Monday, July 12, 2010

Polanski Won't Be Extradited

Switzerland announced today that they will not be extraditing Roman Polanski for his crimes committed here in the states. This is ridiculous, but not really surprising unfortunately. I struggle to understand it, though.

Why do so many stars support him? Why do so many people think that just because he is a great filmmaker (and he is) he should get a pass? Why does the horrific murder of his wife and unborn child mean he can commit a crime and get away with it? Why is the fact that he has been living in self-imposed exile from the US (to hide from the authorities) count as "punishment enough"?

I am appalled that anyone can support him. I have enjoyed his films, but seeing him get a standing ovation at the 2002 Academy Awards made me squirm. The applause was clearly not for the film, but for him as a person. He committed a crime; he should pay the price. If there were problems during the trial, that is what the appeals process is for. He pled guilty!

The other thing I would like to briefly address is the victim's wish that Polanski be forgiven and the case dropped. I can't imagine what this must be like for her and I have no doubt that she would like to put the entire matter behind her. The problem is that doing so only adds incentive for other criminals to run. Why stick around and potentially go to prison when you can run for thirty years and hope that all will be forgiven? Even if you do end up going to prison, that's a few decades of freedom to enjoy.

This whole case is a travesty of justice and we all lose when this happens.

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