If someone were to ask you what schadenfreude means, you could probably just direct them to the saga of Martin Shkreli.
The “pharma-bro” hedge fund owner came to our attention in 2015 when, as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, he jacked up the price of anti-AIDS drug Daraprim by 5,000 percent just because he could. Smug in spite of all the criticism, Shkreli shrugged off complaints from the public, the drug’s users, and even elected officials.
In the meantime, he used his dubious financial gains to purchase Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin album, which they sold to the highest bidder. Shkreli did not release the album to the public afterward.
When he was arrested on charges of securities and wire fraud, America rejoiced. When he was recently found guilty of on three counts of fraud, America was delighted. It seemed as though you couldn’t find a person in this country who didn’t think he Shkreli was a monumental jerk.
Turns out, that’s more accurate than we thought. Harper’s Magazine recently printed transcripts of jury selection from the trial and they reveal a jury pool full of people who had already decided Shkreli was going down, which made life for the judge on the case somewhat more complicated.
We begin with the very first juror, who was gone before you know it.
Many of the jurors just couldn’t get past Shkreli’s greed when it came to price-gouging, even though it had nothing to do with this particular case.
And of course, some potential jurors had already found him guilty of the worst crime of all…depriving the world of that Wu-Tang Clan album.
Shkreli could spend the next 45 years in prison. Everyone seems pretty fine with that.