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(Picture quality is off, but kindly listen. Great scene from the Paper Chase)
Hello! You know, with Mackenzie Phillips in the news for her decade long affair with Re-Run (did I say “Re-Run?” I meant her dad), it seems only fitting we fill yet another void — the misunderstood case of Roman Polanski.
I’ve read and watched all the brilliant punditry in a full symphonic chorus. The minds of most simply ask that Polanski’s testicles be sliced and Scotch-taped to his forehead. And the like. It’s as if they want him to have two noses.
Anyhoo, I can understand that! I mean, he kind of RAPED a little girl. And, as we all know, claiming RAPE is wrong is a most difficult argument to espouse. Tap yourself on the shoulder if you’ve astutely pointed that out.
That said, it’s obvious the sheer visceral and emotional reactions we have to RAPE ought govern our thoughts and lives. Law be damned. I mean, we ought ignore the analysis of Jeffery Toobin or attorneys for the Defense. Why even examine Polanski’s legal contentions? The public, the brilliant legal experts all who went to Harvard Law, made up their minds. Good enough for me! Certainly judges (or, humans) do not cower to pressures of the masses. No need to worry about that.
Hell. Lock this pedophile up and throw away the key and toilet bowl. I mean really, can’t we all assume Polanski’s legal defense is the runoff of hogwash after a bout with a rotten trough of bad apples? Elementary my dear Watsons! In the wise words of Sherlock Holmes, “This is a dead end and the Constable solved the entire motherfucking case.”
But, just for shits and giggles, for those who do not want to assume and can admit they don’t know all of the facts, for folks who can follow the law and blind themselves to grotesque admissions, for you heartless high-tech robots who must only be able to analyze law, I offer you this:
A California judge yesterday refused to approve a request filed by director Roman Polanski’s lawyers to have his child sex case dropped as long as he is still a fugitive.
The 75-year-old famed moviemaker, who pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977, must appear in court personally to have his motion considered.
After watching the HBO documentary on the Roman Polanski case, “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired,” which aired in June, Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza agreed there was misconduct by the now-deceased judge who arranged a plea bargain but reneged on it.
The judge said he would be willing to reconsider his decision only if Polanski, who fled the United States for France in 1978 after pleading guilty to unlawful sex with an underage girl charges, returned to a Los Angeles courtroom by May 7.
“Having reviewed all the evidence in this case, there was substantial misconduct that occurred in the pendency of this case,” said Espinoza. But he said that if Polanski wants a ruling on that underlying issue, “He just needs to submit to the jurisdiction of this court.”
Uh-oh. Looks like a judge thinks Polanski got screwed on a plea deal. Screw him! Polanski raped someone; time we gang rape the law. That makes sense to you. I mean me.
Do I know all of the facts on the Polanski case? No. Does the media? By and large, the media jumped on the pithy Hollywood defenders of the holy (citing Woody Allen as a source. You know him. The director/writer who boned and married his wife’s daughter. It’s like Kramer being a frontman for the NAACP. Christ). The media simply ignores, (aside from Anderson Cooper and (drumroll) Lou Dobbs) the legal arguments.
A clipping from AP briefly explains judicial and prosecutorial misconduct and some other facts the media did not examine yesterday. Anyone even know Polanski already did time for a plea he entered into?
The Poland-born Polanski was initially indicted on six felony counts, including rape and sodomy, and faced up to life in prison. He pleaded guilty to one count — unlawful sexual intercourse — and spent 42 days in prison for diagnostic tests. Polanski was expected to be sentenced to time served, but he became aware that Judge Laurence J. Rittenband wouldn’t approve the plea agreement and the director fled to France. The U.S. placed a fugitive warrant on Polanski in 1978.
Polanski’s attorneys have sought to dismiss the case following the release of the HBO documentary “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired,” which raised questions about judicial and prosecutorial misconduct. The film contends Rittenband, who has since died, was improperly consulted by a prosecutor not assigned to Polanski’s case about what kind of sentence the film director should receive. While Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza earlier this year found there was “substantial misconduct” in the handling of the original case, he dismissed Polanski’s motion to throw out the case because the director did not appear in court. Polanski risked arrest on a fugitive warrant if he returned to Los Angeles. He has appealed Espinoza’s decision, and a California appellate court is reviewing the case. (Emphasis Added)
Ought the Swiss extradite Mr. Polanski? I don’t know. I only wish to examine all sides — something the Media gets an “F” on. (Hi There Howard Kurtz). Media and most persons fail to critically analyze the issues. Most are lost in the despicable admissions made in contemplation of a plea deal. How could that not blind you. It ought not. That’s the problem. People already have reached conclusion without familiarizing themselves with the facts.
Rather than out those folks (I would need a new internet anyhow), I encourage those to look at everything with an unbiased eye. A blind one. Maybe get a… blindfold. Is that a metaphor for something? Echo?
You want to get mad? If Judge Espinoza is right, get mad at the prosecutor who made the time served deal. If Judge Espinoza is to be believed, your anger ought be directed at the judge who initially approved the deal it seems. After all, what do you think precipitated the original judge and prosecutors to engage in “misconduct?” Public outcry? Maybe. Probably. Why do you think the deal was nixed? Pressure. You don’t cast aside rules in exchange for emotion.
No additional charges exist simply because Polanski fled. Simply, a warrant was served and only one charge of the original six remain. The bargain called for a credit for time served sentence (meaning, the time he already did in prison is given credit for and that’s the only stint of jail he would do). His flight can not act as some fallacious and baseless pretext to amp the original deal up given the circumstances under Judge Espinoza’s logic. Certainly, he is not looking at the five other charges already dropped as that would violate settled principles of due process and double jeopardy. No one has argued such insanity. In a nutshell, that is the gravamen of Polanski’s position. At a maximum, the most he could get would be some sort of county sentence for a contempt charge and that hasn’t even been brought up yet. If contempt becomes an issue, there is little bite to state contempt charges. Simple as that. As Polanski sits in custody now, his credit for time served accumulating as we speak will vitiate any real jail time he would have to do. Alternatively, rarely are contempt proceedings brought for someone skipping a sentencing date, and even if brought, it’s a wash in terms of actual time he will spend in jail relative to the original singular charge plead to. [Additional note: The proper attack of the defense lies in the validity of the plea deal; to ignore the legal defense and duck the issue raised is willful ignorance]
The prosecutors already dropped five charges where he was looking at life. That’s not on the table. He may have to do a few months from now at most (mostly waiting for a disposition). On the other hand, the Swiss can release Polanski and not extradite him. Let’s find out truth rather than scream “RAPE” until a reader or viewer gets into a shower and scrubs oneself all bloody like. The truth is, people who are upset should talk to the L.A. prosecutor.
This is not some tripe Hollywood argument or some nonsense you’d see on the tubes. It is a legal contention. One not minimizing the nature of the underlying offense, but one that need not get into that issue to evaluate what is just and fair. Further, the terrible problem is the media ignores this issue almost entirely. You didn’t hear about the California judge yesterday by and large. One, unless they were looking for it, didn’t see that Polanski did 46 days in contemplation of a bargain he pleaded to. The horror is people refuse to acknowledge claims with legal merit in favor of emotion (rightly there by the way) for rape. The law is the law. A deal is a deal. At least examine all sides of the issue — a simple task most do not do. That’s all I ask. Look at all of the arguments.
On the one hand, I have a great mistrust that public outrage will bias a result (whatever the truth may be). Alternatively, America should be brave and tackle this issue in the name of justice — IF all can be objectively honest. That’s a big “if” though isn’t it?
Never assume anything. Follow the law.