Some Prospective Jurors Were Pretty Biased Against Martin Shkreli

Ex-pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli exits the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, June 6, 2016, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

“I think he’s a very evil man,” is not a line a defense attorney wants to hear about his client, but that is exactly how it went on the first day of jury selection in the securities-fraud trial of Martin Shkreli. Shkreli is the pharmaceutical executive who became notorious after raising the price of the live-saving drug Daraprim 5,000 percent and who then continued to do lots of other things to cement his reputation as a jerk. He is now facing federal charges for allegedly defrauding investors in two hedge funds, and though it’s unrelated to that controversial drug-price increase, that and other things have apparently been enough to turn off quite a few people in the Brooklyn jury pool. Including the woman who called him a “very evil man,” at least a dozen people were dismissed because they let the judge know they really did not like this guy

Here are a few more highlights from prospective jurors who were later dismissed for bias, as reported in CNBC:

“I looked right at him and, in my head, I said ‘that’s a snake.’”

“I know he’s the most hated man in America.”

“I have total disdain for the man.”

“This is the price gouger of drugs. My kids are on some of these drugs.”

 “From everything I’ve read, I believe the defendant is the face of corporate greed in America.”

“Ahhh, it’s ‘that’ guy.”

At least a few potential jurors blamed Shkreli for the EpiPen price increase, though he had nothing to do with that. And despite some of the harsh criticisms, most of the 70 people first dismissed used the same old excuses of work and family commitments. Either way, Monday’s slow selection process is probably going to push back the start of opening arguments. The trial was originally estimated to last between four and six weeks.

Some Prospective Jurors Were Biased Against Martin Shkreli