Monday, September 28, 2009

This time it should be put to rest

Bad people do bad things. Good people do too.

It's important to remember this as the European community seems to be up in arms about the arrest of filmmaker Roman Polanski in Switzerland. Polanski has been a fugitive for decades after he pleaded guilty to having unlawful intercourse with a minor. He fled before his sentencing. He's been a very public "person on the run."

It's shocking what he is accused of doing decades ago. His victim, now a married woman with children of her own, continues to be assaulted in this case. The court system seemed to bungle the prosecution and has been unsuccessful at closing the case.

There are different stories about why Polanski fled. Was he fearful of a media-hungry judge? Did he just not want to serve out his time? He made a choice. He fled the country to France and continued to make films.

His victim asked earlier this year to have the case thrown out. She said in a CNN.com article:
"Every time this case is brought to the attention of the Court, great focus is made of me, my family, my mother and others. That attention is not pleasant to experience and is not worth maintaining over some irrelevant legal nicety, the continuation of the case."
I get what she's saying. She's the only one who makes sense to me today. Filmmakers at the Zurich Film Festival are lamenting his arrest and talking about his great contributions to the film industry. Others are raving about what a talented artist he is. A French official said Polanski was of "great general esteem." Others made is sound like his drugging and raping of a 13-year-old child was some benign indiscretion.

I'm shocked by their descriptions. He behaved criminally and pleaded guilty to it. This wouldn't be an issue today, if he had stayed in the United States to be sentenced. Our justice system is not perfect. There are plenty of examples in Texas to show it doesn't always work. But, we are supposed to play by the rules.

The case and all its flaws are out in the open. The director and all his flaws are out in the open. Surely, this time, this case can be put to rest. It would be in the best interest of everyone.

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