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View Poll Results: Do you think that given the US laws, Polasnki should be judged for the crime he has d
Yes 41 85.42%
No 7 14.58%
Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2009-09-30, 14:01   Link #101
Kusa-San
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
If societies were all under the same law, people like Paris Hilton wouldn't have the sham of a jail sentence she served, Nixon wouldn't have received a presidental pardon, and Bush and Cheney would be under investigation for war crimes/treason.


Money and power *do* influence much of what people can get away with. The laws are on the paper yes, and those laws don't say "here's the exception", but society has to enforce those laws, or they're just words on paper.
I know all of that and I'm the first one to say that I find it disgusting that there is two form of justice in this world "Une justice deux vitesse" as we say in France.
Quote:
The US has had decades of opportunities to extradite Polanski and charge him, why they chose to act now is anyone's guess. One thing to keep in mind is that in 30 years, sex laws have become incredibly strict in the US (to the point of sheer absurdity in most cases), largely in part to our extreme conservatism and hypocrisy regarding sexuality. It's possible that the prosecutors revisited this case to score another notch on their belt, and they're backed by officials eager to point out the "horrible sex criminal" who justifies their reasons for the tougher laws.
It dosen't change the fact that Polanski has committed a crime and must be judged for what he has done.

Quote:
Now that doesn't mean I find Polanski innocent. However, he was forgiven by the victim and he is very old. What sentence could he possibly be given at this point that would hold any meaning?
A sentence will have meaning because it will show us that Polansky is not above the law. So there is an important menaing behind the sentence.

And I'm sure he will make a great movie about his life in Jail : "Polanski, my life in jail" His last movie which will receive many Oscar
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Old 2009-09-30, 14:06   Link #102
Narona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
If societies were all under the same law, people like Paris Hilton wouldn't have the sham of a jail sentence she served, Nixon wouldn't have received a presidental pardon, and Bush and Cheney would be under investigation for war crimes/treason.

Money and power *do* influence much of what people can get away with. The laws are on the paper yes, and those laws don't say "here's the exception", but society has to enforce those laws, or they're just words on paper.
As I said, the point was that if it happens, it shall not be considered as normal.

As for Polanski and his community which include many French stars, given the recent surveys, there's no way most common non-star French people would see it as justified if Polanski's friends play a role if he's not extradited.

Now while what you say is true, I don't think it's normal to see some people hoping for such decision that disregards the law texts, just to "save" Polanski, as if he was different than you and me.

Quote:
The US has had decades of opportunities to extradite Polanski and charge him
While he was in France (so most of his time since 1978), it was not Possible. I explained why in a previous post.

About the time he spent in switzerland, while during the recent years Polanski said to have gone there a lot, Cooley (LA County District Attorney) said that he tried to arrest him. Now it could be said that he didn't try enough. But prove it.

The justice never forgot about him. Correct me if I am wrong, but in the state of california, to avoid a possible prescription, the justice has to issue an international warrant of arrest every X years. The last one in polanski's case was in 2005.

Quote:
Now that doesn't mean I find Polanski innocent. However, he was forgiven by the victim and he is very old. What sentence could he possibly be given at this point that would hold any meaning?
Because in the USA, from what I know, it doesn't work like that? It's not a case of Samantha against Polanski, it's a case of The USA against Polanski. That the victim forgives him doens't change the fact that he broke the laws two times. His sexual intercourse with a minor (there's no consent at 13yo, even if the girl wants to have sex, which was not even the case), and when he fled. Now correct me if i am wrong.

Last edited by Narona; 2009-09-30 at 15:38.
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Old 2009-09-30, 14:11   Link #103
Jaden
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Should be judged. It's a matter of principle and especially now that the case has gotten attention, letting him go would give the idea that people can just run away from judgement.

Surely courts don't ignore a case just because it's too much of a hassle for them, or because the victim has gotten over it? Might as well forgive murder too then, as long as no one grieves for the dead person anymore?
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Old 2009-09-30, 14:11   Link #104
Slick_rick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
If societies were all under the same law, people like Paris Hilton wouldn't have the sham of a jail sentence she served, Nixon wouldn't have received a presidental pardon, and Bush and Cheney would be under investigation for war crimes/treason.

Money and power *do* influence much of what people can get away with. The laws are on the paper yes, and those laws don't say "here's the exception", but society has to enforce those laws, or they're just words on paper.

The US has had decades of opportunities to extradite Polanski and charge him, why they chose to act now is anyone's guess. One thing to keep in mind is that in 30 years, sex laws have become incredibly strict in the US (to the point of sheer absurdity in most cases), largely in part to our extreme conservatism and hypocrisy regarding sexuality. It's possible that the prosecutors revisited this case to score another notch on their belt, and they're backed by officials eager to point out the "horrible sex criminal" who justifies their reasons for the tougher laws.

Now that doesn't mean I find Polanski innocent. However, he was forgiven by the victim and he is very old. What sentence could he possibly be given at this point that would hold any meaning?

People who wish for eye for an eye justice just end up going blind.
It's been mentioned that U.S has been looking to extradite him for a number of years but have been unable due to him staying in France to avoid it. Without the French government approval they'd have to resort to covert ops like Israel did with Nazi war criminals.

The crux of the issue here is not whether the victim forgives him or even how grievous his crime was or wasn't. If the U.S allows such a high profiles person to continue to evade its law then it makes America look bad and sets an example in which American laws are taken less seriously because you can run away to another country if you don't want to pay for your crimes committed in it. Laws are there not only to punish crimes but deter people from committing crimes.

Justice is supposed to be blind and as you point out it clearly isn't so if a few eyes need to be put out to make the world a fairer place I have not problem with that.
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Old 2009-09-30, 17:23   Link #105
Shinoto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
If societies were all under the same law, people like Paris Hilton wouldn't have the sham of a jail sentence she served, Nixon wouldn't have received a presidental pardon, and Bush and Cheney would be under investigation for war crimes/treason.

Money and power *do* influence much of what people can get away with. The laws are on the paper yes, and those laws don't say "here's the exception", but society has to enforce those laws, or they're just words on paper.

The US has had decades of opportunities to extradite Polanski and charge him, why they chose to act now is anyone's guess. One thing to keep in mind is that in 30 years, sex laws have become incredibly strict in the US (to the point of sheer absurdity in most cases), largely in part to our extreme conservatism and hypocrisy regarding sexuality. It's possible that the prosecutors revisited this case to score another notch on their belt, and they're backed by officials eager to point out the "horrible sex criminal" who justifies their reasons for the tougher laws.

Now that doesn't mean I find Polanski innocent. However, he was forgiven by the victim and he is very old. What sentence could he possibly be given at this point that would hold any meaning?

People who wish for eye for an eye justice just end up going blind.
1. Why not? There about a dozen or so attempts at extraditing him prior. They just didn't plan out is all. I know people expect the US to closely follow him and watch every move till they get a chance. But the reality is, unless they are threat. They aren't going to do that, it was simply they knew the time and place he was at and it panned out this time.

2. A crime is a crime regardless, If they allowed charges to be dropped if the victim wanted too. Then allot more murders, rapist, and so forth would be back out on the streets. Not to mention, it's very easy for a wealthy, influential person to help adjusts someones stances. Another reason why they do not prevent it with certain degrees of crime. The charges are taken out of the hands of the victim and put into the state. This isn't a lawsuit or something like that

3. Rich people are above the law, shocking. Never will change till the normal man is in control. Sorry to say, You're still voting for wealth groups of people.
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Old 2009-09-30, 18:33   Link #106
Solace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kusa-San View Post
It dosen't change the fact that Polanski has committed a crime and must be judged for what he has done.

A sentence will have meaning because it will show us that Polansky is not above the law. So there is an important menaing behind the sentence.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Narona View Post
Because in the USA, from what I know, it doesn't work like that? It's not a case of Samantha against Polanski, it's a case of The USA against Polanski. That the victim forgives him doens't change the fact that he broke the laws two times. His sexual intercourse with a minor (there's no consent at 13yo, even if the girl wants to have sex, which was not even the case), and when he fled. Now correct me if i am wrong.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick_rick View Post
The crux of the issue here is not whether the victim forgives him or even how grievous his crime was or wasn't. If the U.S allows such a high profiles person to continue to evade its law then it makes America look bad and sets an example in which American laws are taken less seriously because you can run away to another country if you don't want to pay for your crimes committed in it. Laws are there not only to punish crimes but deter people from committing crimes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinoto View Post
2. A crime is a crime regardless, If they allowed charges to be dropped if the victim wanted too. Then allot more murders, rapist, and so forth would be back out on the streets. Not to mention, it's very easy for a wealthy, influential person to help adjusts someones stances. Another reason why they do not prevent it with certain degrees of crime. The charges are taken out of the hands of the victim and put into the state. This isn't a lawsuit or something like that
I see you all are missing the point. He's 77 years old. What exactly, can you say would be a fitting punishment for this man at this point in time? Do you send him to jail until he dies, which might be a decade, maybe two if he's in great health? What type of jail? Sending him into a general population is just begging for his premature demise. Do you give him the death penalty?

I know how the law works, thanks. I'm also aware of the *numerous* occasions where laws are changed, bent, or broken for exceptions. Remember Michael Fay? Different crime and circumstances, but that one was much more diplomatic - the US government requested leniency because they thought the punishment was too strong for the crime. Singapore only relented because the request came from the President.

Perhaps instead of spending decades insulting the French the United States could have spent it building relations that would have enabled them to extradite this man sooner (among other beneficial things between the countries of course).

Do the crime, do the time. Eye for an Eye, it's a case between the US and him, not the victim anymore. I see everyone harping on what the law is written as but not many considering the circumstances of the situation.

Consider for a moment, the article that was linked earlier by SeijiSensei. In the article is a person who will be labeled a criminal for the rest of her life for a consensual act. The fantasy of many young men became a nightmare for her as she struggles to find employment, moving constantly due to ostracism of the community. For what? How is she a sex offender for performing oral sex on someone barely over a year younger than her, with his permission? How does this one act destroy a life? Why can't she have her charges removed considering that what she was charged for is no longer considered a crime? And why don't more people fight against this stupidity?

We have rules here on the forums too. In all but a few cases, they aren't iron clad. We can and do bend them, if the circumstances require it. In some cases such examinations even cause us to revise, rewrite, or remove a rule entirely.

All I'm pointing out is that he did a crime, ruined his reputation, salvaged his career (in some circles), the victim moved on with her life, and the only people who seem to care are the US justice system, trying to save face because someone managed to evade them long enough to embarrass them. They're going to put an old man in jail, patting themselves on the back for...what? "We finally got him!" and the world will say "So? Don't you have better things to do with your time?"

Honestly...on the scale of things that make America look bad, this is hardly something of note.
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Old 2009-09-30, 18:56   Link #107
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For the record, the case that SeijiSensei linked and Polanski's doesn't even compare, that case was that teacher being straight up stupid and that was consensual. Polanski gave a girl who was over 30 years younger than him alcohol and even slipped and sedative in it as well. Even then, when he was raping her, she still had enough clarity to say no and he continued. Vastly different circumstances.

And I don't see how his reputation was ruined so badly that it equals punishment, he was still making hit movies after he bailed, winning highly regarded rewards three years after the rape with highly known actors clamoring to work with him. The biggest problem he experienced after 1978 was that he couldn't go to England or the US to make movies. If his reputation had been so badly ruined, he wouldn't of even been going for that Lifetime Achievement Award, no way.
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Old 2009-09-30, 18:59   Link #108
Slick_rick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
I see you all are missing the point. He's 77 years old. What exactly, can you say would be a fitting punishment for this man at this point in time? Do you send him to jail until he dies, which might be a decade, maybe two if he's in great health? What type of jail? Sending him into a general population is just begging for his premature demise. Do you give him the death penalty?

I know how the law works, thanks. I'm also aware of the *numerous* occasions where laws are changed, bent, or broken for exceptions. Remember Michael Fay? Different crime and circumstances, but that one was much more diplomatic - the US government requested leniency because they thought the punishment was too strong for the crime. Singapore only relented because the request came from the President.

Perhaps instead of spending decades insulting the French the United States could have spent it building relations that would have enabled them to extradite this man sooner (among other beneficial things between the countries of course).

Do the crime, do the time. Eye for an Eye, it's a case between the US and him, not the victim anymore. I see everyone harping on what the law is written as but not many considering the circumstances of the situation.
Circumstances? Sure he's not 77 years old but that circumstance certainly doesn't mean he should be allowed to benefit for running away from justice for a good part of his life. If you evade the law long enough till your old and gray should the law then say since you've made a fool of us for so long we'll reward you with a get out of jail free card. That makes no sense.

Quote:
Consider for a moment, the article that was linked earlier by SeijiSensei. In the article is a person who will be labeled a criminal for the rest of her life for a consensual act. The fantasy of many young men became a nightmare for her as she struggles to find employment, moving constantly due to ostracism of the community. For what? How is she a sex offender for performing oral sex on someone barely over a year younger than her, with his permission? How does this one act destroy a life? Why can't she have her charges removed considering that what she was charged for is no longer considered a crime? And why don't more people fight against this stupidity?
This is a ridiculously overblown strawman argument here. Are you trying to argue that Polanski was somehow unfairly sentenced? Was his crime in anyway similar to this? Was there any ambiguity on whether it should be considered rape in your mind? Your saying the 13yr old was lying and in fact she consented and Polanski was not an much older adult but in fact close to her age? This case has nothing similar to Polanski so why even bring it up?

Quote:
We have rules here on the forums too. In all but a few cases, they aren't iron clad. We can and do bend them, if the circumstances require it. In some cases such examinations even cause us to revise, rewrite, or remove a rule entirely.

All I'm pointing out is that he did a crime, ruined his reputation, salvaged his career (in some circles), the victim moved on with her life, and the only people who seem to care are the US justice system, trying to save face because someone managed to evade them long enough to embarrass them. They're going to put an old man in jail, patting themselves on the back for...what? "We finally got him!" and the world will say "So? Don't you have better things to do with your time?"

Honestly...on the scale of things that make America look bad, this is hardly something of note.
Once again you're really getting away from the issue. Bending rules, or deciding things based on circumstances are acceptable things but those things are left up to moderators or in this cases judges and juries. They'll be the ones to decide his fate whether they take it easy on him now that he 77 or take it hard on him because of the fact he ran away for so long. The U.S Justice system should care because if they don't then no one else will. It's there job to care and track down these kind of criminals. Let then the judges and juries decide what becomes of him but allowing him to run free is them not doing their jobs.
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Old 2009-09-30, 19:40   Link #109
Solace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dilla View Post
For the record, the case that SeijiSensei linked and Polanski's doesn't even compare, that case was that teacher being straight up stupid and that was consensual. Polanski gave a girl who was over 30 years younger than him alcohol and even slipped and sedative in it as well. Even then, when he was raping her, she still had enough clarity to say no and he continued. Vastly different circumstances.
It wasn't meant to be a direct comparison. See below.

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Originally Posted by Slick_rick View Post
Circumstances? Sure he's not 77 years old but that circumstance certainly doesn't mean he should be allowed to benefit for running away from justice for a good part of his life. If you evade the law long enough till your old and gray should the law then say since you've made a fool of us for so long we'll reward you with a get out of jail free card. That makes no sense.
I never said that he should be rewarded with a get of jail free card (technically, he's had one for 30 years....). All I said was that his age lends merit to a lenient sentence.

Quote:
This is a ridiculously overblown strawman argument here. Are you trying to argue that Polanski was somehow unfairly sentenced? Was his crime in anyway similar to this? Was there any ambiguity on whether it should be considered rape in your mind? Your saying the 13yr old was lying and in fact she consented and Polanski was not an much older adult but in fact close to her age? This case has nothing similar to Polanski so why even bring it up?
Wow...that's what you took from what I said? You and Dilla really missed the mark there. The point was that as times change, so do circumstances. At this point in time the only thing that matters to the case anymore is the piece of paper that says he broke the law. To judge him exclusively based on that misses the forest for the trees. You can argue until you are blue in the face about the letter of the law but I am not advocating that he be free of punishment, just that no punishment that he earned then can be applied now.

Yes he was caught. Yes he was extradited. All I was saying is that he's evaded for so long any punishment he receives won't carry much importance, outside of the "no one escapes the long arm of the law" type of thought.

Quote:
Once again you're really getting away from the issue. Bending rules, or deciding things based on circumstances are acceptable things but those things are left up to moderators or in this cases judges and juries. They'll be the ones to decide his fate whether they take it easy on him now that he 77 or take it hard on him because of the fact he ran away for so long. The U.S Justice system should care because if they don't then no one else will. It's there job to care and track down these kind of criminals. Let then the judges and juries decide what becomes of him but allowing him to run free is them not doing their jobs.
So exactly what are we discussing then, since we don't affect his fate in the slightest?

Are we discussing the merits of the legal system of the US finally capturing what they consider a criminal, or the French government not allowing Polanski's extradition, or....?

See, I inserted an opinion into this topic because I wanted to see what exactly people were arguing about that got some so riled up. So far all I have seen is rehashed arguments of "He deserves the book" to "My view of the law is (opinion here)".

Is there anything to actually discuss or should this thread just go off topic about personal views of international legalese and politics?
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Old 2009-09-30, 20:12   Link #110
Slick_rick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
It wasn't meant to be a direct comparison. See below.



I never said that he should be rewarded with a get of jail free card (technically, he's had one for 30 years....). All I said was that his age lends merit to a lenient sentence.
I disagree here because the fact that he evaded them for this long doesn't really make me think that he deserves lenience. Maybe they should cancel each other out and in fact just give him on based on his crime?



Quote:
Wow...that's what you took from what I said? You and Dilla really missed the mark there. The point was that as times change, so do circumstances. At this point in time the only thing that matters to the case anymore is the piece of paper that says he broke the law. To judge him exclusively based on that misses the forest for the trees. You can argue until you are blue in the face about the letter of the law but I am not advocating that he be free of punishment, just that no punishment that he earned then can be applied now.

Yes he was caught. Yes he was extradited. All I was saying is that he's evaded for so long any punishment he receives won't carry much importance, outside of the "no one escapes the long arm of the law" type of thought.
Basically you're are arguing that he be free of punishment. How can no punishment earned then not be applied constituent anything less? Are you trying to use words to confuse me? It won't work. That argument was a strawman because you were trying to somehow attack rape laws in general for no purpose others than deflect the issue away. Circumstances might change but that has no bearing here. The circumstances changed only because of the willful disregard for American laws by a convicted criminal. This circumstance must also be taken into account don't you agree?



Quote:
So exactly what are we discussing then, since we don't affect his fate in the slightest?

Are we discussing the merits of the legal system of the US finally capturing what they consider a criminal, or the French government not allowing Polanski's extradition, or....?

See, I inserted an opinion into this topic because I wanted to see what exactly people were arguing about that got some so riled up. So far all I have seen is rehashed arguments of "He deserves the book" to "My view of the law is (opinion here)".

Is there anything to actually discuss or should this thread just go off topic about personal views of international legalese and politics?
Well this topic seems to be about the entire Polanski case so these issues all have bearing. Do you agree with what America is doing? Do you agree with what France did? Do you want to see him extradited?

Honestly all I've seen from you if attacks on American laws and trying to use age as a quasi-defense. Maybe America should have been nicer to France but that not really the issue now is it? Michael Fay caning was only reduced wasn't it? They didn't somehow ignore his crime now did they? He took his punishment like a man why shouldn't Polanski? Because he's old?
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Old 2009-09-30, 21:56   Link #111
Solace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick_rick View Post
I disagree here because the fact that he evaded them for this long doesn't really make me think that he deserves lenience. Maybe they should cancel each other out and in fact just give him on based on his crime?
Somehow I don't think canceling out is on the minds of prosecutors at the moment. More likely they'll seek additional punishment for his time evading capture.

Quote:
Basically you're are arguing that he be free of punishment. How can no punishment earned then not be applied constituent anything less? Are you trying to use words to confuse me? It won't work. That argument was a strawman because you were trying to somehow attack rape laws in general for no purpose others than deflect the issue away. Circumstances might change but that has no bearing here. The circumstances changed only because of the willful disregard for American laws by a convicted criminal. This circumstance must also be taken into account don't you agree?
Free of punishment isn't what I said. I said reduced punishment. I'm saying his listed punishment doesn't work anymore because of his age (where 10 years or life sentence could mean the same thing). Nor does adding additional punishment due to his flight.

My use of the article was to point out that even laws are flawed and do not account for circumstances, but more importantly that judgments often ignore the realities of the situation. It's shameful what this man did, but he's pretty much lived his life and she's pretty much moved on with hers. What justice is there at this point that could be taken that would be fair for anyone (the legal system, or the victim)?

The conundrum is that even recognizing that his age is an issue, how do you find a fitting sentence for a man who not only got away with rape but lived a high profile and "successful" life in spite of it? How much anguish does the victim really feel, knowing what this person got away with and how much people truly don't care what he did. Famous actors line up to be in his movies, he receives awards, and no one seems to care that he's admitted to raping a 13 year old girl.

Find me the justice that can address that injustice.


Quote:
Well this topic seems to be about the entire Polanski case so these issues all have bearing. Do you agree with what America is doing? Do you agree with what France did? Do you want to see him extradited?
In this case, I agree with what America is doing. He's a fugitive from the US, he committed a crime there, he should be brought back if possible to come to terms with that.

I don't agree with what France did, but America doesn't have the best foreign relations track record.

Quote:
Honestly all I've seen from you if attacks on American laws and trying to use age as a quasi-defense. Maybe America should have been nicer to France but that not really the issue now is it? Michael Fay caning was only reduced wasn't it? They didn't somehow ignore his crime now did they? He took his punishment like a man why shouldn't Polanski? Because he's old?
I attack American laws because American laws seem to have more influence in the world than they should. In the interest of protecting US interests, politicians and lobbyists labor endlessly to change foreign laws so that they match up with US laws. This is immediately evident with copyright law, but comparable in other ways - my example of Michael Fay was one of them.

In the US, punishment for graffiti doesn't come with 6 canings. Despite the American public's opinion that he serve the punishment for his crime, the US government and media outlets fought to change or reduce his sentence. The Singapore government relented at the behest of not ruining a diplomatic relationship (in short, they were pressured into going easy on him).

He took his punishment like a man alright, but I'm sure those vandals who got six instead of four canings are even bigger men.

My "quasi-defense" of age is a fair one, because it addresses something fundamental to justice. In a period where some criminals serve 150 year and double life sentences....what kind of punishment do you give this guy? Does he sit in Club Fed, well taken care of until he dies? Or do you send him to the worst prison you can think of and see how long he lasts? Do you give him the death penalty?

His original sentence was probation with psychiatric evaluation, and it was only when serving that that there was talk of jail time (which if I'm understanding correctly was only a year since it was plea bargained down to a minor charge).

Now flight from charges is something different entirely. Again, adding these two charges together (remember a year in jail back then is a far cry from sex crime laws now)....it brings to question what could be administered to him that would be any measure of justice?
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Old 2009-09-30, 23:02   Link #112
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This is a ridiculously open and shut case.

Did he have sex with a minor? Yes.
Did he have sex without her consent? Yes
Did he use alcohol and a sedative to infer with her judgment? Yes.
Did he flee his punishment? Yes.

There’s little dispute over this--that he is guilty.

Does the punishment have relevance today? Yes, it does--why--when laws are broken, the punishments have to applied because otherwise the integrity of our system is threatened.

Is this justice? No, the law is not justice nor is justice the law. The law is the consequences of your actions.

Why is the integrity of the law so important? It is important because the belief that they will be punished encourages people without moral codes to not infringe upon the rights of others. Ideally people follow the laws because the believe in them--but any laws show a bias and for those that don’t share your bias, you have

But other people got away with X? Yeah, that’s a shame that the law is compromised sometimes, but it isn’t relevant to this situation. There’s no circumstances, no questions of guilt, there’s nothing here but a miscarriage of the law--one that is being fixed however late.
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Old 2009-09-30, 23:30   Link #113
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At Solace: I don't really get your point. You are saying that he should get a reduced sentence because there is no fitting punishment for him?
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Old 2009-10-01, 00:22   Link #114
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I just want to clarify that my citation of the piece from the Economist was definitely not meant to suggest some comparison between the woman in Atlanta and Roman Polanski. (I don't think Solace intended that comparison either, I might add.) Rather it was a response to Lynnie's suggestion that judges might be more lenient now in sentencing a man in his late seventies than they would have been thirty years ago.

I'm afraid I don't share his more optimistic view of the legal system, especially in a state like California where many judges are elected officials. A climate of fear has engulfed parents in this country. They now imagine stalkers lurk behind every mailbox just waiting to rape little Jenny or Billy. It does no good to show them statistics that demonstrate that most abductions result from parental custody disputes, or that most childhood sexual abuse is at the hands of people the children already know, or that recidivism rates for most sex offenders are quite low. They're still convinced that Billy's face might appear one day on a milk carton or that Jenny will be brutalized by that strange man who lives down the block. Most politicians, including district attorneys and elected judges, know that advocating rational policies to deal with the very real tragedies of child abuse guarantees political suicide. Instead they pass laws that so constrain where registered offenders might live that, in Miami, they can only find shelter under a bridge.

That said, I hold no candle for Polanski, though I admit I don't see what great moral purpose would be served by incarcerating him for the rest of his life. I'm actually more intrigued by the decision of the Swiss to pursue this matter after ignoring earlier opportunities to detain him. I don't think it's an accident that their U-turn in the Polanski case happened soon after their decision to reveal the identities of certain holders of numbered accounts. I wonder if we'll ever learn what the Swiss have received in return for this sudden burst of cooperation with our Department of Justice.
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Old 2009-10-01, 01:36   Link #115
Quzor
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While I don't personally forgive Polanski for what he's done, I'm inclined to agree with Solace on this issue. For starters, the man is near the end of his life. Given the benefit of the doubt about his health, lets say he lives to be 100. That's only another 23 years on this earth before he's gone forever. Coupled with that, he's officially a sex offender. From what I understand about prison, sex offenders are generally weeded out of the population post-haste, as even criminals find them despicable. All that being what it is, to rehash Solace's question, how do you adequately sentence the man?

While I don't think anyone will argue that he should not be punished in some form (though maybe some of you out there will), any sentence that lands him in any sort of jail, is bound to lead to his demise. Do you just give him the death penalty then? Or do you throw him in jail and wait to see what happens?

If the aim of the justice system is to keep him alive and kicking for as much of his sentence as possible, what then is the next course of action. I would not hesitate to guess that a sentence resembling house arrest would cause quite an uproar among the community, and I would be inclined to agree with that.

There seems to be an impasse as to what an appropriate sentence for Polanski should ultimately be. Sending him to jail seems as though it would result in his death, so any punishment that may include jail time might as well include the death penalty anyway. And yet, something like house arrest or probation, does not seem fitting enough a punishment for the heinous crime he has committed.

And of course, as some have already stated, money holds tremendous influence over the justice system. Lets not forget that we're dealing with one wealthy individual here. While I don't find it fair or just that people should be able to use their wealth to influence law, that's the reality of it. And, perhaps, if the country can suck a few million dollars out of Polanski (or perhaps more, as much as they can really), might that not be the best possible outcome. Sure, people will cheer loud and long for a harsh sentence that seems fitting of the crime, but what exactly has been achieved in that case? We put an old man in jail where, if he's not killed by the other inmates, he's going to die anyway; well done. Instead of syphoning some money out of the mans pockets, we've effectively put money into them by forcing the state where he is imprisoned to pay to keep him alive for however many years to come.
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Old 2009-10-01, 02:07   Link #116
MeoTwister5
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I'm going to agree with Solace and Quzor on this, and likewise add my own: the punishment has to fit the nature of the crime and the nature of the criminal. All in all the purpose of punishment is supposed to have an effect on three things:

1. The Victim - Ideally gives the victim a sense of closure and satisfaction over the outcome.

2. The Criminal - Should put him in a position to make him question his actions, belief and goals etc.

3. The Society - Would ideally make society rethink the nature of the crime as well as deter future crimes of the sort.

I think the problem is that many people are content with just locking up every criminal and throwing away the key without thinking of how the punishment affects everyone. Suffice to say that that a generalized penal solution is supposed to apply in all cases, but there's enough evidence to show that simply applying the same punishment conditions to every person isn't effective. Punishing everyone the same way doesn't really change the entire concept of crime and crime deterrence. Again, he should be punished, all criminals should be punished. However, the punishment should be in such a way that it causes a desired effect and not simply applying a general condition.

Locking up an octogenerian for life isn't going to do shit for someone who's already nearing his expiration date. Likewise, locking up a sex offender in a prison full of other sex offenders and leaving them there is likely to cause their already misaligned morals to degenerate even more. This isn't "special treatment", it's trying to figure out the best way to have the best desired effect on everyone. A mere hand of vengeance in criminal prosecution and punishment isn't going to change anything.
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Old 2009-10-01, 02:57   Link #117
FateAnomaly
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Too idealistic.

If say i am going to die of terminal illness in a few years, i should be free to commit any crimes to my heart's desire? If i am absolutely evil and feel no guilt no matter how many years of imprisonment, i should be set free because there's is no point anyway?
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Old 2009-10-01, 03:08   Link #118
Thingle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FateAnomaly View Post
Too idealistic.

If say i am going to die of terminal illness in a few years, i should be free to commit any crimes to my heart's desire? If i am absolutely evil and feel no guilt no matter how many years of imprisonment, i should be set free because there's is no point anyway?
There's a reason why lady justice is blind. You are convicted, you serve time. No matter how old you are or how frail your health is.
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Old 2009-10-01, 03:12   Link #119
Quzor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FateAnomaly View Post
Too idealistic.

If say i am going to die of terminal illness in a few years, i should be free to commit any crimes to my heart's desire? If i am absolutely evil and feel no guilt no matter how many years of imprisonment, i should be set free because there's is no point anyway?
To me, this is drastically over-simplifying the issue. No one ever said he should be able to get off scot-free. There are, obviously, other factors that go into the decision of what punishment would best fit this situation, just as there would be for the situation you postulated.

As a for instance; in your example, how old are you? What terminal disease do you have? Is there medical treatment for it? How progressed in the disease are you? What crime have you committed? Are there any extraneous factors about the committed crime we should know, or would have bearing on the situation?

You can't just throw together a random set of circumstances and say "Hey, this is similar, and obviously bogus, so you guys are stupid." There's far more at play here than just some old guy who committed crimes, but should be let go simply because he's on his way out.
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Old 2009-10-01, 03:25   Link #120
Eisdrache
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Before anything, MeoTwister5 I love your signature <3

Uh, Im not sure if I really understand some people here. Yes I can see that Polanski is old and if he is put into jail it will most probably result in his death several years later.

This may now sound heartless ... but so what? After running away from punishment for over 30 years you really expect the judge to reduce his judgement? He lived his life the way he wanted for 30 years in France which is already a slap in the face of every citizen who did not break the law.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quzor View Post
Given the benefit of the doubt about his health, lets say he lives to be 100. That's only another 23 years on this earth before he's gone forever.
It is not the fault of justice that now that Polanski dodged jail over several decades that he is now near his "expiration date." Basically you are saying that someone who ran away from his sentence should now even be rewarded for his actions with a reduced punishment or not even going into jail. I cant see the logic behind this train of thought and to be honest I also dont really want to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I'm actually more intrigued by the decision of the Swiss to pursue this matter after ignoring earlier opportunities to detain him. I don't think it's an accident that their U-turn in the Polanski case happened soon after their decision to reveal the identities of certain holders of numbered accounts. I wonder if we'll ever learn what the Swiss have received in return for this sudden burst of cooperation with our Department of Justice.
In the last few years the US officials have given out ~5 warrants for Polanski since the beginning of the case to different countries. Not once did a country follow the warrant and arrested him. Only one time was a warrant given to Switzerland and promptly leaded to the arrestation of Polanski. This is not a matter of "we are in the crossfire of criticism from the USA lets help them out this time so we can hope to get on better terms with them" but a question of international law.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mg1942 View Post
It takes Washington to finally pry you open

Your country is doing a favor for Washington that they wouldn't do for another.
Do you really believe that? That Switzerland would not arrest an international known child molester and extradict him to whatever country is looking for him? Do you seriously believe that? Do not mix up the UBS bank affair with the Polanski case please as they have no relation at all. Its just an attempt of Polanski defenders to make us look bad while we did nothing wrong.
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