Roman Polanski needs to pay for his crime

Born in Paris in 1933, Roman Polanski lived through the Holocaust and went on to lead a prolific life as an award-winning director, screenwriter and actor. A husband and father, Polanski would have been a model French citizen if were not for the fact that he raped and sodomized a 13-year-old girl in 1977.
Polanksi’s sexual deviance came back into the limelight after more than 30 years when he was arrested in Geneva, en route to receive a lifetime achievement award last week. He is now facing possible extradition on an American warrant.
Polanski was convicted of rape in a California court in 1978 but never served a sentence. He fled the country and has been living in exile ever since. Numerous countries have refused to extradite him.
It is still unclear how this will pan out; Polanski’s case is not clear cut. Many are calling for American prosecutors to drop the case against him because of evidence that there was some miscarriage of justice when he was tried.
Everyone from high-profile diplomats to the powerful and well-connected in Hollywood say he poses no threat to society and that he has been punished enough with forced exile. There is a petition with at least 100 names of celebrities who want him pardoned. Even his victim has repeatedly tried to have the charges dropped because she is fed up of the media scrutiny and just wants to get on with her life.
This reasoning for letting him off the hook is staggering in its emptiness. The man was convicted of raping a child and then illegally fled the country. His victim was only 13 years old. In court she testified that she repeatedly told him “No” when he tried to have sex with her. So he raped her, and then sodomized her.
There is no morally sound reason to even consider letting him off the hook.
It is laughable to suggest we should pardon Polanski because his crime is ancient history, because he’s old, because he has since contributed meaningfully to society, because he’s a nice man, because the victim doesn’t want her name to be dragged through the mud in an old case.
What is not so amusing is to see how our society has evolved into one of celebrity-worship that it has seemingly forgotten the very ethos of our foundations &- justice. One of the prerequisites of civil society is a clear definition of what is right and wrong. Our code of civil and criminal law clearly states that having sex with a minor, consensual or otherwise, is wrong.
Put plainly, this position of celebrity-worship says that right and wrong do not matter if you’re well-known or well-connected, have contributed meaningfully to society, or if your crime was so long ago that no one, not even the victim, cares any more.
Even if one does not ascribe to the concept of ultimate justice, or believe there is a greater truth to appeal to than the rules defined by our society, we are still forced to admit that, logically and by our own set of rules, we can’t let Polanski off the hook. We should not pity Polanski because he worked in the pictures.
If we believe there is a larger truth that exists than the rules made by society, then Polanski must serve his time.
If we believe that justice is a silly old notion that stinks of ancient history and shouldn’t apply to really, really famous and creative people, then we should continue to laud Polanski for his public works and blithely ignore what he does, or did, in private.
We won’t even have to hold our noses as we do it, because if that’s where we stand as a society and as a culture, then we have reached the place where we have truly lost touch with something essential in our humanity, something that makes us a little better than the animals: the knowledge of right, and of wrong.
Raping a child is wrong.
It doesn’t matter if Roman Polanski was famous or a nobody, if his family consider him a good father or he was a pedophile, if was prolific artist or the lowest kind of criminal, whether the crime was committed 30 years ago or one, whether the victim wants retribution or wants simply to forget the incident ever happened, the fact is, he raped a child.
And whether you believe that society is the guardian of the rules, or that justice is a universally acknowledged truth that cannot be shifted by circumstance or society’s mood or temperament, either way, you must admit that Polanski must serve a sentence for his crime. To believe anything else is folly and emptiness.

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Born in Paris in 1933, Roman Polanski lived through the Holocaust and went on to lead a prolific life as an award-winning director, screenwriter and actor. A husband and father, Polanski would have been a model French citizen if were not for the fact that he raped and sodomized a 13-year-old girl in 1977.
Polanksi’s sexual deviance came back into the limelight after more than 30 years when he was arrested in Geneva, en route to receive a lifetime achievement award last week. He is now facing possible extradition on an American warrant.
Polanski was convicted of rape in a California court in 1978 but never served a sentence. He fled the country and has been living in exile ever since. Numerous countries have refused to extradite him.
It is still unclear how this will pan out; Polanski’s case is not clear cut. Many are calling for American prosecutors to drop the case against him because of evidence that there was some miscarriage of justice when he was tried.
Everyone from high-profile diplomats to the powerful and well-connected in Hollywood say he poses no threat to society and that he has been punished enough with forced exile. There is a petition with at least 100 names of celebrities who want him pardoned. Even his victim has repeatedly tried to have the charges dropped because she is fed up of the media scrutiny and just wants to get on with her life.
This reasoning for letting him off the hook is staggering in its emptiness. The man was convicted of raping a child and then illegally fled the country. His victim was only 13 years old. In court she testified that she repeatedly told him “No” when he tried to have sex with her. So he raped her, and then sodomized her.
There is no morally sound reason to even consider letting him off the hook.
It is laughable to suggest we should pardon Polanski because his crime is ancient history, because he’s old, because he has since contributed meaningfully to society, because he’s a nice man, because the victim doesn’t want her name to be dragged through the mud in an old case.
What is not so amusing is to see how our society has evolved into one of celebrity-worship that it has seemingly forgotten the very ethos of our foundations – justice. One of the prerequisites of civil society is a clear definition of what is right and wrong. Our code of civil and criminal law clearly states that having sex with a minor, consensual or otherwise, is wrong.
Put plainly, this position of celebrity-worship says that right and wrong do not matter if you’re well-known or well-connected, have contributed meaningfully to society, or if your crime was so long ago that no one, not even the victim, cares any more.
Even if one does not ascribe to the concept of ultimate justice, or believe there is a greater truth to appeal to than the rules defined by our society, we are still forced to admit that, logically and by our own set of rules, we can’t let Polanski off the hook. We should not pity Polanski because he worked in the pictures.
If we believe there is a larger truth that exists than the rules made by society, then Polanski must serve his time.
If we believe that justice is a silly old notion that stinks of ancient history and shouldn’t apply to really, really famous and creative people, then we should continue to laud Polanski for his public works and blithely ignore what he does, or did, in private.
We won’t even have to hold our noses as we do it, because if that’s where we stand as a society and as a culture, then we have reached the place where we have truly lost touch with something essential in our humanity, something that makes us a little better than the animals: the knowledge of right, and of wrong.
Raping a child is wrong.
It doesn’t matter if Roman Polanski was famous or a nobody, if his family consider him a good father or he was a pedophile, if was prolific artist or the lowest kind of criminal, whether the crime was committed 30 years ago or one, whether the victim wants retribution or wants simply to forget the incident ever happened, the fact is, he raped a child.
And whether you believe that society is the guardian of the rules, or that justice is a universally acknowledged truth that cannot be shifted by circumstance or society’s mood or temperament, either way, you must admit that Polanski must serve a sentence for his crime. To believe anything else is folly and emptiness.

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