Amid the rejoicing, several people have pointed out how the system failed us nonetheless.
On March 9, a tearful Martin Shkreli gave a New York judge a final plea for leniency before being sentenced to seven years in prison for wire and securities fraud.
The news about Shkreli — who was dubbed the “Pharma Bro” and the “most hated man in America” for raising the cost of a life-saving AIDS drug by 5,000% and doubling down when called out about it — was almost universally welcomed by those on social media. Though the charges that led to Shkreli’s sentencing were unrelated to the high-profile accusations of price-gouging, many were nonetheless thrilled to learn that he would be doing time for any of his misdeeds.
The tweets first broke the news and circumstances of his sentencing, including his pleas for less time.
shkreli is crying at his sentencing right now— allie conti (@allie conti) 1520616759
#Shkreli: "There is so much more I want to do, and I will do it, the right way." Shkreli breaking down in tears as… https://t.co/GjWErReVbB— Meg Tirrell (@Meg Tirrell) 1520616948
The judge responded with reminders of Shkreli’s behavior during the case, suggesting that the defendant didn’t take the charges — or his actions — seriously enough to warrant further leniency.
Judge: During remand proceedings, Shkreli made statements about wanting to have non-consensual sex with a journalis… https://t.co/DKQMKfyCDb— Ethan Harp (@Ethan Harp) 1520617835
While the public took Shkreli’s actions very seriously when news finally broke that the man would be paying for his crimes, the internet — especially Twitter — erupted with schadenfreude.
Shkreli’s attorney, albeit to a very different end, stated that even he couldn’t stand his client.
Martin Shkreli's lawyer: Sometimes I want to punch him in the face https://t.co/siPWKVhfi1— TIME (@TIME) 1520656210
Others pointed out that while the system may have worked in this instance, Shkreli was never charged for jacking up the price of Daraprim.
says a lot about our society that Martin Shkreli went to prison for defrauding investors but not for price gouging lifesaving medication— Ken Klippenstein (@Ken Klippenstein) 1520635230
While gloating may feel unbecoming to some, this sentencing offers the public the opportunity to exhale and take comfort in knowing that this man is going to jail for a considerable amount of time, even if not for the reasons they’d hoped.
And if you need a reminder as to why the public is so smug and celebratory about a millionaire’s incarceration (beyond the price-gouging issue), there’s this: