Defense attorneys and prosecutors alike are attempting to bar media from certain aspects of Martin Shkreli’s jury selection–worried that press coverage of the notorious social media troll‘s jury selection could taint potential jurors.
Both sides want to keep answers from potential jurors regarding Shkreli’s likability secret–as defense attorney Benjamin Braffman argued a single utterance regarding any one of the 34-year-old’s extreme views could “poison” an entire pool of prospective jurors.
Shkreli made faces at the gallery from the defense table as his other attorney, Marc Agnifilo, called media depictions of the former Turing CEO “highly negative,” especially with regards to “issues of race and misogyny.”
Braffman and Agnifilo both want questions regarding whether or not jurors like Shkreli to be asked in a sidebar, so media and other jurors can’t hear their answers, they told Brooklyn federal court Judge Kiyo Matsumoto.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys squabbled Thursday over how to select a fair and impartial jury pool with their client’s infamous media footprint–during which Shkreli was likened to Don King, Martha Stewart, The Dapper Don, and convicted Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Shkreli’s defense attorneys also noted the “Pharma bro” has opted out of taking place in sidebars during selection—so potential jurors can be candid with their feelings about him.
“Mr. Shkreli live streams his entire life,” Katherine Bolger, a lawyer for multiple media organizations, balked. “He’s live-streamed every day, ten hours a day, since his arrest. And now he wants his privacy?”
“It’s not everyday you get compared to John Gotti,” Shkreli wrote on Facebook following the hearing. “God forbid you’re a little free market/right-wing in NYC. That’s why the “fake news” media is being punished by the voters of the US.”
Jury selection begins Monday. A judge has yet to rule on whether or not press will be allowed at sidebar.