Polanski Walks

have decided not to extradite film director Roman Polanski to the US to face sentencing for a case dating back to 1977.

from the BBC

Comments

  1. #1 Kammy
    July 12, 2010

    Oh for fuck sake. *headdesk*

  2. #2 Pinky
    July 12, 2010

    Its’ been proven once again; a rich person with connections does not have to worry about justice.

    Just watch, this year or next, he will be given an Oscar award for lifetime achievement or something similar. People questioning this will be told: “Well he was not convicted of anything.”

    Another thing that eats my lunch about Roman Polanski’s case are the people who talk as if the victim, a thirteen year old school girl, wanted the rape case to be dropped. I can emphasize with her reluctance to drag it all up again now so much time has lapsed and her life is back on track, however I think a rape prosecution belongs just as much to the citizens as the victim. Isn’t the first goal to stop the rapist from raping again and secondly to punish him?

    I know from comment experience that if I don’t write: No, I do not condone rape victims being punished for not wishing to testify; someone will accuse me of wanting it.

  3. #3 Benjamin Franz
    July 12, 2010

    *obligatory disclaimer*: Don’t take this as a defense of Polanski.It isn’t.

    The largest reason the extradition was denied was because the US refused to provide transcripts from a hearing where the original judge is alleged to have to made a direct statement that Polanski would be permitted to go free with time served. A statement the judge is alleged to have planned to renege on when it actually came to sentencing. At which point Polanski fled the US.

    The Swiss contend that the hearing transcript would show that Polanski in fact *already served* his sentence (such as it was). The US apparently doesn’t want the transcript to become public more than it wants Polanski extradited.

    Polanski doesn’t have ‘clean hands’ here, but neither does the US court system in its efforts to extradite him.

  4. #4 Left_Wing_Fox
    July 12, 2010

    Franz: So what? Had the judge reneged like that it would have been a solid basis for an appeal, correct? So why should the Swiss insert itself into the system in such a way in defence of a man who drugged and anally raped a 13 year?

    I assume this might be a good way for the vatican to defend their molesters too. “Oh, the US system of justice is so broken, we don’t believe our priests would get a fair trial. that’s why we shipped them off to manage a children’s school overseas, instead of turning them over to the cops.”

  5. #5 Rubicon
    July 12, 2010

    @Pinky

    My understanding is that he was convicted, but fled prior to sentencing. Nobody will be able to say that he wasn’t convicted in defense of some useless film award.

  6. #6 Astrofys
    July 12, 2010

    LFW: If said priests would be in the Vatican, and there was not an extradition treaty between the states, i would be a possibility, exactly as there are between many different states. My own country, Sweden, would not extradite anyone to the US for punishments which carries the death penalty. And usually these treaties takes into account that due process in each country must be followed. Here, according to the swiss system, this has not been followed, ie no extradition.

  7. #7 prelevent
    July 12, 2010

    @pinky “I know from comment experience that if I don’t write: No, I do not condone rape victims being punished for not wishing to testify; someone will accuse me of wanting it.”

    I think that this is the double edged sword of a rape trial. Unlike so many, if not most, other crimes the word of the defendant is foremost the lynch-pin of the case. If the person is not able to present their case, then what does the prosecution have to go on. This case, and all other statutory cases, is different because it involves a minor, and so the state has cause to prosecute despite the participation of the victim. So in order to pursue justice the victim has to make a statement and be questioned. It is a pretty unfortunate system, but one that is not so easily remedied.

  8. #8 BrianX
    July 12, 2010

    What people are forgetting is that plea deals are a deal between opposing counsel, and the judge only approves them. The fear was that the judge wouldn’t accept the plea deal and would make Polanski serve the whole arduous unreasonable sentence… of 90 days. Yes, that’s right, Polanski would, at worst, have served the same sentence for child rape as Lindsay Lohan is for an alcohol parole violation.

    Now I’m not sure whether to blame the Swiss or US authorities or both. But someone screwed up badly and Polanski should be headed back to the US to serve his 90 day sentence (as well as standing trial for that little fugitive-of-justice thing), and instead he’s walking away a (mostly) free man.

    The thing that bothers me the most about the case is all the people coming out in support tend to be Hollywood types (hm, entitled much?) and, embarrassingly, lots of political liberals. If you consider yourself progressive but support Polanski going free, you should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself — liberals aren’t supposed to sympathize with fucking rapists.

  9. #9 sailor
    July 12, 2010

    Well Polanski is lucky. But he is not the only one getting away with this stuff. Look at the Catholic church – thousands of rapes and practically no on prosecuted.

  10. #10 Pinky
    July 13, 2010

    @Rubicon #5

    Thanks, I guess this case has been lingering so long my memory became hazy.

    @prelevent #7

    You’re right, it is frustrating. As I have commented before [Rape / Category: Behavioral Biology • Rape / Posted on: June 30, 2010 5:32 PM, by Greg Laden]; victims are treated terribly by many components of the criminal justice system. Reforming the court system (without denying the rights of the accused) would help make a victim of rape more likely to voluntarily participate in the criminal process.

  11. #11 IanW
    July 13, 2010

    He got the new iPhone: there are no Roman charges….

  12. #12 Irene Delse
    July 13, 2010

    “The fear was that the judge wouldn’t accept the plea deal and would make Polanski serve the whole arduous unreasonable sentence… of 90 days. Yes, that’s right, Polanski would, at worst, have served the same sentence for child rape as Lindsay Lohan is for an alcohol parole violation.”

    And here we are reminded of how much progress Western societies made in the last 30 years: rape and sex with minors are not seen as misdemeanors any more but serious crimes. (On the other hand, sodomy is not a crime any more. It’s consent that counts, not whether sex was “natural” or “unnatural”.) The dissonance comes when the details of a 30-year-old trial come to light. The whole legal defense of Polanski is, well, perfectly legal, but we don’t have the same sensitivities any more.

    “Now I’m not sure whether to blame the Swiss or US authorities or both. But someone screwed up badly and Polanski should be headed back to the US to serve his 90 day sentence (as well as standing trial for that little fugitive-of-justice thing), and instead he’s walking away a (mostly) free man.”

    Blame both, by all means. But it’s debatable whether the Swiss screwed up first when they let him come and go from their country several times before last year, or when they arrested him this time; or when they decided that finally, handing over to justice rich and famous people who happen to be on their soil was bad for the country’s business. Duh. As for the US authority, they tipped their hand when they failed to provide the tape that would have confirmed Polanski’s lawyers contentions. In other words, they knew that what they were doing was not perfectly kosher, but they did it any way. Not a good strategy when you are against someone with high-powered legal advice.

  13. #13 Greg Laden
    July 13, 2010

    I would like to point out that Roman Polanski got to commit this particular crime exactly the way he did it because of his power and privilege in a world in which Hugh Heffner was considered (by many) ‘progressive.’ He didn’t really get away with the crime because of his power and privilege.

    At the same time Polanski was taking a bath with the under age actress, guys named Bubba and Jetter and Joe the Plumber were taking a bath with their under age female neighbors and kinfolk all across the country and not getting in any trouble.

    The reason this needs to be pointed out is that this entire conversation (now and the last time we had it … http://tinyurl.com/24bq5rn and http://tinyurl.com/27o6kmh ) does (inadvertently) sometimes ignore the fact that rape, now and especially then, passes as normal, is unreported, or is …. just part of growing up ( http://tinyurl.com/nfv6fo )

    Yes, yes, the specific details of he HE got away with this in HIS universe involved his privilege. If your only tool is a hammer, and all that. But getting away with rape, especially this sort of socially managed event, was pretty run of the mill for everybody named Roman, everybody named Bubba, everybody named Jeeter, and everybody named Joe the Plumber.

  14. #14 DuWayne
    July 13, 2010

    This is just fucking beautiful, “justice” for those who can afford it in action.

    And people wonder why I think humans suck.

  15. #15 DuWayne
    July 13, 2010

    I would also note that not only is it still somewhat normalized, it seems to still be glorified by media sometimes. The “prissy, condescending bitch who gets all fucked up and taken advantage of” trope is not as common as it used to be, but is still used. Like it’s rape, unless it happens to a woman who “deserves” it.

    And we wonder why we have pathetic little boys who think that kind of behavior is ok.

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