Martin “Pharma Bro” Shkreli was convicted in August of this year of three counts of securities fraud in New York and was released on $5 million bail, pending sentencing. He was on trial for his actions pertaining to the operation of Retrophin, a company he once headed and some hedge fund activities.
The 34-year-old became one of America’s most despised men in 2015 when he raised the price of a drug called Daraprim by 5,000 percent after acquiring the rights to the product. The medication was an anti-parasite used during the treatment of AIDs patients. The cost soared from $13.50 to $750 a dose overnight.
While waiting to be sentenced, Shkreli posted an offer of $5,000 for a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair on Facebook. The judge ordered Shkreli back in jail saying the actions constituted a danger to the public. His lawyers had argued that he was exercising free speech by posting the satirical content on September 4th, just before Clinton started drumming her most recent book across the nation.
OUR FREE OPINION
We find it a stretch to conclude that Shkreli’s posting presented a “danger to the public,” and therefore, was not protected speech. We have no kind words for Shkreli and believe that he deserves prison time. But the words posted do not rise to the level of a threat or any inducement for someone to commit a crime.
From a practical perspective, one would think that a man who is waiting to be sentenced, would be displaying his best manners, and stay away from social media. Shkreli’s narcissism will likely cost him at sentencing.