Recently, the news of infamous pharma bro Martin Shkreli was met with elation by many. Shkreli is is possibly “the most hated man in America” for astronomically raising the price of HIV medications, so many were happy to see him sentenced to seven years in prison for on three counts of fraud. Though he posed as a tough guy many times, Shkreli’s reaction was much different. He broke into tears when his sentence was handed down (though he was facing much more time). At one point, Shkreli expressed that he wished that the judge would have mercy on him and confine him to a minimum-security “camp” facility in Pennsylvania.
Nevertheless, wherever he ends up, many may be curious to know how Shkreli will fair behind the wall. To get an inside scoop from people who know the prison system, Don Diva contributor Seth Ferranti (who was recently released from prison after serving 21 years on kingpin charges) asked some of the criminal underworld’s most infamous figures, who are now locked up on long stretches, how they felt Shkreli would do.
One of Ferranti’s subject’s was NYC legend Walter “King Tut” Johnson. Tut is currently serving a life sentence at FCI Otisville on a federal three-strikes law conviction. “I think that Martin Shkreli will slip between the cracks in prison, because he will more than likely go to a camp where there is no violence,” Tut said in an email. “He will hate being locked up period, though, and probably do a little protesting. If he cries in prison like he did at sentencing, it better be genuine, because tears in prison are taken seriously.”
When it comes to the significance of tears in the bing, Ferranti elaborates:
In Tut’s experience, prison tears are for the loss of a loved one, incurable illness, or grieving by a person who is truly innocent. Which is to say sobbing from Shkreli over the state of his new digs could be seen as an insult to seasoned convicts—an act of selfishness that might become a “jacket” hanging over him for his whole bid.
Ferranti also spoke with more currently-incarcerated figures on Shkreli’s future for VICE. You can read their thoughts here.