In 2017, Martin Shkreli was convicted of securities fraud and sentenced to prison. The transcripts of his jury selection show that there was some difficulty in finding jurors who would admit to being able to judge the case fairly.

Here are some examples of the jury selection interviews.

An example of the jury selection transcript

Another example of the jury selection transcript So, my question is: Under US law, what happens if it is practically impossible to assemble a jury, either because no-one will admit to being impartial, or for any other reason?

  • 1
    It should be noted, of course, that an impartial jury was eventually found to try Martin Shkreli — as well as for Timothy McVeigh, O.J. Simpson, Derek Chauvin, and any number of other high-profile criminal cases. So while your scenario is not impossible, I doubt that it has ever actually occurred. May 19, 2022 at 12:25
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    I mean disrespecting the Wu Tang Clan is pretty severe. WTCANTFW
    – Tiger Guy
    May 19, 2022 at 16:04
  • @MichaelSeifert This has and does occur. May 20, 2022 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


In the U.S., in a criminal case, there is a right to a speedy trial, and if a jury cannot be assembled by that deadline (as extended by available extensions) for reasons that are not the defendant's fault, than the charges must be dismissed.

Usually, the issue is not finding enough impartial jurors in high profile cases, which takes time but can be done, but in not finding enough jurors at all, where response rates to jury summonses are low and the municipality is a small one.

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    ... And does that happen often?
    – DrMcCleod
    May 19, 2022 at 21:56
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    @DrMcCleod Maybe five or ten times a year in the entire state of Colorado with 5 million people?
    – ohwilleke
    May 19, 2022 at 22:04

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