Martin Shkreli’s Fraud Trial Struggling To Find Jurors Who Don’t Hate Him

Often times it takes the advent of something particularly emblematic of a problem for people to properly articulate their hatred of it. Sometimes things really suck but in such an intangible, expansive way that it’s hard to channel that fury productively. 
For things like wholesale corporate destruction of the environment, we had the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989 and the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, which were very real, very immediate signifiers of the damage these companies were doing every day.
Movies like ‘Exodus‘ and ‘Gods of Egypt‘ gave us very obvious examples of whitewashing, a practice that’s sort of just always insidiously happening in film, usually unremarked upon.
Martin Shkreli was a perfect distillation of everything that’s fucked with the pharmaceutical industry (particularly in America). As I’m sure you well remember, Shkreli came to prominence as the CEO whose company purchased the license to produce Daraprim (an anti-parasitic medication used to treat toxoplasmosis and to prevent a form of pneumonia in AIDS/HIV patients) and gave it an overnight price hike of 5,500%.
What made this a perfect storm of pharmaceutical industry fuckedness was the shittiness of his actions, the shittiness of his defence of his actions, and his extremely unfortunate, extremely punchable face.
Pictured: A face only a generous mother could love. (Credit: Getty / Drew Angerer)
Basically, everyone alive knows who this motherfucker is and they all hate him (bar maybe some particularly deranged libertarians). Everyone knows corporate greed at the expense of people sucks, but it’s even easier to hate when there’s a super clear-cut example of it being carried out by someone who looks like the guy in every horror movie that the audience wants to be eaten by a monster.
It turns out everyone hates him so much that it’s causing problems with the jury selection for a trial that he’s currently undergoing. 
Shkreli, standup guy, is facing criminal fraud charges for allegedly siphoning US $11 million from Retrophin Inc. to pay investors he defrauded from two different hedge funds.
Juror interviews began yesterday in New York and Shkreli is not getting rave reviews from the punters. According to Bloomberg, at least a dozen people were dismissed thanks to their strong feelings about the man.
The first person interviewed described him as “an evil man“, another said she believed him to be the “most hated man in America“. A third told the court “I looked right at him and, in my head, I said ‘that’s a snake.’
Other (subsequently dismissed) potential jurors variously described Shkreli as a “price gouger“, “the face of corporate greed in America” and “a person who puts profit over everything else“.
He even copped the blame from a number of potential jurors over price hikes for the EpiPen, which he was not at all involved in but did vociferously defend in the media.
At least 130 people were dismissed, with another 100 set to be screened tomorrow.
Photo: Getty Images / Drew Angerer.