dick.”
“The defendant is the face of corporate greed in America ... You’d have to convince me he’s innocent,” one potential juror said during a sidebar.
Another potential juror described Shkreli as “a person who puts profit over everything else.”
Others claimed they could not be impartial because members of their family had been or are dealing with HIV/AIDS.
“I find him truly disgusting,” one said, holding back tears. “My uncle has AIDS, and I couldn’t be impartial because of that.”
And yet even more claimed to be heavily biased because they have family members who can not afford the medications needed to save their lives. According to Salon, some incorrectly blamed Shkreli for the high price of the EpiPen, leading them to be rejected as well.
134 of the potential jurors were tossed out of the running due to prejudices and claims of hardship. Only one juror said that she would be implicitly on the side of Shkreli, claiming that the stock market is a "scam." She, too, was tossed from the pool.
Ben Brafman, Shkreli's attorney, had attempted to bar press from the trial and continued to complain of the presence of reporters during the jury selection process, saying it could “further complicate” his job.
Shkreli was described as "looking bored" during the court proceedings. He potentially faces up to 20 years in prison for his crimes.
[Photo: Getty Images]