Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Roman Polanski: does talent trump the law?

Roman Polanski's detention on a long-standing extradition warrant has dominated on-line chatter this week and much of it has left me perplexed.

How does Roman Polanski's tragic personal history or his being a famous film director excuse his behaviour? Is there a different rule of law for the talented?

Whilst I understand that the victim would like to see the case dropped, that thirty-two years may have passed, & that the original judge may have committed a miscarriage of justice in his proposed sentencing, the fact remains that Polanski blatantly broke the law and, most importantly of all, pleaded guilty.

I am at a loss, a total loss to understand the apologists for his actions. Lest anyone be laboring under the misbelief that he had consensual sexual relations with a thirteen year old girl, that there was some kind of Lolita-esque action that led poor Mr Polanski astray, let me set you straight.

Her sworn Grand Jury testimony recounts that he drugged, raped & sodomised her. Polanski pleaded guilty to this chain of behaviour.

Time does not diminish his crime. Surely the fact that he has remained in exile for so long points to the fact that he understands that, even if there were judicial errors and the sentencing is challenged, he still remains culpable, that his crime demands punishment?

Now do you think he deserves a get out of jail free card?

And here is A C Grayling's reasoned look at the morality of the story in The Times. And Kate Harding in Salon who is just as angry as I am now.