I guess all I've ever wanted to say to the people who are really angered over this is: it's really better for the occasional guilty person to get away with something than it is to have a system run amok. And mostly our system has run amok. So maybe the people investigating and prosecuting have learned something here, especially about restraint and humility. That would be a good thing. Drop the Polanski issue, move on to issues about why our system is so corrupt that an ally foreign government doesn't trust it enough to extradite criminals. Not just Polanski, either. Ask Marc Rich!
And as far as Polanski goes, I do like the guy's work, the victim is finished with this, time has passed. There are so many other injustices to worry about. Seriously, bring me the heads of some AIG traders before I worry about Polanski. Oh, and enough about the film world rallying around Polanski. You want to see criminals protecting each other effectively and writing the laws to their own advantage? Look to Wall Street.
I'm not denying that there was an injustice here in the sense that a lot of people have served long prison sentences and have spent their lives as registered sex offenders for what Polanski did. It's not fair or right when the law is unevenly applied.
But from my vantage this is a minor injustice compared to the uninvestigated crimes of the Bush administration or day-to-day behavior on Wall Street and K Street.
@destor23: While I understand your outrage, the thing is that 99 times out of 100, there are no crimes to bring against an AIG trader. The one time would be some minor technicality. They operated with the system. The system might have been flawed, but they violated no laws. Look at Goldman. The reason the SEC took their pound of flesh and moved on is that at the core of it, the product itself was not illegal in any way. The disclosure to all investors was flawed and lacking, but the actual structure? Totally legal.
Rape and sodomy of a 13 (or was it 14?) year old? Always been illegal.
I understand the argument of perspective and focus and what has greatest impact, really I do. I appreciate that argument. But illegal is illegal and I don't buy the "it's been a long time, give him a pass" thing, especially with felonies (I'd be easily persuaded about misdemeanors).
@destor23: The anger comes, in part, from much the same place as your frustration with Wall Street's fast and loose attitude toward the value of other people. In this case what is difference between the underlying devaluation of others - their money, their bodies, their homes, their rights, their lives?
The anger toward Polanski is about the gross sense of entitlement that allows someone to take advantage of other people, because they can. Because they think they are better, smarter or more powerful. Because no one is really holding their feet to the flames.
People get angry about Polanski for both the original crime (raping a minor child) and the absolute gall and moral vacuum it takes to conduct one's life as though fucking over another person - literally, figuratively, or financially, as the case may be - is justifiable, acceptable, or permissible.
You are right - there are bigger fish to fry in the spectrum of moral and legal injustices. But he doesn't get a pass because he is a smaller predator. He's still a predator and I'm still angry.
It should go without saying - but somehow reading Gawker n this issue makes me believe it may need to be said - that I would in no way ever defend pedophiles.
But in this very case, the judicial system's behavior relentless chase make him look like more of a victim than he should.
And, speaking of victims, the very victim of this ordeal has repeatedly asked, wished, begged that the whole affair be put to rest.
Maybe Gawker could grant her wish.
@38thsignal: Perhaps this is a bit "irresistible force meets immovable object", but Polanski has more power to create closure. I'm sick of hearing about this too, but it doesn't make sense that the onus of wrongdoer in this case has been transferred to the US government. This isn't Jean Valjean pursued over a loaf of bread. Needless to say, I'm not toasting his release with a quaalude-spiked glass of champers.
Anyhow, I don't expect to understand why anyone pursues this still, again, especially since the victim herself pleads it must stop.
That said, I was appalled, to put it mildly, to read some pro-P. arguments heard when he was arrested, especially the ones related to his talent. I don't dislike his films, but the very idea idea that someone is less culpable because he's more talented was repugnant.
@38thsignal: So basically you are saying that if a man jumped bail for a rape (about the same) and this happened 30 years ago, the crime should just be forgotten because it was so long ago and hey he was in for a psyche evaluation so he did some time.
Here's the thing about the victim- Geimer asked for the issue to be put to rest after she had pursued a civil judgement, agreed to a settlement (and had to chase Polanski down for the money because he failed to make payments)- the terms of the "settlement" are not public record. For all we know, it is a term of the agreement that she ask for the case to be closed.
I feel very sorry for his victim; first, for the original assault on her and second, because she can't put this behind her. Who would want to be known as a rape victim for 35 years?
Polanski shouldn't have fled all those years ago. If, indeed, the U.S. judge was "reneging" on a cushy plea-bargain deal (judges don't have to follow prosecution requests for sentencing), he had numerous opportunities to seek an appeal. And he probably would have been out on bail until the issue was decided.
And next week his wife is playing the part of a tooth in the 6th grade health pageant.
If there were a law that, every time he is mentioned in both casual conversation and the media he's got to be referred to as 'rapist/filmmaker,' that would make me quite happy.