Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Roman Polanski

We are not a people who take losing easily. This is only magnified when it appears that our noses are being rubbed in it. That being said, stop chasing Roman Polanski.

Yes, he pled guilty to a crime and ran on the eve of his sentencing. Yes, he has studiously avoided putting himself in a position where he would be subject to extradition. Yes, he continues to try to obtain relief through our court system, still claiming misconduct by the judge in his case. There is certainly a knee jerk response that would say we will get you no matter how long it takes. But that would serve no useful purpose.

32 years is long enough to chase this fugitive. Mr. Polanski's victim has long since forgiven his transgressions. He has a distinguished career in his profession. He has even been awarded an Oscar in the intervening years. This does not excuse his wrongdoing, but we are not chasing a lifetime criminal. We are pursuing a 76 year old film director.

Being angry at Mr. Polanski does not justify the attention being directed at him by the authorities. It only makes them look petty and evil.

Mr. Polanski should not be perceived as a victim herein. But neither is he to be hunted and prosecuted further. For once we should close the book on a bad chapter and move on. For once, and forever, after over 3 decades, it is time to let it go.


Jack said...

Kind of reminds us of a certain Victor Hugo novel where a loaf of bread is stolen.

PickleBiz said...

Would you feel the same if it was Alex he had sex with?

Anonymous said...

In the criminal law there is specific and general deterrence. Your point may or may not have some traction with the specific but does not withe the general. Ted

Anonymous said...

Ted Anonymous, (nice name) Give the tax payers, and RP a break. He only did what most men fantasize about doing. The law makers have been giving the general public a pretty good screwing on a regular basis, with some real good traction, and getting away with it. I suppose there's no general deterrence applicable there.

Robert said...

In a very interesting twist, both sides of this issue are debated in today's New York Times. In "The Polanki Case" the Times editorial board comes out strongly in favor of pursuing Mr. Polanski and making him accountable for his crime.

In an OpEd piece by Robert Harris, a writer who has worked very closely with Mr. Polanski for the past 2 1/2 years, he argues strenously that it is time to drop the pursuit of Mr. Polanski as the victim requests and as the circumstances warrant.

It is a matter that evokes strong feelings on both sides, and one for which each argument appears to present reasonable justification for its conclusion.

Robert said...

This issue has seemed to generate significant debate. There were 2 articles and 2 op ed pieces in today's NY Times devoted to this topic.

I received a call yesterday from the AP. I was unable to return the call until late this afternoon. They had seen my blog post and asked me for permission to include parts of it in a piece that is being published tomorrow. It appears that my return call was too late for them to be able to incorporate my comments into the article, but I will let you know if they do turn up in print.