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September 29, 2009

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stevemosby

There are certainly legal technicalities that will need to be ironed out. What I find objectionable is the number of people, including prominent political figures, who have spoken out on his behalf, as though, because of his artistic output, he should be immune from prosecution to the extent that 'normal' people would not be.

As a 44-year-old man, he drugged, raped and sodomised a 13-year-old girl, in circumstances that would be described as rape even if she'd been of legal age. That's not even up for debate, is it? I'm very liberal - I like to think - but I believe a person should serve more than 42 days in prison for that, and I genuinely don't get the outcry on behalf of the little fuck.

realityczar

Well reasoned. But--and I too am not a lawyer--doesn't the decision in US v Viezcas-Soto suggest that new charges can be brought in either state or federal court for failure to appear/unlawful flight? And, wouldn't those be felony charges (based on US Code and California Penal Code for which only fleeing a felony is a felony) under the cited precedent that a wobbler is "regarded as a felony for every purpose until judgment"--including, I would hazard, for the purposes of charging acts which were committed between the original criminal act and the judgment? That is, mightn't Polanski's flight be felonious even if the original charge wobbles over to the misdemeanor?

Honestly, I have no sympathy for the man. My vote would be to toss the original deal, give him four years for his guilty plea and then max him out on the failure to appear.

maxine

I too find it hard to sympathise with a slimy git who would countenance doing those things to a 13 year old girl (plea-bargaining to lesser charges), however long ago it was.

People everywhere are treated in randomly unfair ways - victims of crime, war, geography or disease, for example. Whether someone who does this kind of thing (a one-off or "usual, accepted-in-the-club behaviour") as a matter of personal choice rather than random "curse of their circumstance of birth" is a wonderful artist or not, seems to me irrelevant in the moral compass. (Whatever that is.)

The guy made a choice to do something. Many people do not have the choice - the victims of circumstance.

peter abrahams

One small thing: the present views of the victim are irrelevant. The criminal charge was made in the name of the people, not her personally. (A very civilized feature of our legal system, in my opinion.)

Violette

When the judge decided to can the plea agreement, Polanski was supposed to go to trial on the charges. A guilty plea is immaterial at that point. He was not going to be sentenced on the day that he fled because the guilty plea was tied to the plea agreement. No plea agreement, no guilty plea. He ruined his chances by fleeing.

Cornelia Read

I'm just having a tough time getting over Gailey/Geimer's use of the word "cuddliness" in the grand jury transcripts.

ari

The term 'cuddliness' is obviously a childish misunderstanding or mispronunciation or transcription of the word cunnilingus. I hope Ms Read didn't interpret this as the child enjoying what was happening.

Charlie Stella

Bring him back, let him serve the balance of the 90 days (he only did 42?) and then nail him with his flight for ... oh, I don't know, 2 or 3 hundred years (200 or 300)?

He drugged and raped a kid. Imagine it was your daughter. Fuck him.

adverse

Everyone seems ready imprison a man that never went to trial! I thought that everyone was presumed to be innocent until PROVEN guilty. With his plea, I would think that there was some issue but with a crooked judge, I wonder at how fair a trial he would have gotten. Now I wonder how the state can prosecute with the girl unwilling to testify. Is our US legal system that bad?

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