Re: Guest post: Bostoniangirl

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In case all is not clear, this is the most recent Polanski business.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 7:43 AM
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Also for the past four years I have been reading Bostoniongirl's handle as Bostongirl. Except I knew it had two Is. So I wrote Bostingirl in the first version of this post, which it appears no one saw, because I'm quick like that at editing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 7:46 AM
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I saw it. And now I want to know why, in 2, you're trying to put an onion in 'Bostoniangirl'.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 7:49 AM
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Okay, where's McManus?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 7:59 AM
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Huh, I had no idea that he'd been married to Sharon Tate, who I knew of only vaguely as a famous murder victim.

the judge tried to renege on the plea bargain

Gosh, the reporter's sympathies don't seem evident here or anything huh?

Bottom line for me is that this particular case doesn't hold great salience. If I were triaging the criminals I'd like to see extradited and prosecuted, even if we narrow the category to "non-native-born Americans who committed sexual assult on underage people in the U.S.," there's a lot of other cases I'd choose before this one.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:04 AM
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Yeah, first the Nazis, then the Manson Family: Polanski has got to be one seriously scarred individual.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:07 AM
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Gosh, the reporter's sympathies don't seem evident here or anything huh?

I don't think the act of reneging is under dispute. The judge was within his rights to be a hard-ass, but he wasn't honoring the deal Polanski made with the prosecutor.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:09 AM
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you're trying to put an onion in 'Bostoniangirl'

That's no substitute for a radish.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:10 AM
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7: Right, I agree. I was commenting on the word choice. "Reneged" is what you say when you want the reader to think that the person who didn't go through with the deal is the one who broke the trust (traditionally the socially disfavored one).

I don't know how criminal plea-bargains are generally handled, so I don't know whether it's considered pro-forma that a judge nearly always signs off on the prosecutor's recommendation, and thus this was a significant breach of established protocol, or whether judges contradict prosecutors all the time.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:14 AM
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4:Dallas, awaiting extradition to the South of France

I just posted the news in the thread below. My suspicion is that this is connected to the new spirit of cooperation between the US and Switzerland on bank accounts. I know the Swiss are pissed, so maybe this is an attempt to embarrass the WH.

If anyone has suffered enough or paid his dues, it's Roman. He has reached closure with the victim.

But since I presume a pardon is politically impossible, or clemency from Schwarzetc, I suppose the best we can hope for is for the US to quietly drop extradition. If that is even possible, as long as the charges remain on the books.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:14 AM
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Huh, I had no idea that he'd been married to Sharon Tate, who I knew of only vaguely as a famous murder victim.

In contrast, basically all I know of Polanski is that he was married to Sharon Tate, about whose murder (and the other Manson murders) I was long fascinated.

Well, and that he was some kind of perv.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:15 AM
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5:It was not just married to Tate, it was one of the hippest and most romantic stories of the 60s.

Brilliant emigre from communism, Holocaust sufferer they really loved each other and made each other happy. Tate and Polanski helped make the mid-60s glow.

Hmm...I can't find the documentary about the case. But the scenes of the couple in Swinging London are amazing. The vampire movie can give people a clue.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:22 AM
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Can we also be clear about what he did? Because, of course, the closure he reached with his victim was due to a large sum of money. So -- Roman invited a 13yo old over for a "modeling session." He gave her glasses of champagne and half a 'lude and raped her orally, anally, and vaginally.

I don't really have an opinion on the Swiss thing, but the "oh, the poor man has suffered enough" nauseates me.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:25 AM
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The Fearless Vampire Killers is such a lovely movie---Polanski is adorable in it, and of course Tate was luminous. A long time ago I saw one of Polanski's first movie's, all in Polish, called I think "The Knife's Edge" or something. Very existentialist, but already interesting work with claustrophobia, the need to escape, and a really rich female character---themes he'd take back up with the utterly disturbing "Repulsion," a movie I admire greatly but can't bear the thought of seeing again soon. I would say that he's one of the directors I most admire, if it weren't for the inexplicably ghastly "Ninth Gate."


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:28 AM
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I knew you'd posted in the other thread, which is why I wanted you to comment.

I was reading wikipedia on Sharon Tate and read about her mother Doris's fight to get victim's impact statements included in sentencing and parole hearings. One of her sister's who participated in that work also testified in Polanski's libel trial against Vanity Fair for claiming that he hit on some woman on the way to Tate's funeral.

In Polanski's case, his victim, Samantha Geimer would testify on his behalf.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:29 AM
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If anyone has suffered enough or paid his dues, it's Roman. He has reached closure with the victim.

So it's OK to ply a 13 year old girl with drugs and alcohol, rape her, and flee the country to justice, as long as completely unrelated elements of your life are sufficiently horrific and the victim eventually tires of the endless dragging out of the case to the point of wanting closure above justice.

I'm in firmly in the camp that opposes any sort of amnesty for child abusers. Fuck Polanski. His rough life does not in any way excuse raping a child. If this was some fucked up dude with no talent who'd been through equally bad life experiences but produced no great art would people be leaping to forgive and forget? I don't think so.

Seriously people! There is only one issue here, and it's not Sharon Tate, the Nazis, or great films. It's child rape.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:29 AM
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I wish I could say that raping 14 year-old models went out in the bad old days, but apparently it's still par for the course in the industry. It's all disgusting.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:31 AM
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14: Knife in the Water


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:35 AM
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14 - Knife in the Water. It's a really fantastic movie, Polanski's awfulness aside.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:38 AM
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So it's OK to ply a 13 year old girl with drugs and alcohol, rape her, and flee the country to justice

Oh golly, so I guess it is really necessary for me to say this is not OK. Right.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:39 AM
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1: In case all is not clear, this is the most recent Polanski business.

Swiss arrest Polanski on US request in sex case
8 mins ago
OK, can you do some more probing? New York will want to know
frank's out today.
i checked already, and so did zurich. they say the question is irrelevant. he answered me with the quote i used, about we knew when he was coming this time. he's been here many times in the past, we think.
thx brad. aptn is aware, but unfortunately won't make it in time, but is hoping to catch tail end.
i'm pushing out another writethru with some more background details before press conference.
no surprise, new york is really hot on this.
they particularly want to know why now. (has he never set foot in switzerland before?) sheila, theorizes that's because they're under intense pressure over ubs and want to throw the U.S. a bone, but can yo ucheck with justice department sources there?
is frank around too, or are you alone?
u can tell aptn press conf 1700 (15 gmt) in bern at the parliament
i'll watch it live on internet

Oopsie.

max
['Weird.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:45 AM
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The Polanski exile story is probably not an injustice nor a melodrama but it is a tragedy. 32 years is a long long outrage.

I do not see how I am personally served by righteous indignation or contempt. At my best or worst moments my empathy is monstrous, and usually best kept to myself, I suppose.

Was this a set-up?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:53 AM
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From Wiki

he was arrested by Swiss police on arrival at Zürich Airport while trying to enter Switzerland to attend the Zurich Film Festival, at the request of United States authorities

Must be the hopechangey Obama stuff.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:00 AM
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Finds bob's link:

Polanski was scheduled to receive an honorary award at the festival when he was apprehended Saturday at the airport, the Swiss Justice Ministry said in a statement. It said U.S. authorities have sought the arrest of the 76-year-old director around the world since 2005.[...]
In 1977, he was accused of raping the teenager while photographing her during a modeling session. The girl said Polanski plied her with champagne and part of a Quaalude pill at Jack Nicholson's house while the actor was away. She said that, despite her protests, he performed oral sex, intercourse and sodomy on her.
Polanski was allowed to plead guilty to one of six charges, unlawful sexual intercourse, and was sent to prison for 42 days of evaluation.
Lawyers agreed that would be his full sentence, but the judge tried to renege on the plea bargain. Aware the judge would sentence him to more prison time and require his voluntary deportation, Polanski fled to France.
The victim, Samantha Geimer, who long ago identified herself publicly, has joined in Polanski's bid for dismissal, saying she wants the case to be over. She sued Polanski and reached an undisclosed settlement.

So, I'm guessing they're not doing this out of some deep concern for the victim. Which would be pretty typical.

max
['Memories of the Bush administration.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:00 AM
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23: The "request of US Authorities" is a standing arrest warrant from 2005.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:02 AM
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I have been pwnd at least since 2005.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:02 AM
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Pwnage has no statute of limitations.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:03 AM
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It is sort of weird to me that bob is so into elites evading justice. Yes, so terrible, arrest warrants for child rapists.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:04 AM
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23:The arrest warrant has been around in all countries for years, but not enforced. Polanski has been in out of Switzerland several times.

From the wording, this looks like new pressure initiated by US authorities.


In 2008, Geimer stated in an interview that she wishes Polanski would be forgiven, "I think he's sorry, I think he knows it was wrong. I don't think he's a danger to society. I don't think he needs to be locked up forever and no one has ever come out ever - besides me - and accused him of anything. It was 30 years ago now. It's an unpleasant memory ... (but) I can live with it."[33]

If anyone else knows of other credible pedophile or ephebephile accusations against Polanski, let me know. This isn't Balthus or Hamilton or Larry Clark.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:12 AM
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His relationship with Natasha Kinski when she was 15? That isn't an accusation. Just a fact in his biography.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:14 AM
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Didn't Polanski come out against Iraq or something?

max
['Such that the Bushies decided to get even?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:14 AM
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Natasha Kinski

Nastassia.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:17 AM
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Nastassja.


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:18 AM
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p. a. wins!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:19 AM
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Balthus a pedophile? Says who?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:19 AM
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20: Yes, actually. When you are talking about letting someone off with a 42 day prison term for drugging and raping a child, I think making you ought to make it explicit that (1) the crime is heinous and (2) there is some general principle under which heinous crimes should be excused when certain conditions are met. I would be very interested to hear what this general principle is, incidentally.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:19 AM
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Nyetassjka.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:20 AM
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oudemia, what I don't get is why Sharon Tate's sister testified for him at his libel trial against Vanity Fair. I'd have thought that they would loath him after his behavior with the girl, given how strongly that family came ou tin favor of victims' rights.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:21 AM
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I've been surprised by the number of top tier people who've worked with him post-fleeing. Sigourney Weaver surprised me for some time.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:23 AM
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28:Well, elites and celebrities are most of the detailed contact I have with such stories. I don't exactly seek them out.

I told you there is a part of me that is a monstrous and wicked magnanimity. Nothing that is human is alien to me. Except possibly tribalism.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:27 AM
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30:point, I suppose


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:32 AM
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35:Says me

Whether or not Balthus had sex with minors, he certainly found pre-pubescent females more uniquely beautiful and interesting than most of us. He claims the paintings don't have erotic intent, but there are not many of his works that couldn't be interpreted that way.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:39 AM
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Does anyone know why the British High Court allowed him to testify via video link, given that his reason for not appearing in London was that he didn't want to risk being extradited? It's not like he was too ill to travel.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:41 AM
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42: So, then I guess Polanski definitely "is not" Balthus, because P wasn't just down with naughty pictures, but false imprisonment and forcible rape.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:41 AM
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Do people really care what the victim wants? I know this sounds heartless, but there's a reason these crimes are against the state. Just like I don't care if a particular victim wants a defendant to be put to death, I don't care if a particular victim wants a person to get off. And no, the judge was not "renegging", judges fail to approve deals all the time. Shit, if you were the judge, would you want to approve a deal where the guy serves 42 days?

Far be it from me to be a law and order type, but I am just fine being a law and order type when it comes to rich white film director child rapists.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:46 AM
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What I suspect samantha geimer really wants is for everyone to leave HER the fuck alone. And we could do that, without leaving him alone. Can't we just try him for obstruction of justice or something? Is fleeing the country to avoid prosecution a prosecutable offense?


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:49 AM
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45: Do people really care what the victim wants?

Basically, no.

I know this sounds heartless, but there's a reason these crimes are against the state.

The basic problem is that that is why so much of this kind of stuff goes on, but never gets prosecuted. If it's on TV, they're going after you. If it's not on TV, they won't. So the whole circus resembles that: the Circus Maximus. Give the crowd a show and kill some people. Some of them probably deserve it, but you know, it's about justice, so if the rest don't, too bad.

And no, the judge was not "renegging", judges fail to approve deals all the time.

Agreed.

And we could do that, without leaving him alone.

She actually filed a motion apparently. So she's in.

Can't we just try him for obstruction of justice or something? Is fleeing the country to avoid prosecution a prosecutable offense?

Fleeing to avoid prosectuion should be an offense in CA, and since he took it international, that makes it federal, I think.

max
['They'll have to retry him though.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:58 AM
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44:But I see little to no signs of ephebephilia in Polanski's art, either before or after Geimer. Chinatown does have that plot element contemporaneous with that terrible, horrible heinous unforgivable crime.

45 is correct

46:I suspect I shouldn't try to read Geimer's mind and should read/listen to her words instead.

This is the movie I've seen. Geimer does an oncreen interview, so expressions and body language were added to the words.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:04 AM
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That movie was made by Polanski's PR agent.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:08 AM
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45: leblanc, I totally agree with you about the importance of it being a crime against the State and the irrelevance of the victim's wishes (barring their decision to testify). I just find it ironic that it's his late wife's family who got the laws passed making victims' statements admissible in California.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:14 AM
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That movie was made distributed by Polanski's PR agent.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:16 AM
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So is it ok to enjoy Chinatown and Rosemary's Baby, even though they were made by a disgusting human being and reflect elements of his disgusting life?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:19 AM
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Admitted child rapist: not a pedophile.
Painter whose themes include the sexuality of children and adolescents: pedophile.

Come on, bob, you can troll better than that.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:19 AM
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47

Fleeing to avoid prosectuion should be an offense in CA, and since he took it international, that makes it federal, I think.

He is not fleeing to avoid prosecution if he already pled guilty. This is like not showing up for sentencing.

Are you normally able to withdraw a guilty plea if the judge won't go along with the propsoed sentence?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:26 AM
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I find it deeply bothersome that news reports on Polanski typically refer to what happened as statutory rape, when the facts say that it was actual rape as well. Just because the prosecutors made a deal doesn't mean that their deal becomes the fact of the matter. News organizations should have more of an obligation to the truth than that. I think a lot of people's sympathy for Polanski comes from failing to understand what actually happened. This is especially true in reports that fail to state the age of the victim. Statutory rape covers a large range of things and that leaves the door open for thinking "It's not that bad, and maybe all that exile is punishment enough."


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:28 AM
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53:the only reasonable interpretation of 53.3 is that "troll" is someone who even partially disagrees. I was explicitly invited to this thread, probably in anticipation and expectation of contrarianism.

53.1:Every murderer is not also a serial killer.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:30 AM
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Admitted child rapist: not a pedophile.

Correct. Ephebophile.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:31 AM
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I really could care less if Polanski is attracted to post-pubescent teenagers (and whatever sort of -phile that makes him). That's hardly unusual. It's the fact that he's a rapist that's makes him deserving of punishment, not who he is or isn't attracted to.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:35 AM
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57: This usage kind of bugs me, since there is no such thing as a female ἔφηβος and 13 is too young anyway.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:38 AM
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not who he is or isn't attracted to.

This information certainly is used in America in sentencing and the disposition of cases. It is not considered irrelevant.

I don't know specific California law, but if convicted and released on time served, Polanski would then be subject to sex offender restrictions. Since many communities have severe restrictions on where convicted sex offenders can live, many are sleeping under overpasses.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:43 AM
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If there is one outcome I'd describe as unlikely in this situation, it would be Roman Polanski sleeping under a California overpass.

In general, I agree that the sex offender registries have gotten way out of hand.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:46 AM
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For the purposes of this discussion, 57 represents a distinction without a difference, I think.

And actually, bob, another reasonable interpretation is that comparing the rapist of a 13-year-old child unfavorably to an artist who did not rape 13-year-old children is the kind of obviously false shit-disturbing commonly known on the Internet as trolling. I take your bait merely to spur you on to greater effort.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:46 AM
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Gotta say I dislike Balthus, though.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:50 AM
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Huh. As a data point, I'd always sort of vaguely known the story, but I hadn't realized that it wasn't straightforwardly statutory rape rather than actions that would have been rape regardless of the age of the victim. Ick.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:52 AM
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I'm pretty conflicted about Polanski, obviously, and of course this thread will only end in tears. Off to swim do some incredibly boring shit.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:52 AM
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63 is an excellent example of a non-gratuitously-inflammatory opinion against Balthus. Art critics take heed.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:53 AM
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64: I blame the media's weird version of "objectivity." If Polanski and the prosecutors "agreed" on statutory rape (regardless of why they made that agreement) then there's no conflict, so that's the "fact" you report as opposed to "subjectively" reporting the actual truth.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:56 AM
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Sorry 67 was me.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:56 AM
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64: See. This. This is exactly what makes me insane about this case. (Obvs I am not faulting you or anything LB.) The facts of the case have become so watered down in the telling over the past decades that lots and lots of folks are like, Eh? What's the big? because they think he was seduced by some knowing teen (It was the 70s!) and railroaded after a purely consensual romp. NO. He fucked her while she cried and said no. Got annoyed when she couldn't tell him when her last period was and so switched to her ass while she cried some more.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:58 AM
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63,66:Apparently Balthus and his artistic preferences have many admirers aroun here, so perhaps it might be useful to switch to Larry Clark, who has fewer supporters.

Just read an old interview with James Woods, done while Woods was promoting Another Day in Paradise (one of my favorite movies). Woods, producer and partial financier, one day on the set stormed up to the casting director and demanded to see Vincent Kartheiser's ID. VK was 18.

Clark and Kartheiser had been spending time alone in the trailer. Could have been needles instead of sex.

The point about inclinations and preferences is that it may indicate possible future crimes and continuing danger to society. Geimer seems convinced that Polanski was not such a danger, though she is hardly an expert.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 11:08 AM
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He fucked her while she cried and said no. Got annoyed when she couldn't tell him when her last period was and so switched to her ass while she cried some more.

I am guessing that people would be less sympthetic (or perhaps charitably - less ambivalent) if more news outlets wrote about it in this manner.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 11:19 AM
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Polanski is obviously a tough case to use in the questioning of punishment because the crime was so horrible.

But why extradite, retry and punish Polanski?

Deterrence? We all know better
Continuing danger to society? Nah
Closure for the victim? Not according to the victim
Cause the law is the law? Lots of poor blacks in prison who broke the law.
Some laws more important than other laws? Matter of judgment, and likely goes back to deterrence

Justice? Leave that to history and heaven.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 11:21 AM
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I am not real sympathetic to him unless the victim has now changed her version. Perhaps if she said that the prosecutors got her to exagerate wildly and they had gentle, consensual sex. Then, I might feel some mild sympathy for enduring the lies.

But, she was 13. It is just wrong.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 11:26 AM
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Or maybe deterrence is applicable, if we consider that the usual understandings of habitual sex offenders do not apply to Polanski.

Opportunistic murderers or rapists (for instance, tourists to Thailand) might be deterred by punishing Polanski after 30+ years. Might. I don't generally put much weight on deterrence as reasons for punishment, but I suppose it's an argument.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 11:30 AM
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For the record, I will stipulate that the crime was as despicable as stated in 69 and other places above. For the record I am not defending Polanski in any sense of lessening his culpability.

It is, as far as I can tell, an episode of irredeemable evil, a moment of surrender to his darkest nature.

A man shoots his wife because she redoubled a 4 bid without any honors, but has no other history or pattern of violence. Whatever, maybe you can come up with better examples of cases where punishment serves little purpose.

Claudine Longet


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 11:41 AM
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What do you think about the Demjanjuk case, Bob?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 11:58 AM
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The point about inclinations and preferences is that it may indicate possible future crimes and continuing danger to society.

Roland Emmerich should be locked up immediately, before he slaughters millions.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 12:05 PM
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Two can play at that game:
She redoubled a 4 bid. As she looks on uncomprehendingly, he coolly, with a small smile playing around his lips, draws a revolver and shoots her in the leg. She screams, goes white with shock, and starts begging her husband (her own husband!) to stop, as she starts bleeding uncontrollably into the rug. Meanwhile, he circles, round, still aiming the gun between her eyes. A small pause - and he gets off another shot to her right arm. Her screams of pain and terror redouble.

No other history or pattern of violence.


Posted by: U. Awl | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 12:05 PM
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76:I have been thinking about the Nazi war criminals since the thread began. Still thinking.

And about the recent American war criminals. Note my lack of participation in the "Make John Yoo suffer now" threads. My position has long been that Bush & Yoo etc should be tried in the Hague, in order to weaken sovereignty and strengthen Int'l law and the Conventions. I think extensive war crime trials would weaken the Republican Party, and heighten some contradictions in American politics.

The post-Nuremberg Nazi prosecutions did have value in demonstrating resolve, dedication...power...for various parties.

A Polanski prosecution could have a comparable utility.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 12:10 PM
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Bob, if you watched that Wanted and Desired documentary, you should really read this. It was pretty much a whitewash (owned and distributed by someone who was his PR rep for many years) that left a lot of its viewers with completely false impressions of the case.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 12:34 PM
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I have stipulated in 75.

I am not sure where I might have gotten my conception of the viciousness of the crime. I seem to remember the movie being clear about the drugs, rape, and sodomy, but my memory could be faulty.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 12:44 PM
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72

But why extradite, retry and punish Polanski?

Would Polanski have to be retried? Why wouldn't his guilty plea stand?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 12:44 PM
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I guess I'm the only one who thought Knife in the Water kind of sucked.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 12:56 PM
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80:I read the linked article

Look, it should be pretty much understood around here how I instinctively respond to group solidarity sessions of praise or criticism. I certainly have a history. Whether it is empathy for underdogs or some anti-social pathology, or both, I'll leave up to you to decide. What you can't know is how much I restrain and control this impulse.

"Trolling" would be when I rain on parades or interrupt public stonings uninvited. I have apparently been "stung" today.

And, oh yeah, O.J. was innocent.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 1:12 PM
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Justice? Leave that to history and heaven.

History and heaven can piss off. Justice is for the here and now. I'm quite content to live in a society that believes the commission of certain crimes will result in that person being hunted down until they are dead.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 1:28 PM
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ok, where to?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 2:01 PM
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I have no opinion on the extradition matter, b/c between revulsion at his crime I do feel that a victim who takes the trouble to out herself and file a motion and be interviewed multiple times deserves to be listened to.

But anyway, regarding 38: somewhere I read an essay on this (I was interested b/c I read Helter Skelter when I was a kid) and the thesis of the essay was that Polanski was, in fact, madly in love with his wife and truly, deeply offended at that love being tainted by the VF article--and that his sister-in-law was convinced of this love and therefore offended on her dead sister's behalf. You can dislike someone, but if they are connected to you by a mutually beloved, you may still regard them as family. And so, it was a compartmentalized case--there was this relationship and this (dead) person who was very important to both of them, and the libel case was about that, and only about that. I could see myself doing the same thing. I think it's a little dehumanizing to parse the Tate family's actions towards Polanski solely in terms of their policy causes. Murder shouldn't turn them into policy automatons, negating all previous relationship with him.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 2:29 PM
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I was just discussing this with my dad. My view is mixed, but leaning against prosecuting. It's been a very long time and I feel uncomfortable with pursuing things that far back. You're effectively prosecuting a different person than the one who committed the crime. As far as the Demanjuk question goes, also mixed, but mass murder is one of the few things even worse than child rape, so I'm on the fence on that one.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 3:57 PM
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Rich pervert thinks he can game the system, does so for years, eventually runs out of luck.

No movie, possibly an hour on the Discovery Channel. Next pitch, please.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 4:08 PM
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Oudemia's description in 69 has been deeply haunting me for the last three hours. Like I can't stop dwelling on that last sentence, in particular.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 4:25 PM
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88: As the official bore on this topic on like 75 different websites, I have to say he has already been prosecuted. He plead guilty. The trial phase is over. He just hasn't been sentenced, because he ran away before he could be.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 4:26 PM
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I think you forfeit the different person than years ago mitigating factor when you actively evade sentencing for each and every one of those years.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 4:31 PM
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90: Now I am sad for giving heebie a sad. My head is just exploding from several internets worth of people arguing that the désir of the artiste must be liberated! And I want to puke.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 4:33 PM
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I have a sad from Oudie. I was thinking that saying it outloud might exorcise it, though. So maybe I can shake it off now.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 4:37 PM
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91,92 That's a legal technicality. As a practical matter what I said remains true. I don't see what the difference is between avoiding sentencing and avoiding prosecution. If you don't like the idea of a statute of limitations or believe it shouldn't apply to serious crimes, fine, we disagree, but this is just parsing words.

93. Auden anyone?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 4:42 PM
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It is -- weird, or something -- to see this story unfolding while a much smaller-scale but similar discussion is going on about that British professor who claimed in print that ogling female students is one of the perks of the job. (Luckily, a host of people including the inimitable Belle Waring are handling that one.)

In both cases, it's about the social backlash -- or lack thereof -- to unacceptable behavior. Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon:

But these kinds of crimes aren't just about the current victim, but the larger problem. Polanski committed his crime before rape and the sexual abuse of children were really considered serious crimes. Punishing him can help as a collective retribution of our society's former values, and a way to assert new ones.

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 4:44 PM
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||

If part (a) asks you to compute some function values, and then part (b) asks you to graph the function, then it might be a good idea to make sure your graph is consistent with the coordinates you computed in part (a). Just saying.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 4:45 PM
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95: No, the statute of limitations doesn't obtain at all because he has already been tried and convicted. And that is not "parsing" -- although I am fond of parsing and think people should do more of it.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 4:45 PM
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You're effectively prosecuting a different person than the one who committed the crime.

This argument holds some water when you're talking about crimes committed by people before they're adults, but Polanski was 44 for fuck's sake.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 4:46 PM
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I think you forfeit the different person than years ago mitigating factor when you actively evade sentencing for each and every one of those years.

Yeah. Although a part of me is grateful that at least he has been punished by not being able to live in the U.S. For a lot of people -- and I suspect for him -- that is a very real punishment.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 4:46 PM
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96 That quote from Marcotte is an argument against punishing Polanski. At the risk of violating the analogy ban, plenty of people were arguing here just recently that Kennedy's fatal drunk driving should not be judged by present day standards. I agreed with that, I take it you didn't?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 4:51 PM
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I made the mistake of reading a bunch of comments on the NYT site. Seems we shouldn't bother about this anymore because of Swiss banks and Sharon Tate and Muammar Gaddafi. Well, okay then.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 4:51 PM
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100 Career wise, yes. In terms of personal preference, no. Polanski chose to live in Paris when he first left Poland because that's where he wanted to live.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 4:53 PM
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101: There really aren't different standards relating to drugging and anally raping thirteen-year-olds now than there were in the seventies, though. That was condemned then just like it is now. There are probably different standards now for having 'consensual' sex with sixteen-year-olds, but that doesn't apply at all to Polanski's crime.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 4:54 PM
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I was thoroughly unconvinced by the defenses of Kennedy. That isn't to say that he should have been punished by today's sentencing rules. Polanski, on the other hand, has evaded punishment under his day's sentencing rules, despite being convicted.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 4:55 PM
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95 Yes, I understood what you were saying as a legal matter. I just disagreed that it changes the moral question. Gswift's point is valid, though it is simply an argument having a statute of limitations apply to adults tout court.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 4:56 PM
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The point of the statute of limitations isn't about guilt so much as it is about evidence -- courts are reasonably capable of figuring out what happened recently, but it gets harder the further back you go, so you don't want to go too far back unless it's worth it. Once his guilt is admitted, the evidentiary question is gone, and that argument for a statute of limitations is absent.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:00 PM
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Is there even a statute of limitations on Polanski's crime? For some crimes there isn't any.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:00 PM
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The anal part, yes. The rest - my impression is that both sex with younger teens and having sex with women too drunk to consent was seen as less objectionable than it is today. And just in case it isn't clear, I find today's moral consensus on this a lot better than what applied then, it's just that like I said, I don't feel fully comfortable for _punishing_ someone so long after the crime was committed.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:00 PM
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Rape, there isn't in most states, IIRC which I easily might not. What he actually pled to, statutory rape, I'd guess there probably is.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:01 PM
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That quote from Marcotte is an argument against punishing Polanski.

You (and others) may think so but I don't think she does.

plenty of people were arguing here just recently that Kennedy's fatal drunk driving should not be judged by present day standards. I agreed with that, I take it you didn't?

I think I stayed out of that thread when it turned into a long LB-vs-Shearer tangential argument.

I would draw a distinction between judgment and prosecution. I'm perfectly willing to say that the moral badness of what Kennedy did was exactly the same in 1960whatever as it would be if it happened today. Your moral duty to do everything humanly possible to get help for another person doesn't change because society has a different view of drunk driving now versus then.

Should he have been criminally charged, either then or now? Eh. I don't have the legal chops to know the relevant precedents. In general I approve of charging powerful people with crimes at the same level that we're likely to charge the less-powerful -- which is to say, if Joe Schmoe would have gotten charged with negligence and given probation, then that would have been the appropriate sanction for Kennedy.

But also in general -- and see my "salience" comment above -- I don't like wasting money, and I'm pretty pragmatic about what constitutes a good use of it. Not prosecuting the O.J.s and the Polanskis of the world sends a terrible message, but holy smokes does it use up a lot of time, money, and people-smarts that could be used to other ends. So I'm ambivalent, I guess.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:03 PM
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There really aren't different standards relating to drugging and anally raping thirteen-year-olds now than there were in the seventies, though.

I bet standards are slightly different. Rape has become much more clearly focused over the past few decades in the public eye.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:04 PM
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The rest - my impression is that both sex with younger teens and having sex with women too drunk to consent was seen as less objectionable than it is today.

I'm too young to have a firsthand sense of seventies (and earlier) sexual mores, but I think it's a matter of line-crossing -- the lines were in different places, but once they were crossed, it was serious. Jerry Lee Lewis marrying his twelve-year-old cousin or whatever the details? Tacky, but not really wrong. Having sex with a grown woman too drunk to object? Also more tacky than rape. But I don't think anyone in the seventies would view drugging and raping a thirteen-year old differently than we do today.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:06 PM
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Polanski committed his crime before rape and the sexual abuse of children were really considered serious crimes.

Rape wasn't considered a serious crime in 1976?
What were the statutes? Many states still had the death penalty.

This is psychotic on Amanda's part, wholly and completely divorced from factual reality, and this is not a faction or team I feel comfortable joining in ecstatic bliss at the torment of a 76 year old man.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:08 PM
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104

There really aren't different standards relating to drugging and anally raping thirteen-year-olds now than there were in the seventies, though. That was condemned then just like it is now. There are probably different standards now for having 'consensual' sex with sixteen-year-olds, but that doesn't apply at all to Polanski's crime.

That should be "alleged crime". He will only be sentenced for statutory rape (and possibly fleeing sentencing). I expect there are now harsher standards for this sort of statutory rape but I don't see any unfairness under the circumstances.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:08 PM
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How is it a matter of line-crossing, and not of a spectrum? Women had less sexual agency, period, and I don't see why that wouldn't color all sexual encounters (to varying degrees.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:08 PM
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Rape has become much more clearly focused over the past few decades in the public eye.

Some days I believe this, some days I don't. See JM's link in 17, for example.

(Scrolling up to find that, I saw 21, which is pitch-perfect.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:09 PM
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That should be "alleged crime".

You are so just trying to provoke people, no? Contraripants McShearer?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:10 PM
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113:Chuck Berry did four years for a violation of the Mann Act around the early 60s.

Weird thing, that Mann Act, in a society that didn't, according to Marcotte, consider child abuse a serious crime.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:11 PM
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117: But people certainly are a lot more comfortable and used to talking about rape and acknowledging that it happens. (Although, as a society, we're certainly not clear whose fault it is.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:12 PM
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112: Eh, when you put it that way, slightly different. What I was thinking of is that I'm pretty sure that there was not a significant portion of the population who would consider drugging and raping a protesting thirteen-year-old the sort of thing that it would be silly or surprising to go to the police over, even in the seventies. That sort of conduct would be very conventionally recognized as genuinely criminal even back then.

Drunk driving, on the other hand, moved from a nudge nudge wink wink everyone does it to the kind of thing you expect to get arrested for between now and then.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:12 PM
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What I was thinking of is that I'm pretty sure that there was not a significant portion of the population who would consider drugging and raping a protesting thirteen-year-old the sort of thing that it would be silly or surprising to go to the police over, even in the seventies.

But there would be a lot of suppression and denial that it occured at all. So it wouldn't manifest with the same type of indulgement that drunk driving did, but it has nevertheless changed dramatically in how it's handled.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:14 PM
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Honestly, bob, since you feel such exquisite pain on the torment of Polanski, I invite you to read the grand jury testimony of the 13yo he drugged and raped.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:15 PM
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I don't have the stomach to go looking for the details, but anybody busy defending the notion that because he pled guilty to statutory rape, that's all he's guilty of, might want to consider that he settled a civil case with the victim, and her testimony (deposition? don't know, don't want to read it) is public.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:16 PM
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There's a Zola novel where a man murders a powerful man for committing similar crimes years before, but he's motivated more by jealousy over his wife, who was the victim, and whom he sees as partly guilty herself, and whom he forces to take part in the crime, than by any sense of justice. Then he becomes a compulsive gambler and his wife begins an affair with a homicidal maniac.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:16 PM
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19: Chuck Berry was black, as was Jack Johnson, the first person to be prosecuted under the same law. The Mann Act was vaguely phrased, and prosecuted inconsistently -- it's not a good guide to conduct that would conventionally be prosecuted.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:17 PM
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107

The point of the statute of limitations isn't about guilt so much as it is about evidence -- courts are reasonably capable of figuring out what happened recently, but it gets harder the further back you go, so you don't want to go too far back unless it's worth it. Once his guilt is admitted, the evidentiary question is gone, and that argument for a statute of limitations is absent.

This is one argument for a statute of limitations and clearly does not apply to Polanski. There is also a mercy argument which may.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:18 PM
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My problem, as I said above, is that I apparently have to "pick the right side" or I am a bad person, a person who tolerates and condones child rape or maybe just hates women. Not only do I have be overjoyed at the Polanski arrest, I am not allowed to have any sense that it is a tragedy for Polanski and his friends.

Somebody above mentioned Demanjuk. Whatever I might have felt about the trial and punishment, I definitely felt uncomfortable observing the blood lust and vengeance of the righteous.

As I felt about the mobbish behavior during the OJ trial. The point against lynching, for me, is not about the guilt or innocence of the perp, nor even about the rule of law (see Reign of Terror of Russian purges) it is about letting the passions rule when directing or observing harm to others.

Sadism is sadism, even when socially approved.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:25 PM
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If we're talking about mercy, I think having him serve the sentence for the statutory rape he pleaded to as opposed to the conduct he actually committed is plenty of mercy -- he got that already. Why he would get more mercy for having avoided the punishment for the lesser crime he bargained down to for a couple of decades, I don't really follow.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:25 PM
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123:I told you I read it, oudemia.

You are testing and measuring my outrage as a measure of my worth.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:27 PM
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128: I'm not actually sure what I should be condemning you for, Bob. I don't think anyone needs you to be overjoyed about anything -- an arrest isn't exactly a joyous occasion, even if it's just.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:29 PM
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124

I don't have the stomach to go looking for the details, but anybody busy defending the notion that because he pled guilty to statutory rape, that's all he's guilty of, might want to consider that he settled a civil case with the victim, and her testimony (deposition? don't know, don't want to read it) is public.

Legally that is the case. As it was for Marcus Dixon .


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:29 PM
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132: So legally there's nothing to talk about with respect to the statute of limitations. If we're talking about justice and mercy, talking about his conduct makes sense. If we're talking about the legalities, he was a fugitive from justice and will be until he serves his sentence, no matter how long it takes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:31 PM
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I think a high profile sentencing and jailing of Polanski would have a great deterrent effect on precisely his class of people--the rich and famous who think that their decadence never counts as criminality.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:31 PM
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129

If we're talking about mercy, I think having him serve the sentence for the statutory rape he pleaded to as opposed to the conduct he actually committed is plenty of mercy -- he got that already. Why he would get more mercy for having avoided the punishment for the lesser crime he bargained down to for a couple of decades, I don't really follow.

Actually I agree but bleeding heart liberals sometimes don't (as with escaped prisoners caught decades later).


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:32 PM
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Since no one else has bothered to ask, I asked myself if I would feel differently if he had murdered that girl in 1976.

Yeah I would, and that is wrong, and I'll look at myself about it.

But I'm still not joining your party. That's a different set of feelings.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:34 PM
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131:Check out the Pandagon comment section in the post titled "Good News" I did.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:35 PM
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130: You did? You told me you read what I linked, and I'd never linked that.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:38 PM
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At least in Europe a major reason for the statute of limitations is the moral case. And IIRC in at least some cases it applies to all crimes, including murder. That's why every Nazi war criminal in Germany has to be tried for 'crimes against humanity', because back in the sixties the Bundestag created that exception to allow for continued prosecution of war crimes without the then twenty year limit applying.

There's also a long ongoing debate on the issue in Poland as regards Stalinist crimes. Again, the only arguments used by either side are moral ones. Guilt is not in question. Right wing governments have issued extradition requests for individuals residing in Britain, Israel, and Sweden. The governments there have uniformly told them no, to the satisfaction of the Polish center and left, and infuriating the right.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:47 PM
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137:I sought it out on my own. As I suppose, I will check out Feministing.

I do read Pandagon, for all I might sometimes or in part disagree. I recognize they do engage in polemic over there, and probably should cut them more slack than I did in 114.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:50 PM
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140 to 138


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 5:51 PM
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Neddy Merrill at EotAW:

I'm wondering how much of the online defenses come from easy contrarianism (google a little, read about the documentary, cite some facts about "statutory" and "judicial misconduct") and how much comes from more disturbing attitudes.

Okayyyyy. Glad she gave me two choices.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 6:18 PM
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In case it hasnt been linked to before, some of the pleadings are at the ling:

http://www.talkleft.com/story/2009/9/27/125534/608


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 6:37 PM
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Ya know, we went thru something like this the other night, when I wouldn't instantly and uncritically accept the word of MacKenzie Phillips about her father. Habitual liar, drug fiend, new book out, last busted September 2008, yet I was made to feel that doubts about MP equated to general rape or incest denialism, or some other attack on feminist solidarity.

Going back thru this thread, a lot of it was really ugly and accusatory, far out of proportion to what I said. I never even overtly opposed extradition. I certainly never denied the crime, or the severity of the crime.

Got me, I guess. Disturbing attitudes. Absolutely.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 6:44 PM
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I feel like I need to preface this with an all-caps CHILD RAPISTS SHOULD BE PUNISHED, but the story that Witt and Oudemia report above, and that bothers Heebie, comes from the victim's Grand Jury testimony -- it's a gruesome and horrific story if true, and maybe it is true, but it is hardly established as fact. (Indeed, I can't really imagine commenters here taking testimony before a Grand Jury as gospel truth in other contexts).

For whatever reason -- and there are probably lots of reasons, including lack of physical evidence or the prosecutor's uncertainty about the victim's testiony -- the LA DA's office, which was not exactly known at the time as a bunch of star-struck pushovers, decided it would accept a plea on the statutory rape charge alone rather than risking trial on the more serious charges; when the judge balked at the sentence for that deal, Polanski fled.

There's no reason to exonerate the guy; what we do know is that Polanski committed statutory rape, had a really disturbing thing for young girls, and was a fugitive from justice. Personally, I'm all in favor of extraditing him and prosecuting him for the statutory rape charge he confessed to and for his evasion of the legal process, and I hope he gets locked up. That's almost certainly what will happen. But the worst allegations against him weren't pursued by the state and there's no real way of knowing from the outside whether or not they are accurate.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 6:54 PM
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Jeralyn Merritt, from link at 143.

Regardless of the offense, he was entitled to be treated fairly. He gave up his right to a trial in exchange for a sentence concession that was going to be denied him. He should be entitled, at a minimum, to withdraw the plea. If there was misconduct on the part of the prosecutor or judge, the case should be dismissed.

In the 30 plus years he's been gone, he's lived under a cloud and the threat of extradition. He hasn't committed another crime. He's not a threat to anyone.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 6:54 PM
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I am not allowed to have any sense that it is a tragedy for Polanski and his friends.

Have that sense all you want, just expect that people might point out that it's totally perverse. We're not talking about an tragic accident, we're talking about a man who willfully avoided facing the consequences of forcibly violating a 13 year old girl. Most people don't give a fuck how this affects Polanski, and rightfully so.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 6:57 PM
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But the worst allegations against him weren't pursued by the state

This is true. And I too will say, sure, you're right, his victim's case never went to trial. But we should also be clear that the victim's mother actively encouraged the plea agreement because she didn't want to subject her daughter to a trial. Why? Well, here's a quote from Polanski's lawyers: ""The facts indicate that before the alleged acts in this case the girl had engaged in sexual activity. We want to know about it, we want to know who was involved, when, we want to know why these other people were not prosecuted. It's something we want to fully develop."

Although Polanski was indicted on about 5 felonies, he plead only to stat rape because the victim's mother didn't want her ripped apart on the stand. So, yes, it's only her word for it, but I am made genuinely ill by how very much rapists benefit from the (entirely justified) fear their victims have of trial.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 7:00 PM
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144: I wouldn't believe MacKenzie Phillips if she said it was hot in the Valley or the sky is a dirty blue with crap in it. She's addled.

Polansky is a different case. If he were some middle or lower class shlump who finally got caught there wouldn't be the slightest protest. But Polanski is an artist. Bah!


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 7:02 PM
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In reading her Grand Jury testimony that she had sex twice before (or with two prior partners>??), all I could wonder was whether the prior times were consensual or whether she had been put in bad situations previously.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 7:03 PM
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yet I was made to feel that doubts about MP equated to general rape or incest denialism, or some other attack on feminist solidarity.

If you were made to feel that way, it was a product of your own mind. Here's the thread.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 7:04 PM
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143: Yeah, in the guilty plea proceedings the judge asks RP if he understands that the sentencing provisions can be withdrawn and RP answers yes.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 7:08 PM
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Although Polanski was indicted on about 5 felonies, he plead only to stat rape because the victim's mother didn't want her ripped apart on the stand

Is this the reason?

I would suspect that there were multiple reasons.

But, her mother does not sound so great to me. A 13 year old put in really bad situations on multiple times. I'm not awarding her parents any parent of the year awards.

(Apparently, this goes for almost all parents of young models.)


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 7:10 PM
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152:

Yes. But, I am guessing that his lawyers told him that the risk was small since the prosecutor and lawyers were all supporting it.

A criminal defendant facing 5 felony counts where he could get many years in jail isnt exactly "freely" choosing to plead guilty. They are told "You are looking at a long trial where you might go to jail for years. Under this plea, you will be ok."


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 7:14 PM
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154: Oh sure. But because of that stupid documentary, people have decided that the judge determining that 42 days under psychiatric evaluation was not the deal was outrageous and unheard of and OMG he reneged! It's "breach of contract"!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 7:21 PM
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155:people have decided

People like Jeralyn Merritt?

Who has studied the case and the briefs and is still outraged.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 7:24 PM
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Bob your arguments from authority fail to impress. The notion that it is beyond the bounds of reason for a judge to decide that the provisional agreement is not satisfied when RP manages to serve fewer than half of the days in the psych prison than were agreed to is absurd. Judges deny plea agreements all the time.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 7:29 PM
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149

I agree, I just happen to draw the opposite conclusion from that.


Btw, just curious how many of you felt the same way when they caught that woman involved in a Weatherman murder several years ago? No ambivalence? A feeling that anyone expressing any sympathy for the criminal was a bit fucked up? I certainly recall plenty of such views being expressed at the time. And we're talking murder, i.e. an even more serious crime than this one. I had mixed feelings then too. But I guess I'm just a bleeding heart liberal, unlike the hardcore law and order types around here.

Again, it's been over thirty years. Does that really make no difference to you? The idea that people don't evolve once they're adults is crazy.

There is no deterrence question here since it's not like we don't punish child rape these days. Nor is he a threat to society. If he is jailed this will be punishment as vengeance and nothing more. I'm not saying that punishment for its own sake isn't a reasonable part of the equation, but when it's the only one and we're talking about such a lapse in time between crime and punishment?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 7:29 PM
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I don't understand 21.


Posted by: mathy kathy | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 7:30 PM
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And we're talking murder, i.e. an even more serious crime than this one.

Actually it was "felony murder" -- the most ridiculous crime in the world. She sat in a getaway car while someone murdered a bank guard. That is in no way more serious than drugging and raping a child.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 7:33 PM
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159: The AP accidentally published their story notes in place of the story. That's what the reporters were saying to each other.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 7:34 PM
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To be fair, Jeralyn is hardly unbiased. She is a an unabashed advocate for criminal defendants.

A recomendation from a prosecutor is rarely rejected. I'm not surprised he freaked out. I also would not take much into his pleading guilty. (parts of her grand jury testimony give me pause...) The deal sounds too good to risk going to trial.

Having said that, he should be locked up for fleeing, even if he was completely innocent.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 7:34 PM
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162: Even when the provisional sentence is you go to the psych prison for 90 days and are released in 42?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 7:36 PM
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But we should also be clear that the victim's mother actively encouraged the plea agreement because she didn't want to subject her daughter to a trial. "

Maybe that's what happened. Or maybe the state didn't care about the mother's wishes but cut a plea deal because there wasn't enough evidence. Or maybe the mother had her doubts about the story and wanted her daughter to cut a plea deal. In any event, the story behind the plea deal is something we don't know and can't figure out without more evidence, which isn't publicly available.

Or, what Will said. Again, not trying to in any way exonerate Polanski, I just don't think that treating allegations that weren't subject to discovery or cross-examination as gospel truth is particularly helpful.

And of course 155 is correct. It's important to remember that all the judge was threatening to do was to add a relatively small amount of prison time as part of the sentence for statutory rape. In context, as far as I can tell, Polanski's actions are pretty weird -- the judge was considering giving him a relatively short prison sentence for statutory rape, as opposed to probation, and he goes all fugitive and can't come back to the USA for 30 years? Not a good move.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 7:37 PM
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I am not saying that it never happens. It does.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 7:38 PM
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She is a an unabashed advocate for criminal defendants.

The kind of bias I like.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 7:39 PM
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Why is that ridiculous, at least in this case? You take part in an armed robbery you know there is a serious risk of someone getting killed. It's not like a situation where two guys go out to burgle a house, and to the complete shock of one of the two the other decides to kill someone while he's at it.

What I find disturbing in this and other such threads is a sense that many otherwise liberal people start sounding like dyed in the wool conservative law and order types when it comes to rape (and vice versa). You get that with Biohazard's comment on how nobody would care if it were some random working class guy. I suspect that if we were talking about a working class guy who murdered someone back in the mid seventies and lived a crime free life ever since he at least wouldn't have the same anger. You get it on issues of reasonable doubt when it comes to acquaintance rape (I remember during the Kobe case numerous liberals praising the reports that in Colorado you can get convicted on the accuser's testimony alone), and on a general glee in the idea of punishment, rather than seeing it as an unfortunately necessary part of maintaining a decent society.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:04 PM
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You don't see a difference in moral guilt between sitting in a getaway car while someone robs a bank and drugging and raping a child?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:08 PM
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Having said that, he should be locked up for fleeing, even if he was completely innocent.

Is innocence even a possibility? My understanding was that he admitted to having sex with her, but said it was consensual. So even if the judge did balk at the deal, he was at most facing doing the other half of the 90 days for banging a 13 year old.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:12 PM
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Do we really want to debate which is worse?

Participating in a crime with a high likelihood of death v. a rape of a child?

Cant we just agree that neither is good?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:12 PM
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169:

I just meant that even a completely innocent person shouldnt be rewarded for fleeing.

Did he admit it outside his admission for the plea?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:14 PM
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What if you had to rape a child to save your life?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:14 PM
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I am generally in agreement with teraz kurwa my on the question of time as a mitigating factor as a general principle, subject to certain exceptions, but I guess I see the active and quite public evasion of sentencing as being different than being out of sight for decades, found, and then facing the question of prosecution for the first time. Keeping people from walking out on their sentences is also an unfortunately necessary part of maintaining a decent society.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:14 PM
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There really is a deterence factor for letting people know that you will get dealt with whenever you are caught, even if it is 30 years later.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:16 PM
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Did he admit it outside his admission for the plea?

My understanding is that his lawyers did not deny that RP had sex with the victim.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:17 PM
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I cant get too disturbed about consensual sex with a 15 yr old or a 16 yr old, but 13??!?!?! That is just horrible.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:20 PM
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There really is a deterence factor for letting people know that you will get dealt with whenever you are caught, even if it is 30 years later.

Is there? I'm generally skeptical about deterrence claims, but there probably are some situations where they work.

Where's neb been?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:22 PM
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176: really?

Doesn't it depend...100%...on how mature the teenager is? People mature at different ages. Hannah Montana, for example.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:25 PM
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Cant we just agree that neither is good?

Right on.

[By the way, I'm not sure what fugitive Weatherman you're talking about; the recently-discovered '60s fugitive, Sarah Jane Olson (SLA, not Weather Underground) pled guilty to setting pipe bombs that were intended to kill LAPD officers in their cars, and also pled guilty to felony murder for her role in a planned, heavily armed robbery where there was evidence that she had kicked a pregnant woman before she was killed. Kathy Boudin, who was in the Weather Underground, was convicted of felony murder in the early 1980s].

In any case, I don't think there's a lot of need to condemn Polanski based on things that we don't really know about the case. What we do know is enough -- statutory rape plus fugitive status should equal serious punishment.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:30 PM
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I don't think it will be a horrible injustice if he is sent to jail for a couple years. The best case scenario is that he plied a thirteen year old girl with alcohol, got her zonked out on ludes and then she 'consented' to have sex with him. But I'm not going to be particularly thrilled either. As Bob said, he's and old man who's been through a lot, and he committed this crime a long, long time ago. EB's argument about deterrence for skipping out on a sentence is good. But I think I'd prefer a short stint in jail.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:47 PM
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I think I'd prefer a short stint in jail.

The man's 76. How long of a stint can he even get?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 8:58 PM
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I'm pretty sure 76-year-olds have been sentenced to 200-year sentences in the past.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:00 PM
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By short I mean on the order of a year. But then I also think that the longest possible sentence for anything should be twenty to life, with time after twenty only being imposed if the person clearly poses a danger.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:07 PM
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104

There really aren't different standards relating to drugging and anally raping thirteen-year-olds now than there were in the seventies, though. That was condemned then just like it is now. There are probably different standards now for having 'consensual' sex with sixteen-year-olds, but that doesn't apply at all to Polanski's crime.

By the victim's testimony available here Polanski offered the victim half a Quaalude which she took voluntarily. She also voluntarily drank a lot of Champagne. She testified that although she verbally protested she did not really physically resist the sex. Nor were threats or weapons involved. And she testified (p. 30) that she was so intoxicated that:

I can barely remember anything that happened.

And contra 69 (unless I missed it) the crying was in the car afterwards. This is the sort of date rape situation that for an adult victim would be difficult to prosecute.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:08 PM
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|| totally OT, but...I took my car to the supposedly very good local garage to change the oil. I drove 200+ miles this weekend on a trip, and smelled this funny burning exhaust smell a good part of the way. When I got home my front hood was covered with an oily substance. Upon opening the hood, the cap on top of the big thing that contains the oil (what is that, the oil pan?) was neatly removed and placed off to the side, leaving the oil pan open, and presumably oil splashing out. The guy at the garage had never screwed it back on.

How much damage could have been done to my engine by this? Just chew them out and get my oil changed again, or should I be checking for something else that might have been caused by this? I know nothing about cars, but this is fucking annoying, this car has been working welll for me for 10 years and I'd hate to see it screwed up by something this stupid ||>


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:12 PM
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the big thing that contains the oil (what is that, the oil pan?)

Crank case. Oil pan is on the underside of the engine.

Only 200 miles, and assuming the engine didn't overheat, you're probably all right. Get it changed again and tell them to put the damn cap on this time.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:21 PM
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How much damage could have been done to my engine by this?

Just makes a mess, really. Nothing to worry about. Your oil light would come long before enough splashed out to make your engine lock up. It's a pretty easy mistake to make. You can probably get a free oil change or two out of it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:23 PM
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That exact same thing happened to my mom and I once (well, except that we had left the cap off ourselves while putting in more oil at a gas station). We filled it up and it was fine.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:25 PM
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Thanks guys. Just knowing that it's called the "crank case" will win me more credibility at the garage.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled quarrel over statutory rape....


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:25 PM
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185

How much oil was left? If you still had plenty of oil I would guess you are ok.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:26 PM
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This reminds me that I need to replace the windshield wipers for my car. It's supposedly easy to do.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:29 PM
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So spilling oil all over everything else under the hood is nothing to worry about?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:29 PM
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So spilling oil all over everything else under the hood is nothing to worry about?

Pretty much. The worst it's likely to do is create a lot of smoke when it heats up.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:31 PM
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I think it all depends on whether your crankcase agreed to have its cap removed voluntarily.

184, while utterly conventional, is nevertheless still both pathetic and horrible.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:32 PM
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Well, actually, it's probably on the rocker arm cover. That's the usually where the oil fill caps go. (Unless, of course, they left the dipstick out, but that actually goes into the oil pan.)

Anyways, that's the top of the engine and the only reason that cover is there is to keep the oil in as it it splashed over the top of head, and to keep the dust out. In the old days, (pre-1964) that use to vent to the world, which kept pressure from building up inside the engine. So somebody invented the PCV, and voila, they cut pollution in half.

So you just lost some oil and made a lot of pollution. If the bolt was missing from the oil pan (at the bottom of the engine) then all your oil would have run onto the ground as you drove off (or before then, even) and then the little idiot light would've come on and eventually the engine would've seized. But you wouldn't have had any oil on the hood, because there would have been no oil in the engine to splash out.

So, no problem.

max
['As Teo says, just add a quart, after you check the fill level.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:41 PM
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One time, I pulled the hood release on our older car. The handle came off, frayed cable on the end. If I wouldn't have been checking my own oil, this probably would have happened to a mechanic who might have had to fix it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 9:55 PM
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185: Literally, the exact same thing happened to me too - went to the garage with the best reputation in the city, they left it off, etc. However, mine happened to fall off the top of the engine block while I was driving - as I was turning into my parking space, actually, which at least alerted me to it faster (and then meant I spent 15 minutes inspecting the engine to ensure nothing else had gone wrong).

This reminds me that I need to replace the windshield wipers for my car. It's supposedly easy to do.

This is true and not true. I swear, every model is different, and they all install in slightly different ways, and it is really hard to remember the trick from year to year. The worst was when I realized I needed to change my wiper blades before heading back to CA from Oregon down I-5 in the middle of a bad rainstorm. I stopped at a Kragen's look-alike, bought my wipers, and then proceeded to not be able to get off the wipers already on my car, as I had forgotten how they worked. An older man attempted to help me, but he too was mystified. By this time, I resembled a drowned rat and had wasted a good half hour. I decided to appeal to the men that worked in the store. One of them of course managed to do it in about 5 seconds, to my chagrin. I've been changing my own blades since I had a car (at 13), so it was a complete blow to the ego to have to give up and admit defeat, but at least I did manage to get home safe and sound. (Moral of the story - it shouldn't be that hard, but if it is, auto parts store workers are generally very nice. About four different men volunteered to help, some of them not even workers! Just make sure you look really, really pathetic.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:05 PM
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Oh, and I'm sure someone will chime in that of course changing wipers is easy, and I'm perfectly willing to agree; I just happen to be terribly unintuitive at mechanical things despite my attempts to be self-sufficient.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:07 PM
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197: I lost wiper blades on the interstate once. First rain after I'd changed them. Now, I'm more careful.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:08 PM
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198: And I didn't post 199 just to prove you wrong.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:09 PM
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195: that makes a lot of sense. That thing was polluting old school -- my throat is even a little raw from sucking down that smoke when I was driving.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:09 PM
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I got the blades on Friday, so I'll be trying to change them in the building garage with no one around if I need help. But it will be better than being stuck in the rain doing it. I figure that if it doesn't involve special tools, I'll eventually get it.

And hey, it's not like it rains around here, right?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:09 PM
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You'll be fine. And mine required no more special tool than a pen cap.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:11 PM
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I think my mistake was running the spray/wipers on I-5 around sunset to try to clear out some of the remains of the Central Valley's bugs. The next day I noticed one of the blades had split, but at least the arm was still connected to the car. I really hated those wipers compared to the previous ones, so I'm replacing both in the hopes that it will be an improvement.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:14 PM
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Central Valley's bugs

Driving through the rice paddies will do that to a car. (Though the worst bugs I've ever encountered were in the Utah desert before Great Salt Lake.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:20 PM
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Before Great Salt Lake? You mean, like, in the Pleistocene?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:22 PM
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205: Too young to remember Windows '95?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:24 PM
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Parenthetical's been driving since she was 13, apparently. The earth was young too, then.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:28 PM
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I don't know where Parenthetical is from, but back where I was raised, you can get a school permit at 14 or a farm permit at 13. Both of these are limited, but nobody would call the cops or anything if they saw a 13 year-old driving unless they knew the kid had caused problems or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:37 PM
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And yet that same 13-year-old has no standing to consent to other coveted adult activities which have far less potential for mayhem than the operation of a 60mph motorcar or combine harvester.

Où est la justice?


Posted by: Opinionated Grandpa | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:50 PM
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Before Great Salt Lake? You mean, like, in the Pleistocene?

Of course. No, properly, I meant west of the Great Salt Lake. (Which yes, we all knew, but I felt the need to identify the cardinal direction this go around.)

208, 209: Oh, I couldn't drive it until I was 17. But, nonetheless, I had a car at 13. (It needed about 4 years of sporadic work on the weekends to make it road-worthy. And it took me that long to pay my step-dad back.) When I was feeling particularly angsty, around 14 or so, I would sit in it in the drive way and listen to the radio. Ah, the places we went.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:55 PM
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Stationary cars don't really need new wiper blades very frequently. Just remember to clean the leaves out from under the hood or they shoot into the car when you turn-on the heater.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 10:58 PM
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Polish minister of culture in a discussion on the main Polish new channel last night:

This is yet another sign of Obama's hostility to Poland, coming after the denial of visas to a Polish musical act, a general refusal to resolve the visa question and the abandonment of the missile shield [admittedly truly boneheaded timing by the US on the latter]. A pardon would be an excellent step to show the Obama still loves Poland. All the participants in the roundtable apparently agreed that genius has its privileges.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 11:24 PM
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west of the Great Salt Lake

Ah, I-80 from Salt Lake to Reno. A contender for the most god forsaken stretch of highway in the country.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 11:27 PM
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Just remember to clean the leaves out from under the hood or they shoot into the car when you turn-on the heater.

Or get stuck and make a funny burning smell. Or a constant rattle that you can just barely hear over the comforting putt-putt of a VW engine.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 11:37 PM
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214: Heat, hear. I've never been, but my folks drive back and forth across the country every year, and that is their second-least loved stretch.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 11:44 PM
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214, 216: The "Prison Area: Don't Pick Up Hitchhikers" signs really make it for me.

I find that part of the desert almost beautiful, but it is too alien, too dry, too desolate to truly make it all the way to beautiful (for me). Isolated spots - away from 80 - can be really lovely, though.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 11:47 PM
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214 216

It's not so bad. High speed limit, light traffic, what more do you want? The stretch south of Chicago on the other hand ...


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-27-09 11:53 PM
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The thing that creeps me out about that stretch of I-80 is that it seems half the people who live there are living in prisons. I remember passing 3 prisons and 3 very small towns.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 12:01 AM
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The only place my parents truly loathe is the stretch through wyoming. The altitude fucks with them, and apparently this portion of 80 is unlovely and insufficiently looed.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 12:05 AM
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Prisons aren't just for I-80, though.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 12:59 AM
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167: I'm not angry, I just don't care if Polanski doesn't like going to jail. He perhaps should have thought of that possibility. It's not as if 13YOs weren't considered jail bait back then. The same thing goes for fugitives from the 60's. You got caught? That's too bad, sorry to hear it, meanwhile I've got something defrosting in the microwave...

As for oil changes my advice is, never trust anyone. Check for leakage and the proper levels as soon as you can after leaving the shop. Even competent mechanics get distracted on occasion.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:38 AM
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I handled appeals for people who spent years in prison for far less despicable crimes. They didn't have the spare change to run off to France, so they served their time. Fuck Polanski and his privilege.


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 7:33 AM
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223: Also -- 48 days. That's what the judge wanted him to serve. Surely we can all understand why he fled?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 7:35 AM
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What Di said.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 7:38 AM
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Also, the "30 years in exile" bullshit? Since when is a public life making a shitload of money openly flaunting the fact that you shirked your debt to society considered "exile"?


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 7:45 AM
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224:I'm sorry, and I should go research it, but my impression was that the additional "48 days" was not in a prison (San Quentin), but in a psychiatric institution for observation and assessment.

And once in one of those places, it can be much harder to ever get out than to get out of San Quentin.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 7:51 AM
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72
Deterrence? We all know better

Prosecuting Polanski would, sure, have very little value for deterring the stereotypical pedophile in the general public - some creepy uncle who likes kids a little too much. However, it might be far more useful for deterring the typical rapist in the film/fashion industry.

That being said, 128 is fair enough. Compare this thread to the previous two. I've never heard of Roman Polanski before this(1), but John Yoo has caused more harm and is probably a worse person, to the limited extent that any of us can say that about people we only know through the media. But 90 percent of the Yoo thread are jokes or off-topic. Fine, we don't want to talk about it, probably because it's depressing(2). But piling on the monster who has been arrested while ignoring the one who hasn't is irrational.

Disclaimer: 148 is also right, of course. The system sucks.

(1) The name sounds familiar, but I'm not sure I could have placed it a week ago. I've heard of some of his movies, but never seen any.

(2) I almost offered to chip in $20, encouraging others to do the same, to get bob a round-trip ticket to Berkeley so he could take the law into his own hands, but, meh, more Internet tough-guy talk that probably wouldn't amount to anything.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 7:57 AM
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RP got out easily enough. He was sentenced to 90 days psychiatric evaluation in Chino State. He was released after only 42 of them. This prompted the judge to incline towards having RP serve the remaining days of the initial sentence. He invited both the prosecutors and RP's lawyers to convince him otherwise. RP ran away.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 7:58 AM
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Wiki:

Chino

Following the plea agreement, according to the documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, the court ordered Polanski to report to a state prison for a 90-day psychiatric evaluation, but granted a stay of ninety days to allow him to complete his current project. Under the terms set by the court, he was permitted to travel abroad. Polanski returned to California and reported to Chino State Prison for the evaluation period, and was released after 42 days. On February 1, 1978, Polanski fled to London, where he maintained residency.

As I remember from the documentary, Polanski was terrified from the first 42 days of the diagnosis and assessment that the prison shrinks might put on him. As I understand current law, a bad psych assessment can in some states keep you incarcerated way beyond your trial sentence. Like, forever.

This was not merely 48 days behind bars and out.

oudemia, you know this stuff. I am disappointed.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 8:00 AM
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He already had his psych evaluation, bob. He was determined not to be a sexual psychopath or whatever the arcane term was after the initial 42 days. Clean bill of health there. The remaining 48 days -- if ever such a thing were to be! RP ran away, so who knows! -- were to make up for what the judge at this point thought was special treatment.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 8:04 AM
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||

Huzzah! The rain has cleared, and so Iris & I will not need windshield wipers to bike to the final baseball game of the year (here, anyway). I'd also like to thank the Jews for giving Iris a day off.

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 8:05 AM
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What, they might have thought something was wrong with a guy who was unrepentant about sodomizing a drugged 13 year old? Weird.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 8:05 AM
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232: You are welcome, JRoth!

But, I, being a Very Bad Jew indeed, am at work.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 8:10 AM
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But wait, bob. Now you are actually trying to justify his flight at the time? Before you stuck to something along the lines of "Oh, water under the bridge." But now he was right to run away. Does this go for all child rapists, or just sensitive artists?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 8:11 AM
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231:The judge did permit P to run out his sentence in county lockup, for instance, but sent him back for further psych evaluation. Considering the changing positions of the judge and the horrible political climate, I think Polanski had reason to worry about a re-diagnosis.

233:I am just trying to show that Polanski might have had reasonable reasons to run.

I, like teraz above, am just a little shocked at the trust and faith blog liberals are putting in the criminal justice system here. But I was just as shocked during the OJ trial.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 8:13 AM
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235:Not justify, just explain.

Not in an attempt to defend or excuse, but just to try to get at the truth and fair treatment under the law.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 8:15 AM
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And fair treatment in the court of public opinion


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 8:16 AM
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the horrible political climate

Spin this one out in greater detail? What was horrible about the political climate at the time that was relevant to Polanski?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 8:28 AM
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I think Polanski had every reason to be concerned that he would get more than just another 45 days. He had every reason to want to run and avoid this situation.

However, he should not have run. So he should be punished for running.

Let him withdraw his guilty plea, set the case for trial in 8 months. Hold him without bond. Then, try the case and let the chips fall where they may.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 8:30 AM
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He will then be found guilty of fleeing, given some lengthy sentence...maybe time served.

He may or may not be found guilty of rape. He may or may not get more time.

It is important to go after people who flee.


Having said all of that, I would rather the enormous cost of all of this go toward rehabilitation programs in the California jail system.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 8:32 AM
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But, I, being a Very Bad Jew indeed, am at work.

Just more to atone for!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 8:35 AM
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239:1) The right hated Polanski for a variety of reasons, before and beyond the case

2) Like any celebrity scandal or trial, there were those who just like to watch the mighty and privileged fall

3) Or I don't know why these things happen, just as I didn't understand why the nation turned en masse against Jon Benet's parents.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 8:39 AM
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He had every reason to want to run and avoid this situation.

Sure. It's been years since I read up on this, but as I recall his defense basically consisted of, "she's no virgin, she banged me to further her career". I imagine his lawyers informed him "that 13 year old wanted drunken anal" wasn't going to play too well in any setting.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 8:39 AM
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Frankly, I'm kind of amazed that they allowed him to finish his current project before he had to report for teh evaluation.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 8:41 AM
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245 see 164

We don't know why the prosecution and judge acted as they did, and that's part of my point.

I don't accept the girl's grand jury testimony as dispositive not because I disbelieve her, I just don't know, but because it's grand jury testimony.

The Jon Benet story maddened me, and if you play like this with Polanski, it is also Jon Benet's parents who will suffer,


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 8:59 AM
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I heard that Polanski molested Jon Benet's parents.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 9:01 AM
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246: Dude, this is crazy. Polanski pleaded guilty to having sex with a thirteen-year-old. There's no question about whether they got the wrong guy, the only 'doubt' is over the precise circumstances. That's got nothing to do with Jon-Benet-'s parents who, IIRC, didn't kill their daughter.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 9:05 AM
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236
I am just trying to show that Polanski might have had reasonable reasons to run.

In his own mind, I'm sure "I don't want to go to jail" is a reasonable reason. So what?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 9:13 AM
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Dude, Mcmanus read something into my comment that I didn't intend at all. I am genuinely flabbergasted that they thought it was important for him to finish his work when the crime involved was rape. (You can wait to sentence an Enron crook, since they're not going to be doing more harm in the interim.) I also don't understand why the judge let him travel abroad. I mean, he was clearly a flight risk, and that's not just in hind sight.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 9:23 AM
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McManus, you've gotten addressed as Dude twice in five comments. Dude, that's something.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 9:31 AM
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I also don't understand why the judge let him travel abroad.

Because they had a really lousy case, and because the plea bargain had been settled on time served and any further hearings would just be formalities? Until the judge changed his mind.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 9:35 AM
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252: Alternate hypothesis -- because the movie industry is very powerful in California?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 9:41 AM
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246:LB, I just don't like the way these sensational cases are discussed in public forums, internet or mass media. It may or may not have any effect on the real justice system, although it appears the judge in the Polanski case changed his mind based on public pressure.

I also think the public discourse may have affected OJ's civil trial. I am almost old enough to remember Sam Shepard. LGM thinks Texas executed an innocent man.

But whatever, it just bugs me, like a lot of bullshit in politics, media, and society bugs me.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 9:41 AM
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252: The judge wasn't asking for anything of him other than what he had agreed to -- 90 days. He served 42 and decided that was enough.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 9:44 AM
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Not to derail things, but The Fearless Vampire Killers, Rosemary's Baby and even Chinatown aren't that great. It's not like people are suggesting that we burn a bunch of Turner's sketches and watercolors thank you very much John Ruskin The Virgin of the Rocks because da Vinci is responsible for the publication of the works of Dan Brown.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 9:47 AM
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It is a good thing that Thomas Kinkade never raped a child. It would be difficult to put such a genius behind bars.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 9:48 AM
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Because they had a really lousy case

Polanski cut a deal because the prosecutors had his jizz in a 13yo's panties.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 9:49 AM
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256:Repulsion is that great. The Pianist is pretty good, but mostly Brody. I like The Tenant but I would. Then there is schlock like Frantic

I am not a strong fan of Polanski in any way, nor do I think he should get special treatment. That translates to me to every defendant, regardless of income or status, getting the very best legal defense, since the criminal justice system is corrupt and ha overwhelming power.

Anybody else follow Digby's series on the use of tasers?

I am never on the side of law enforcement.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 10:00 AM
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I am never on the side of law enforcement.

Doesn't it depend on the law?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 10:05 AM
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Digby's latest before last had cops tasering a double amputee, in his wheelchair, in his doorway, during a domestic dispute call.

It isn't just crack versus powder, it isn't just unequal sentencing in death trials, it is the whole criminal justice system top to bottom that is corrupt, racist, classist, compromised beyond repair.

They sure don't need my help or support, and I won't give them any.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 10:07 AM
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"Roman Polanski has refused to be extradited from Switzerland to the United States over a 1977 underage sex case, the filmmaker's lawyer said on Monday."

No means no!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 10:12 AM
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cops tasering a double amputee, in his wheelchair, in his doorway, during a domestic dispute call.

I can top this story. There was this guy who gave a 13-year-old champagne and quaaludes and then vaginally and anally raped her. The state decided to sentence him to a 90-day psychiatric evaluation, but he flees the country after six weeks. Because he is a famous movie director, he gets documentaries and Washington Post columns dedicated to his defense.

Simple proof that our criminal justice system is a joke. That's why I think they should just leave Polanski alone. I can never side with these bastards.


Posted by: Commenter-in-exile | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 10:14 AM
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My concern about the quality of bob's trolling in this thread were apparently premature. Well done, bob. I was dismayed that you saved the lynch mob comparison for CT, because when it comes to trolling, that is the serious shit.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 10:16 AM
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262:What are you saying, RP shouldn't have the right to contest his extradition? You find the exercise of his legal rights objectionable?

Maybe we should use rendition, or just hang him from the gates of the US Embassy.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 10:20 AM
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I'm in love with 263.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 10:54 AM
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I think I'd rather be anally raped than tasered. It's hard to deal in these unmeasurables, though.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 10:56 AM
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Send Polanski to Gitmo. Perhaps an artistic film can be made from the experience.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 11:16 AM
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Chinatown, Repulsion, and Knife in the Water are all superb. Other films vary from so-so to good. Lots of other great films out there by folks aren't rapists if you can't watch Polanski flicks without that bothering you. It's not like avoiding any brilliant artist whose opinions are/were nauseating. (Though you might want to skip the Caravaggio rooms in museums)


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 11:21 AM
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Leech!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 11:22 AM
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250: Probably some pressure from a studio. Replacing a director or star in the middle of something costs lots.

(It's also why the generic advice is "always shoot the nude scenes first")


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 11:35 AM
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261 is amazing. Really high quality stuff you're giving us, bob. The rarefied heights of trollitude.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 11:37 AM
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(It's also why the generic advice is "always shoot the nude scenes first")

Is that so you can blackmail the star if he/she threatens to drop out?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 11:46 AM
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270. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. How 'bout them ACORNs!


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 11:56 AM
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272:Close

Actresses sometimes sign contracts including nude scenes and then after the film is half-shot, refuse to do them.

Since nude scenes also involve very large bonus payments for major stars, the refusal can be a way to renegotiate in the middle of a shoot.

Sometimes it is shyness ( or integrity, whatever you like) but sometimes it is simply about money.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 12:01 PM
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bah 275 to 273


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 12:01 PM
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I've never heard of Roman Polanski before this

This is the kind of remark that makes me realize that, really, I am getting old, I'm not just imagining it.

Since when is a public life making a shitload of money openly flaunting the fact that you shirked your debt to society considered "exile"?

Yeah. The infinitesimal amount of sympathy that I have for Polanski in this case is diminished even more by the knowledge that he's spent the last thirty years living a pretty rich and rewarding life. In light of Bob's scathing condemnation of the entire justice system, I'm willing to just throw Polanski to the weasels and be done with him.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 12:04 PM
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273:There is of course also the fact that many actors don't like nude or sex scenes, and the set and work can suffer in the anticipation. This can be true even for romantic kisses, especially with younger actors. There can be new tensions or conflicts arising on the set, where actors take a dislike to each other.

The actor can always try to persuade the director and producers to remove the nude scene, or change the way it is shot. Fair play. Of course if the contracted scene is removed at the director's discretion, the actor gets to keep the contracted bonus.

The union has worked some of the policies.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 12:21 PM
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I am never on the side of law enforcement.

ARE YOU SURE ABOUT THAT?


Posted by: OPINIONATED HENRY LOUIS GATES | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 12:25 PM
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277:If Polanski were to have a heart attack or get shot by a feminist tomorrow, I would not mourn for a moment. Celebration would be discreet for reasons of taste. I didn't celebrate Saddam's or Novak's deaths, publicly.

But the justice system is not an extension of my preferences or a tool for exercising power. Nor do I serve. Kinda like an army or military in that respect. I do not identify with the levers of power. Power corrupts, all the way down.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 12:30 PM
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279:I have been known to troll.

Levers of power are like everywhere, aren't they? Even blog comment sections.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 12:32 PM
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#280. Comity, then! Weasels at dawn it is.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 12:36 PM
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Robert Halford is doing some decent commenting over at EotAW, saying much of what I have been saying, but including all the comforting caveats that I try to avoid.

Halford:"What we have is the victim's grand jury testimony which was leaked and made public. That is no more, and no less, than one-sided grand jury testimony."

Dana:"The thing is, to the best of my knowledge, no one's disputing the grand jury testimony"

Halford:"Polanski has always disputed her story about what happened, so it's not like the facts are undisputed."

Halford:"Apparently there is some evidence that the girl brought her own quaaludes with her."

I am not that articulate or careful, but I knew it wouldn't matter, the whole tone and point of the lynch mob was to argue in bad faith for a good cause.

oudemia, shall I trust you on other subjects in the future?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 2:57 PM
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Excuse me what did I say that was in bad faith, bob?

Halford is happy to introduce vague theories like "her quaaludes she brought herself" -- something I've never heard -- but thinks we need to dismiss out of hand any inclination to believe her grand jury testimony. And you're happy to repeat this unsourced and unsworn gossip (unlike grand jury testimony!). Whose faith is bad?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 3:02 PM
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Compare this thread to the previous two.

Then, compare it with years of threads about Yoo, Guantanamo, torture, indefinite detention, and related matters. Then add in the fact that some people commenting here have worked in their non-commenting lives either directly or indirectly on these issues. Then count the number of Polanski threads and the number of comments on those threads again.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 3:03 PM
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Roman Polanksi stipulated that he raped 13yo girl. He does not deny this -- in fact he needed to admit he did this and admit that he knew it was wrong before the judge.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 3:07 PM
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So if she told the Grand Jury that Polanski had given her quaaludes, and there were quaaludes or residue found in her purse, damn right nobody would want to put that girl on the stand, and the prosecution would want to drop most of the charges and accept a plea.

And the assertions people make, like Dana in 283 or oudemia in 69, that are supposed to accepted as gospel truth or have your character questioned and be accused or trolling, worry me most because I think they imply desired standards of evidence


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 3:13 PM
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69 last sentence was asserted as fact, not as testimony.

Just as Dana asserted that no one questions the GJ testimony.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 3:19 PM
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And you can ask Halford about the quaaludes.

For myself, I want to hear both sides, cross-examined. That's the way it is supposed to work, and why we don't rely on Grand Jury testimony.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 3:21 PM
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f she told the Grand Jury that Polanski had given her quaaludes, and there were quaaludes or residue found in her purse, damn right nobody would want to put that girl on the stand, and the prosecution would want to drop most of the charges and accept a plea.

See? You're perfectly happy to cook up fantasy scenarios that are sourced to nothing and testified to under oath by no one. Grand Jury testimony has a lot more going for it than that.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 3:22 PM
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290:Grand Jury testimony has a lot more going for it than that.

No, it doesn't. Grand Jury testimony is supposed to be sealed and secret forever for very good reasons.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 3:31 PM
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it is the whole criminal justice system top to bottom that is corrupt, racist, classist, compromised beyond repair...
They sure don't need my help or support, and I won't give them any.

Grand Jury testimony is supposed to be sealed and secret forever for very good reasons.

!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 3:34 PM
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Uh, sorry, but I think I'm missing something. Is fucking an intoxicated 13 year old somehow okay if she brought her own drugs?


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 3:37 PM
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293:I am not jumping through your hoops.

Obviously the point is, if Halford has any accurate information, the girl's testimony was and will be worthless in court. If she perjured herself before the grand jury, no wonder she wants everything dropped now.

If there was prosecutorial or judicial misconduct, and Polanski is allowed to drop his plea, I doubt that there would be any retrial.

And people cop pleas, especially if looking at a mere 80 days, for any number of reasons. I don't know what to believe at this point.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 3:46 PM
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289: The necessity of cross-examining witnesses is obviated by a voluntary guilty plea (voluntary meaning he understood what he was pleading guilty to and the rights he was giving up thereby). If I understand it, he pleaded guilty and that plea stands. A guilty plea, once entered, may be withdrawn only under limited circumstances.


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 3:52 PM
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The fact that he said he was guilty in order to get the plea does not really mean that he does not dispute the prosecution's facts.

When faced with a bad enough down side, people will say and/or do anything.

That said, even a drugged-out, 13 hooker can be raped.

That said, regardless of the rape, he should be held without bond until his trial since he ran. He clearly failed to appear and should spend time in jail for that crime.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 3:58 PM
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292 a and b are both essentially pro-defendant and not contradictory.

295:people cop pleas to things they didn't do every day in this country. Part of the condition of suspended sentences, probation, etc is they can never admit to doing so.

Prosecutors almost never admit to making mistakes or unjust convictions, even unto the executions and in the face of incontrovertible evidence. Lawyers will tell you in no uncertain terms to never reverse your plea statement.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 4:00 PM
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s/b 13 year old hooker

evading justice like that should get you at least 6 months in a fair world.

Having consensual sex with a 13 year old gets most people a lot more than six months.

Also, oudemia said that his jizz was in her panties. Is that true?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 4:01 PM
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There are a lot of lawyers around here conspicuous in their silence.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 4:07 PM
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298: Yes, it seems that it was the incriminating lab report that convinced RP's lawyers to go for a deal.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 4:08 PM
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298:Also, oudemia said that his jizz was in her panties. Is that true?

I don't think they used DNA tests in 1976. I doubt she knows for sure.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 4:12 PM
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300:pwned. Corrected? They used DNA tests?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 4:13 PM
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lawguy at EotAW ...a lawyer?

Polanski could have agreed even if he thought himself not guilty because of the possibility of a very long prison term if things didn't go his way.

Such is American justice. You can see it every day in every criminal court in this country.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 4:18 PM
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You're not seriously asking that, are you?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 4:18 PM
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I'll buy that people cop pleas to things they didn't do. I'll buy that as likely being true in some unknown number of cases. So what? If they do so voluntarily, they are stuck with the consequences. RP could have contested the charges 30 years ago he didn't. The fact that he pleaded guilty does, in fact, mean he doesn't dispute the facts to which he pleaded guilty. It absolutely means that he admitted those facts under oath and waived his right to dispute them.

Also, before the court can accept a guilty plea, it must find a sufficient factual basis to support guilt.


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 4:19 PM
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As I've said before, I'd be grateful if we could avoid the word "panties". Such language really is beyond the pale.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 4:21 PM
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It's true that people will and do plea to charges that they privately deny, esp. where the odds of conviction look strong and where the offered term is light (as appears to be the case here). And in our system this includes a fair number of innocents (rarely are they rich white film directors, but it could happen).

I dunno what the guy did -- it could be really horrifically bad or just horifically bad, or who knows, a complete set-up. I don't think we can assume guilt based on the grand jury testimony alone -- and, taking a step back, I don't think anyone here would really advocate we do so -- but typically we do treat people who have pled guilty as being guilty, barring some affirmative showing otherwise.

There's a fair amount of cognitive dissonance for me because typically I'm very pro-defendant but, on the other hand, these are really bad facts and the dude could afford good representation, but, on that other hand again, I have a soft spot for good artists and perhaps irrationally believe there is some good thing in them that is required for the work.

On the whole, I think people should focus on the fact that he pled guilty and less on the assumption that grand jury testimony is sacrosanct. Personally, I think it's obvious that he did something horrible and criminal, the exact parameters of which are murky.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 4:29 PM
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(I dont know why I am even continuing this except to procrastinate...)

Call me a skeptic.....
I dont trust a lab report from 1976 at all.

Di is switching what I think she was arguing before. I thought she was saying that his guilty plea meant that he was actually guilty. His guilty plea isnt very persuasive to me as to his actual guilt.

Nor is that court "finding a factual basis to support guilt" very persuasive as to his actual guilt.

And, she is correct that a guilty plea means that you give up your right to contest the facts.

But, you are sometimes allowed to withdraw your guilty plea if it happens prior to sentencing.

None of this is really to say that he didnt commit statutory rape or rape. Hasnt he made statements about having sex with her? (outside of the guilty plea)

But, regardless, he needs to sit in jail for a while. I've got no sympathy for him.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 4:30 PM
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302: I don't know the details of this case, but there were lab tests for the identity of semen before there were DNA tests -- you can test for blood type (not always, the details are complicated, but they could have come up with semen consistent or inconsistent with Polanski.)

Generally, speculating that Polanski didn't even commit statutory rape (if that's what you're doing, Bob) seems outside the realm of reasonableness to me. The girl was thirteen. Whether she's a credible witness or not, if anyone had sex with her, it was statutory rape. And given that she spent the relevant day with Polanski, Angelica Huston saw them together, and so forth, speculating about some possible other rapist seems, um, loony.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 4:32 PM
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His guilty plea isnt very persuasive to me as to his actual guilt.

As to his actual guilt of the statutory rape? What's the plausible alternative -- no one had sex with the girl, or some unknown third person did? Both seem desperately unlikely, given what I know of the circumstances.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 4:35 PM
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310:

Oh, I think he raped her.

I just dont think that his guilty plea proves that.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 4:39 PM
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Lawyers are such a jaded bunch.

It is sad, but true that it is not uncommon to hear the question "Was it a bad rape?" or "was it a bad murder?"


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 4:40 PM
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309:Angelica Huston saw them together

Saw them having sex? Are there any unbiased links around this web?

What I am doing is channeling Henry Fonda in the jury room. Surprised at how well I am doing so far. looking at 307,308


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 4:41 PM
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313: Bob, have you ever thought about whether you really know that Zambia exists? Have you ever been there? Do you know anyone who's ever been there? Isn't it genuinely possible that there's no such country, and it's all a scam?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 4:45 PM
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308 is just my take, bob. I really liked Chinatown, and I'm a crazy liberal. I'm still fine with the plea being enforced.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 4:47 PM
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I often do wonder about Zambia. I mean, doesn't it sound made-up?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 4:48 PM
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Has anyone yet posted this terrific summary by the victim? Pretty much sums it up for me.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 4:49 PM
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Zambia pled guilty to decolonization. To escape punishment, it fled the jurisdiction to Zambia, where it's been ever since.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 4:49 PM
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I have concluded, for purposes of this thread, that Bob does not exist.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 4:51 PM
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Douglas Danton:

The facts indicate that before the alleged acts in this case the girl had engaged in sexual activity. We want to know about it, we want to know who was involved, when, we want to know why these other people were not prosecuted. It's something we want to fully develop.

But was this fully developed? I don't think it was. Poor poor Polanski.


Posted by: Commenter-in-exile | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 4:53 PM
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Will nobody speak up for an elderly auteur's right to rape whomever he pleases? No, instead all you people do is talk about panties.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 4:59 PM
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In deference to ari's tender sensibilities, perhaps we could have a new thread on bras?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:00 PM
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...perhaps we could have a new thread on bras?

Or, for the gentlemen, the combination of shoulder holsters, suspenders and sleeve garters: too much or just enough?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:04 PM
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Um, since my name came up, let me just say that my only point is that it's really crazy in any criminal case to treat grand jury testimony as gospel truth. It is certainly not a good idea to act as if someone saying something before a grand jury establishes that thing as true. So, I don't like the blog posts and comments that say "Hey, he wasn't just a bad rapist, he was a really bad rapist, and here's the grand jury testimony that proves it!" That is all I'm saying.

Unlike Bob, I do not think there's any reasonable issue as to whether or not there was statutory rape. Polanski pled guilty to this charge and has admitted to it subsequently. In case it needs saying, I believe that even formally "consensual" sex betwen a 40 year old and a 13 year old is rape and should be treated as a very serious crime, and that Polanski should be punished for committing that crime.

There are many plausible reasons why the state decided to cut the deal that it did, some of which might have to do with intimidation of the victim through the publicity of trial, some of which might have to do with the weakness of the prosecution's case on the more serious charges. We just don't know. I don't know, and no one else does either except for the people involved. From a distance, it appears that the prosecution, defense, and the victim were all pretty happy with the deal, which seems odd on its face. For example, I can't figure out for the life of me why the state dropped the furnishing-drugs-to-a-minor charge, which would look on the surface like a slam dunk. That is why I referred (on another blog) to some indications I'd seen in a few articles that Polanksi's lawyers gave that the victim furnished the quaaludes. It should go without saying that I have no idea whether or not that is the case; it's probably more likely that Polanski gave her the drugs, but I still can't figure out why the prosecution would drop that charge. That is not intended to exonerate Polanski in any way, because I have no idea what the facts are, so I'd appreciate it if Oudemia would back off on that point.

I am frankly getting a bit sick of writing what apparently looks to some people like a "defense" of a guy who, without question, committed a really evil and illegal act and fled from justice. My heart's not really in it. And it's certainly very possible that the victim's story is true and that the sex was completely non-consensual. But, as I wrote at EOTAW, it's probably ESPECIALLY true in emotionally charged cases to assume that one side's story is the full and complete truth when there's been no full opportunity for cross examination, development of defense evidence, etc.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:08 PM
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314:I have been told, by multiple sources, that Zambia exists.

If pressed to be honest and accurate, I believe rarely and very weakly. Pretending and making up stories works much of time, especially if I accept their conditional and provisional nature, and see no particular reason to run over what might not be a cliff.

I don't know anything.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:09 PM
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If you get through that boring comment above, in the last paragraph, "ESPECIALLY true in emotionally charged cases to assume" should be "ESPECIALLY important in emotionally charged cases not to assume."

And that's the good writing that brings in the big bucks.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:11 PM
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291

No, it doesn't. Grand Jury testimony is supposed to be sealed and secret forever for very good reasons.

According to TSG, the grand jury testimony in question was ordered unsealed by a judge.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:12 PM
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No, instead all you people do is talk about panties.

Moist, no less.

(Shoot me, I'm terribly sorry for that)


Posted by: U. Awl | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:14 PM
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I'm actually reading the contemporaneous accounts of the case from the LATimes (I just picked them from ProQuest). The Grand Jury testimony was sealed on the request of the defense -- makes sense. But then the defense filed motions for the complete sexual history of the girl. It was apparently a brand new law in CA at the time that the sexual history of a rape victim couldn't be held against her. The defense said the law didn't apply (or? IANAL) since the girl had already answered questions about her sexual history and so it was all up for grabs. At any rate, I found it interesting that the only bits of the Grand Jury testimony to come out before trial were that the girl had had sex twice before.

Oh, and Angelica Huston was to be a witness for the prosecution -- testifying that the girl was alone in the bedroom with Polanski.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:14 PM
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Um, since my name came up, let me just say that my only point is that it's really crazy in any criminal case to treat grand jury testimony as gospel truth.

I think there's a breakdown in communication over "it's a bad idea in any criminal case generally to treat grand jury testimony as gospel truth", which is a good general rule, and "in this case, as between a thirteen-year old girl who says she was drugged and raped over her protests, and a grown man who says that he did have sex with her after watching her drink alcohol and take drugs, but she was fully consenting to everything, I find both stories equally plausible." I get that you're only saying the first, but I think most of the reaction you're getting is from people understanding you to say the second.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:17 PM
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Unlike Bob, I do not think there's any reasonable issue as to whether or not there was statutory rape.

I never said this. I will only say I don't know, and need to look at the evidence.

I have just gotten tired of things like this, which is siubject to misinterpretation, and was I think used above to imply that AH was a witness to the sex. At least that was how I read some of the early cites.

LB:Angelica Huston saw them together

According to the grand jury testimony, AH, with two dogs saw them enter the house and that is all. If there is more of a statement by Houston, let me know.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:17 PM
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324

... For example, I can't figure out for the life of me why the state dropped the furnishing-drugs-to-a-minor charge, which would look on the surface like a slam dunk. ...

It is normal in plea deals to drop some charges. The Quaalude charge appears to depend entirely on the victim's testimony (including her ability to recognize a Quaalude pill) while the statutory rape charge likely did not.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:18 PM
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And of course anything requiring her testimony might allow the defense to go after her sexual history.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:22 PM
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Moist, no less.

Worse than child rape.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:22 PM
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Can I just say that I'm pondering a mirror-image universe where we give the benefit of the doubt to poor schmucks who end up on the wrong side of the law, but the rich and powerful routinely get the book thrown at them on flimsy evidence, with some additional extra-legal punishment in the form of tasering and prison rape? I think that would be a definite improvement over the status quo, and contra Bob, I'm not at all sure that it would be a worse world than one where everyone gets the benefit of the doubt. Power and wealth could be its own punishment.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:28 PM
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Yeah, the defense were pushing for the girl to be questioned by them in chambers prior to trial (this was turned down) and to be examined by psychiatrists because defense did not believe she was capable of distinguishing "fantasy from reality." Her family at that point hired a lawyer who urged the judge to accept a plea agreement, otherwise "a stigma would attach to her for a lifetime." The family insisted on nothing but an admission of wrongdoing.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:28 PM
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329:Oh, and Angelica Huston was to be a witness for the prosecution -- testifying that the girl was alone in the bedroom with Polanski.

This conflicts with the girls testimony. They were on the patio when Huston left for work.

Smoking Gun


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:28 PM
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337: Huston returned to the house later in the rape.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:34 PM
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324: Unlike Bob, I do not think there's any reasonable issue as to whether or not there was statutory rape.

331: I never said this. I will only say I don't know, and need to look at the evidence.

Nice trolling.


Posted by: Commenter-in-exile | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:34 PM
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338: Ah, yes. I was just about to link that.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:35 PM
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And here.

Bob, if your attitude is of radical skepticism about anything you didn't see in person, that's cool. But then what's the point of inventing imaginary inconsistencies in the grand jury testimony?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:35 PM
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338:Smoking Gun appears overloaded.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:36 PM
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341:I didn't invent. I just didn't read far or close enough.

You are imputing bad intentions where none exist. I am just trying to get to the truth.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:38 PM
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You could take my word for what it says? I'm not sure if that conflicts with your principles.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:38 PM
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343: You're imputing statements about your motives to me that I never made. If we're going to be absolutely literal about everything, then let's be wholeheartedly literal.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:40 PM
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Di is switching what I think she was arguing before. I thought she was saying that his guilty plea meant that he was actually guilty. His guilty plea isnt very persuasive to me as to his actual guilt.

What does "actually" mean? I'm not interested in eternal truth, not on this issue anyway. For me, whether or not he should be subject to the legal penalty for the crime depends on whether he is guilty as a matter of law. His plea is, as a legal matter, conclusive of his guilt. It's about the rule of law. If that is to mean anything, it has to apply to rich producers and poor kids alike.

And yes, pleas can be withdrawn under certain circumstances -- if, for example, the plea was not knowing or voluntary. It's been awhile since I briefed one of these, but I'm pretty certain that "I fled the country and obstructed justice for 30 years" isn't one of the available bases.


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:47 PM
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344:I would not impute bad faith to you, LB.

I would still prefer to read the original sources at this point.

So far in my reading the girl's Grand Jury testimony looks fairly credible, but it usually does doesn't it? I doubt that prosecutors make a practice of presenting shaky witnesses to Grand Juries.

I thought Grand Jury testimony was always sealed, with Jon Benet and Ken Starr as examples.

More compelling is the adult in 2005. I had them both open to compare statements, because I thought I saw word-for-word matches, which is something to look for.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:51 PM
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And I'm fairly sure that "the judge didn't abide by the deal" isn't grounds for withdrawing a plea. IIRC, the general rule is that the plea bargain is an agreement with the prosecution as to what sentence they're going to ask for. Judges usually go along with the prosecution, but they don't have to, and the agreement isn't with the judge.

(I could be wrong about this -- I researched it once for something, but it was ages ago, and it's possible I'm either wrong or overgeneralizing.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:54 PM
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Are prosecutors allowed to coach witnesses for Grand Juries?

Are they allowed to listen to their statements multiple times out of court, in a desire to find inconsistencies?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:56 PM
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The Grand Jury testimony was sealed at the request of the defense. When the judge agreed, he made sure the defense knew that he could unseal it at any time.

I did not realize they developed the pictures RP took (although of course it makes sense that they did).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:56 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:57 PM
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And I'm fairly sure that "the judge didn't abide by the deal" isn't grounds for withdrawing a plea.

And I don't think that is the defense complaint about misconduct.

Something about collusion or in chamber meetings.

Jeralyn Merritt had the brief, but I didn't read it.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 5:59 PM
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348 is right


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 6:01 PM
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348: If you read Polanski's plea agreement (also at Smoking Gun), it is made very clear to him that he could serve jail time and that sentencing was to be determined by the judge, etc.

More interesting is that after his plea, he was given 90 days to finish making a movie in Tahiti. About 10 days after that court appearance, he was photographed and interviewed in Munich at Oktoberfest discussing how he was not there for business but as a tourist and "to relax." The judge called him back to LA to discuss this, but RP skipped the hearing. Dino deLaurentis ended up testifying that RP was actually in Munich securing German distribution rights for the film. The judge determines to give RP "the benefit of the doubt."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 6:01 PM
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||
Begin Embarrassing Admission. What's the escape character for HTML? That is to say, how do I do an open bracket? End Embarrassing Admission.
|>


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 6:03 PM
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348: This is my recollection, too, but I think there may be jurisdictional differences -- i.e., in some jurisdictions you can enter a conditional plea contingent on the judge accepting the agreed sentence. But bottom line, jumping bail is not an accepted means of withdrawing a plea...


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 6:04 PM
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Mption to Dismiss pdf


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 6:04 PM
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355: You mean you want to make this character: <, appear? You need to type "&lt;" (that is, type the characters within the quotes) and you'll get a left angle bracket.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 6:10 PM
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347

So far in my reading the girl's Grand Jury testimony looks fairly credible, but it usually does doesn't it? I doubt that prosecutors make a practice of presenting shaky witnesses to Grand Juries.

Well as long as we are generalizing, prosecutors don't make a practice of prosecuting people who aren't guilty.

In this case the prosecution didn't have much choice if they wanted to proceed. They needed the girl's testimony.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 6:10 PM
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I skimmed the Motion to Dismiss, and while I think it looks empty (the allegation of misconduct is that the judge discussed the case with a DA not assigned to prosecuting that case, but working in the judge's courtroom on other matters. I'm not aware of anything that would render such conversations unethical, and the motion doesn't clearly cite to any authority arguing that such conversations should render a conviction or sentence void.), it's technical enough stuff that I don't think we can usefully argue about it -- I'd want to do actual research before I said anything certain about it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 6:20 PM
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"It was statuatory rape!"
<slap>
"It was regular rape!"
<slap>
"It was statuatory and regular rape!

Ha! Thanks, LB, but now I'm mad with power:

"It was a Bush-administration diplomatic initiative!"
<slap>
"It was a good idea!"
<slap>
"It was a Bush-administration diplomatic initiative
and a good idea!"
<cue dramatic music>


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 6:27 PM
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LB, thanks for 330, that makes sense.

On a quick reading, the motion to dismiss linked in 357 looks to me like a lot of hot air. (Unlike LB, I believe that the conversations between the judge and a line prosecutor about the case, if they happened, were definitely unethical, as was the judge's refusal (if true) to put things on the record in open court, but I don't think there's any basis in law or reason for dismissing the case against Polanski as a result). When you're citing NY Times reviews of a movie as authority you probably don't have a very strong case.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 6:38 PM
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Unlike LB, I believe that the conversations between the judge and a line prosecutor about the case, if they happened, were definitely unethical,

I was too dismissive on the first pass through. Mostly, I was thinking that the actual conversations described seem fairly minor. And I was a little confused about the DA's role -- he was on some form of steady assignment to the judge's courtroom?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 6:48 PM
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Yeah, some DAs got (I think, still get) assignments to specific judge's courtrooms, where they handle intake and other minor stuff, and farm out bigger cases to other branches of the DAs' office. The allegation is that the judge had a bunch of conversations with "his" courtroom ADA about the case, outside of the presence of either Polanski's lawyers or the DAs who were handling the case. The judge shouldn't have been talking to anyone who wasn't courthouse staff about the case, and having ex parte conversations with another DA about the case, if that really happened, was definitely unethical. There are also some claims about off-the-record statements by the judge that are pretty clearly a breach of the judicial ethics and law, if they happened.

On the other hand, I totally agree that the conversations themselves aren't that big a deal, there was no misconduct by the DAs who were actually prosecuting the case, and it's totally unclear that any of the alleged misconduct affected the substantive results. In any event the proper remedy for the alleged misconduct would almost certainly be for Polanski to be sentenced by a different judge, not complete dismissal of the case.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 7:17 PM
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A side fake controversy is the Anne Applebaum 'conflict of interest'. She may be a hack but it's not like her marriage was a secret, and in any case if there's a conflict of interest here its existed ever since the start of her WaPo career. She writes constantly on issues relating to Europe and foreign policy and Radek Sikorski has been a major player in that area since the mid nineties, with stints at AEI when he was out of office.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 7:25 PM
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How much time should he get?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 7:34 PM
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Beyerstein via twitter "Polanski should pay his debt to society so I can enjoy his movies w/o the nagging guilt that comes with subsidizing a fugitive sex criminal."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 7:36 PM
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For the statutory rape, I'd assume not much -- whatever a plausible jail sentence for it would have been, back when it happened. He should probably be prosecuted for the flight, but I don't know either how that works or what conventional sentences are.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 7:37 PM
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excuse me, when i still fume from TEOAW trolling
if i'm a troll i'll be a troll, if ToS can do it i can also
so my point was what strange people that parents of the poor girl were, i'd understand if for example, the father hunted down the offender and killed him, if they flee to protect their daughter's privacy, changed her name, blackmailed the offender until the last penny in order to have the means to protect her privacy, whatever, not the mother testifying publicly that her daughter was raped that many horrible ways and finally agreeing on the settlement something, if they agreed, i don't know the details, then it's all about money and publicity by all means, not justice
what if everything was like set up etc
can't imagine what hell the girl's life was after that and 13 yo pushed into modeling business by her parents, it's really horrible and degenerate
and if Polansky was guilty, he should have punished then, brought back by all means, but now he's his own judge if he has some conscience, maybe he'd feel even some kind of relief if extradicted
FINE


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 7:42 PM
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Unlike his culture minister, PM Tusk stated that Polanski is clearly guilty, that there are other factors as well, that the national outcry is ridiculous, and that Polanski should get the same aid any other Polish citizen would get if facing an extradition proceeding in one foreign country to another one. Not sure if personal letters from the FM are what any normal citizen would get - though the local consulate/embassy certainly would get involved. NB, the formal grounds why its the Polish and French FM's who have taken the lead on this matter is because he's a citizen.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 7:57 PM
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357 360

The motion to dismiss also contains the probation report as an attachment. This indirectly contains Polanski's version of what happened. He admits to intercourse but denies force and some other parts of the girl's story. He stated he withdrew before climax. Regarding the Quaalude he said he found a box in the bathroom (remember they weren't in his house) and the girl took one although he didn't offer it to her. He agrees the girl said she had asthma.

The incident was reported to the police by the girl's mother after she overheard the girl discussing it with her 17 year old boyfriend that evening. The girl was examined in a hospital. Vaginal and anal swabs tested negative for semen and there was no trauma found. The girl's panties tested positive for semen.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 9:15 PM
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Wow, great catch JBS. Everyone should read through that report before commenting further on the case.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 9:47 PM
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372:Everyone should read through that report before commenting further on the case.

Done. p75 onward. Seems definitive and convincing, as far as it goes. Which is far enough. I too recommend everyone read that probation report in full. It was exactly what I have wanted all along. I might use it in further argument.

(Twenty years later I really disliked Vanatter, but it was twenty years. A long time for a cop.)

But there are a lot of people who are commenting around the net without having read the report, and it is not my position that only the best-informed can comment on a public matter. Part of my nihilism involves recognizing the value of everyone's opinions and feelings, if perhaps ranked among different axes.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 10:54 PM
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Polanski's story isn't very exculpatory, is it? He doesn't really deny that he gave her the Quaalude:

I found a little box in the bathroom with Quaalude pieces marked Rorer. She took one piece. There was conversation about it but there was no actual offer by me.

And he has no story at all for how the sex happened, just:

I told her to rest in the bedroom. I went to the bedroom. She never objected.

He neither confirms nor denies the anal and oral sex, on the advice of his lawyer. Really, the only difference I see between this and her story is "She never objected." According to his own story, he gave her alcohol and a Quaalude, told her to go lie down and rest, and then went and fucked her.

Whether or not she "objected", that's not "consensual" statutory rape.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 11:04 PM
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Plus, he pled guilty. Then ran.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 11:09 PM
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374:LB, I still have questions, but I think they are less objectionable than ones I have expressed before.

For instance, as to the girls trauma and desire to have the case ended without severe punishment for Polanski, I feel some conflict between how she was described in the probation report and the tone of her grand jury testimony. Perhaps the circumstances or consequences of the GJ testimony upset her.

I saw no one but David Wells who wanted Polanski to do serious jail time, then or now. As far as the reasons for that, we can speculate, or we can respect her feelings and opinion.

The mother did report the crime almost immediately and took the daughter to the hospital, but I don't remember the mother's reasons being clearly and completely explained. Was emotional trauma obvious or not?

Stuff like that.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 11:24 PM
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The mother's reasons for reporting the rape of her thirteen-year-old daughter to the police? It seems like an obvious sort of thing to do, no?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 11:27 PM
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Then ran

The reasons Polanski ran are examined in the report.

I don't really know if the judge could have given Polanski 50 years, but apparently Polanski was very worried about it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 11:29 PM
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377:I don't usually make such normative judgments about victims choices, and I am too tired to sift thru the report. The mother only found out after overhearing the conversation with the 7 year old boyfriend, and the desire to avoid publicity, harassment, and further damage was very strong.

I don't think it is spelled out, but my impression was that the mother wanted a check for physical harm.

Perhaps tomorrow.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 11:38 PM
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Ok, page 80, the mother called her accountant, a lawyer, and then the police, and the police took the girl to the hospital for examination.

I thought the mother took the girl to the hospital, which would of course then involve the police.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 11:45 PM
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There is an abrupt juxtapostion on page 83 (that I am unable to cut and paste) from a discussion of the grand jury to the wishes of mother and daughter that there be no trial.

My question goes to whether the girl resisted and preferred to not appear before the grand jury. Can't tell.

Enough. I'm tired.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-28-09 11:57 PM
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it is not my position that only the best-informed can comment on a public matter. Part of my nihilism involves recognizing the value of everyone's opinions and feelings

Man, this is pure gold. Your nihilism just happens to value the views of people, like yourself, while ignorant of the basic facts of the case, were comfortable telling everyone how RP had suffered enough.

My non nihilism involves recognizing bob serving up a load of self serving bullshit.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 12:09 AM
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374

He neither confirms nor denies the anal and oral sex, on the advice of his lawyer. Really, the only difference I see between this and her story is "She never objected." According to his own story, he gave her alcohol and a Quaalude, told her to go lie down and rest, and then went and fucked her.

There are some other differences in details. Polanski denies discussing her period at any time and stated they talked about birth control in the car not while engaged in sex.

Whether or not she "objected", that's not "consensual" statutory rape.

IANAL obviously but my understanding with an adult women was that if she is voluntarily intoxicated but conscious and does not object then it would be considered consensual. Polanski was not originally charged with forcible rape but rape by use of drugs. I would have guessed this only applied to surreptitious adminstration but apparently not. Or maybe the rules are different for minors.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 12:23 AM
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I would have guessed this only applied to surreptitious adminstration but apparently not.

Criminal laws differ state by state, and I don't actually know the California standard on this, much less what it was in the seventies. Nonetheless, a rule like that wouldn't make much sense -- if someone is intoxicated past the point of capacity to object although not absolutely unconscious, and a rapist takes advantage of their incapacity, why should how they became intoxicated be relevant? (You may be confused here by the legal standard for intoxication as a criminal defense: a defendant can sometimes argue that they were not responsible for their actions due to intoxication, but only if the intoxication was involuntary. The fine distinction to remember here is that a rape victim actually isn't a criminal defendant.)

Mostly, though, when I say his story isn't terribly exculpatory, I mean that whether or not he admits that she objected, it's not really compatible (in the normal human behavior sense) with the idea that she was a voluntary participant.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 5:50 AM
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His admitted behaviour is criminal by any standard. I fail to see what the debate is about really.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 6:05 AM
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If only you'd posted that several hundred comments ago, ttaM.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 6:12 AM
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382:Not really bullshit.

People are permitted to have an opinion on election day and express that opinion and vote for a candidate even if they have never read a newspaper or watched tv etc.

Note I said ranked on different axes. How an economist values or views the opinions of laymen can vary. I think about 75% of the field is full of shit, the half the field considers the other half dangerously deluded.

People who know me remember I frequently ask a question about which Middle East experts I was supposed to listen to before the Iraq war. It isn't as if the hawks lacked knowledge or experience, and many of the doves didn't speak arabic or had never traveled there. I have never really gotten a decent answer. And a small child who said the war was wrong probably was more correct, even with a better argument than Cheney or Wolfowitz.

oudemia knew more than I at the begninng of the thread, but at best phrased some of her comments poorly. Or had a bias. Nothing wrong with a bias, everybody has them, and no one is to be really trusted.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 7:24 AM
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re: 386

I thought I'd wait until you'd all gone round in circles, and then I'd sweep in with my pithy-expressed wisdom and deep insight. I'm like a short, hairy, Scottish Confucious.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 7:29 AM
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A few years ago I had three guys check out my HVAC. Two of them said I needed a new condenser:$1500. The last replaced a $50 capacitor.

I find the worship of or submission to expertise worse than silly.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 7:34 AM
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385:There are many debates. Welcome to the internet, although I doubt you will like it here.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 7:36 AM
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Nothing wrong with a bias, everybody has them, and no one is to be really trusted.

... Therefore, if Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! The defense rests.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 7:36 AM
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389: who here was worshipping expertise?


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 7:42 AM
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389: You found the third guy sleeping under an overpass, and he'd never even heard of air conditioning before?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 7:44 AM
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who here was worshipping expertise?

That's what Islam means, infidel.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 7:46 AM
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I am Worshipping Expertise!


Posted by: Spartacus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 7:52 AM
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||
Polanski's "Macbeth" is also really good---very bloody and sad---and I think his pirate movie is criminally underrated: Walter Matthau is fantastic in it.
|>


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 7:53 AM
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392:The way it usually works.

oudemia makes a statement about the facts, and refers me to a source. Now I got about halfway thru the Grand Jury testimony at smoking gun, although I am not not sure that is all the grand jury, and I wasn't sure how to assess what I read. After a long time I found the probation report, and had two sources to compare and become convinced. It took a full day, off and on.

Two lawyers above studied the Motion to Dismiss and found it weak but possibly convincing if P finds the right judge? They did at least at the beginning have a difference of opinion about it. If a judge grants that motion, how are we to decide whether the motion was good or the judge was bad? Will we listen to LB and our friendly lawyers?

Most people stop when the speaker directs them to a source. Colin Powell said Saddam has WMD in front of the UN, and had photos and recordings to prove it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 7:59 AM
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I'm like a short, hairy, Scottish Confucious.

I'm prepared to bet that Confucius was fairly short himself, what with being Chinese and all.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:01 AM
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And rich in facial hair, at least. I don't think I've ever seen a picture of Confucius shirtless.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:02 AM
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393:I don't know what I found. Maybe the first two were crooks, maybe they were incompetent, maybe they were rushed, maybe I should have gotten a new condenser after all.

The compressor blew out over the weekend. After research on the internet, a new run capacitor sometimes only extends the life of the condenser for a while.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:04 AM
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re: 398

True.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:11 AM
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Or you can read the Motion to Dismiss, this time the early sections, where the defense claims that the judge did not adequately consider the recommendations of the prosecution and probation report, but unwisely listened to David Wells and used personal & political considerations in his decision.

OOOH, it is all so confusing. Well actually, yes, much more than we care to admit as we get thru our lives.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:15 AM
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387 raises interesting epistemological points. In many cases appeals to authority are weak unless you can be sure the authority shares your values.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:16 AM
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400: Well, as Keynes said, in the long run, we all die.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:17 AM
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We know Confucius only via notes taken by his followers, which are internally inconsistent. There is no source, as for Jesus, Buddha, and Socrates.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:17 AM
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But as Confucius says, things that are done, it is needless to speak about...things that are past, it is needless to blame.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:20 AM
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I only skimmed a little, but I'm skeptical of a motion based on an interview for a movie with a guy talking about his conversations with a dead guy (who can no longer contradict him). Particularly where those quoted excerpts paint a self-portrait of how very important this guy was in a high publicity case. Sounds like Mr. Wells was trying to make himself sound like a big deal.

Which isn't to say it didn't happen or that, if true, it wouldn't entitle RP to some relief. Resentencing, perhaps. Which could be combined with sentencing on obstruction of justice charges...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:22 AM
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384

... Nonetheless, a rule like that wouldn't make much sense -- if someone is intoxicated past the point of capacity to object although not absolutely unconscious, ...

As a practical matter I don't see how you are going to prove a lack of capacity to object if they are conscious. Or does the defendent have the burden of proof? In any case the girl testified before the grand jury that she did have the capacity to object (and in fact did so). And that her lack of physical resistance was due to fear not inability.

... and a rapist takes advantage of their incapacity, why should how they became intoxicated be relevant? ...

Perhaps it is reduced inhibition or judgement that the actor is taking advantage of.

There is also the case of medical sedation or anesthesia, don't know where that fits in.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:28 AM
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402

One thing I noticed in the motion to dismiss. It said that Wells's interview statements were not hearsay because they fell under the admission against interest exception (which assumes people don't generally say bad things about themselves if they aren't true). However in the full interview (included in an appendix) Wells explains his view that what he did was ethical and proper (but that if he had done other stuff it would not have been). So I don't see why the exception would apply.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:40 AM
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As a practical matter I don't see how you are going to prove a lack of capacity to object if they are conscious.

Testimony, like you prove anything else, e.g., "I wanted him to stop, but I was too confused and blurry from the drugs to be able to say anything." If a jury finds that credible, it's proof. This is a really stupid conversation, though, if you're trying to talk about the legal issues -- neither you or I have read the California statute, or the caselaw interpreting it, and there's no uncontested set of facts at the finest-grain level.

If you want to argue about how the California law would or should have operated in this case, you have to make a clear assumption about exactly the facts you're assuming that a jury would have found, and you need to look up the statute you're talking about. Otherwise, this is just making noise.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:40 AM
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409: Good catch. I'm not actually sure offhand how that would play out -- I don't do a lot with the rules of evidence, so it's stuff I need to look up, but that's certainly an issue that would be worth checking out if you were opposing the motion, and there's a reasonable possibility that you're right.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:46 AM
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I don't see how you are going to prove a lack of capacity to object if they are conscious cows.

Cow-molesting Jersey cop gets off. Judge rules cows have no capacity to object.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 9:09 AM
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410

Here is the current statute, 261(a)(3).

(3)Where a person is prevented from resisting by any intoxicating or anesthetic substance, or any controlled substance, and this condition was known, or reasonably should have been known by the accused.

So you are correct that surreptitious adminstration doesn't matter which seems strange to me. Although I guess it could come into reasonably should have known. As for how it plays out, a recent acquittal . In practice proof beyond a reasonable doubt is difficult.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 10:15 AM
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So you are correct that surreptitious adminstration doesn't matter which seems strange to me.

Why on earth is that strange? This is different facts than the Polanski case, but say Person A intentionally drinks a fifth of gin, shot by shot, and passes out. Person B shakes them by the shoulder and says "Nice boots, wanna fuck?" and on hearing no objection from the intoxicated A, goes forward with the rape. That's plainly rape, even in the absence of active objection, regardless of how A got drunk.

You're also raising a different issue, about whether a state of intoxication can exist in which one is not unconscious but is nonetheless prevented from resisting by intoxication (note that the statute does not address active consent procured with the aid of intoxication -- it's about someone who wants to resist but is unable to do so by reason of their intoxication) or if a prosecution can successfully establish that a rape victim was in that state. The first seems perfectly plausible to me -- remember that we're not just talking about alcohol: there are a whole lot of drugs out there with a whole lot of effects. And the proof issue seems tricky but not impossible.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 10:24 AM
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414

Why on earth is that strange? This is different facts than the Polanski case, but say Person A intentionally drinks a fifth of gin, shot by shot, and passes out. Person B shakes them by the shoulder and says "Nice boots, wanna fuck?" and on hearing no objection from the intoxicated A, goes forward with the rape. That's plainly rape, even in the absence of active objection, regardless of how A got drunk.

This isn't what I find strange. What I find strange is there is no direct distinction between getting someone drunk by offering them volka and offering them orange juice which unbeknown to them contains volka. Or similarly for other inhibition lowering drugs. As I understand it drunken (or intoxicated) consent is still consent even if such consent would not have been granted while sober. But this only makes sense if the drunken (or intoxicated) state was reached knowingly and voluntarily.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 10:36 AM
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414: Shearer seems to be taking the MRA line that it's not rape unless the woman explicitly says before AND during AND after sex that she's not interested but the guy goes ahead and does it anyway, holding her down all along. Drunk women are always asking for it.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 10:38 AM
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416: No, actually if I'm reading him right (always, of course, the sort of thing that can go wrong) he's arguing for a stricter standard than the California law, under some but not all circumstances. As I read the California law, a rape victim's intoxication is relevant only in the absence of active consent -- intoxication is relevant insofar as the victim is "prevented from resisting" by it.

Under that statute, someone who has a couple of shots of gin, enough that they're intoxicated, but who then wanders over to another person at the party and says "Shay, yer cute when I'm drunk. Wanna fuck?" is intoxicated but not a rape victim, because while the intoxication may have helped bring about consent, it isn't preventing the intoxicated person from resisting; they've consciously, albeit intoxicatedly, chosen to consent to sex. So the statute doesn't apply to them at all -- they're not a rape victim (under that statute) regardless of how they got drunk. On purpose, or because someone spiked the punch without telling them, they've consented.

To put it another way, this law isn't about criminalizing drunk people voluntarily having sex; it's about criminalizing a rapist having sex with a person who's passed out or nearly -- who would resist if they could but can't manage it due to their intoxication -- and trying to defend against a rape accusation by saying that the victim didn't actively resist or say no.

Shearer, if I understand him correctly, is thinking about a fuzzier situation, where the victim gives some form of active consent, but consent that wouldn't have been given in the absence of intoxication. And then thinking that the law should distinguish between a situation where someone gets drunk knowingly, at which point their consent is valid, and a situation where a victim is intoxicated or drugged without their knowledge or consent, and due to that intoxication they consent to sexual activity with the person who drugged them, or someone who knew about the drugging, and that the latter should constitute rape despite the apparent consent.

I've made the lines between the situations look clearer than they are -- I bet lots of prosecutors would attempt to prosecute the 'procured consent through surreptitious drugging' situation, while ignoring 'consent related to voluntary drunkenness'. That is, I wouldn't be surprised if in practice, prosecutors tried to make Shearer's distinction. But it doesn't seem to be straightforwardly in the statute.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 11:31 AM
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I found 317 compelling. You can argue all you want that a 13 year old girl might not want to deal with a trial and that others might know better what is best for her. But that same woman 26 years later? I think it might be smart to listen to what she has to say.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 11:51 AM
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317: It's a matter of perverse incentives, though. If Polanski had served his time in the seventies, it'd have been behind her since then. Because he evaded justice thirty-some years ago, this is still actively making her life difficult now, and she wants it to stop. Do we really want to say "Yes, if you can drag the process of punishment out for so long that it's a lifelong misery to your victims, they'll ask the system to have mercy on you to end the pain. Keep hurting your victims badly enough, for long enough, and we'll reward you for it."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 11:55 AM
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True. The capacity for moral hazard is significant. And there's no doubt that justice is supposed to serve two masters: the victim, and society as a whole. I'd rather err in favor of the victim, especially since I don't think the benefits to society are all that great in this case. Namely, I'm pretty sure no one thinks they could get away with something similar today.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 12:24 PM
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420: Namely, I'm pretty sure no one thinks they could get away with something similar today.

Not to nitpick, but sexual assault is regrettably common and regrettably commonly not prosecuted.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 12:33 PM
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419: I didn't read the article that way. I read it as saying the family was satisfied with the plea bargain and admission of guilt in the first place, the one the judge refused to honor. With the perspective given by time she is still satisfied with it, so let's not bring the hammer down and turn it into a publicity circus. She is quite clear that her life is not miserable, that she's moved on.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 12:49 PM
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419:If Polanski had served his time in the seventies

Did you not read the piece in 317?

Geimer twice says she believes there was a real possibility that "serving his time" meant 50 years, and is furious at the judge, and does not blame Polanski for running. Since she and her lawyers were closer to situation, I think I will trust her judgment.

She's some kind of wonderful.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 12:52 PM
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422:

If he could resolve his problems, I'd be happy. I hope that would mean I'd never have to talk about this again. Sometimes I feel like we both got a life sentence.

She's not secondguessing her family's decision back in the seventies, but it seems clear that the fact that the story continues to be active has been unpleasant for her.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 12:54 PM
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I can't find it in that article, but elsewhere I have read that at the time Polanski was nominated for the Pianist Oscar, Geimer had ten+ media vans parked outside her Hawaii home 24/7 for weeks.

I will stipulate that the media aren't quite as rotten as child-rapists.

(OT, Firefox made me capitalize "Oscar". I have a couple complaints, but overall I'm loving the switch.)


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 12:59 PM
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I think I will trust her judgment.

Goddamn it, Bob, we agreed on weasels.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:02 PM
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What do you want to bet Geimer has media vans outside her home today?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:02 PM
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I will stipulate that the media aren't quite as rotten as child-rapists.

Yeah, it's a shame Polanski never let her off the hook there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:05 PM
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428:You haven't responded to the "50 years" yet.

It is a stetch to blame Polanski for the nedia vans outside her house in 2005, and likely outside her house this week. A stretch Geimer doesn't come close to making.

Maybe media harassment is the price a victim has to pay for being raped? A sacrifice to feminism?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:10 PM
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429 Does anyone other than bob give any credence to the "50 years fear"? I certainly do not.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:12 PM
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Geimer:

And, honestly, the publicity surrounding it was so traumatic that what he did to me seemed to pale in comparison.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:12 PM
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You haven't responded to the "50 years" yet.

Is there a source for that as a realistic fear, rather than as something Polanski claimed to be afraid of?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:13 PM
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431: The publicity is also something he did to her.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:13 PM
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It is a stetch to blame Polanski for the nedia vans outside her house in 2005, and likely outside her house this week.

Hardly. Had he not fled, and had he served his sentence (whatever it might have been) in 1977, the media would have lost interest a long time ago. Or hell, if he'd fled to France and lived a life out of the public eye.

The publicity *is* part of what he did to her. But for his actions, there'd be none.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:15 PM
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But for 431, LB would not have pwned me.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:16 PM
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If Polanski had raped a bunch of other people, this one woman would not be getting any attention. The problem is that the rape was not part of a pattern of behavior.

433 and 434 are correct. I hadn't thought if it in that way before Bob started bringing up the media trucks.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:16 PM
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How do we presume to more knowledge of who is to blame for what happened to the victim than she has? If she doesn't want some kind of revenge on Polanski, why do you want it in her name? Is she not a good judge of who has done what to her and what they deserve for doing it?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:17 PM
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420:Does anyone other than bob give any credence to the "50 years fear"

Geimer:

429:

Worried that he was going to have to spend 50 years in prison -- rather than just time already served -- Mr. Polanski fled the country.

You are not very respectful, are you, of a person on the scene with best information and a strong interest?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:17 PM
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And "but for" is not a good way to determine individual responsibility.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:19 PM
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The problem is that the rape was not part of a pattern of behavior.

Well, having sex with young girls was. Wasn't Nastassja Kinski 15? But I suppose she must have been legal in whatever jurisdiction Polanski was in then, and of course that seems to have been a consensual relationship, rather than conduct that would have been rape regardless of her age.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:19 PM
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person on the scene with best information and a strong interest

I'm not sure Geimer has "best information" on the available or likely sentences. Find a cite to the sentencing statute in effect at the time.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:20 PM
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And "but for" is not a good way to determine individual responsibility

fair enough. Which is why courts typically combine "but for" with "reasonable foreseeability" in affixing responsibility. But for his conduct, no media circus. Reasonably foreseeable that the media would be all over this kind of shit.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:22 PM
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437: Perverse incentives again. If we walk away from prosecuting crimes because the victims find it unpleasant, we create an incentive for criminals to immiserate their victims through the judicial process. Polanski got to the plea bargain by having his lawyers threaten to publicize his victim's prior sexual history, so he's already had that tactic work once.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:22 PM
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Perhaps this is a situation in which the hated word "closure" actually applies.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:23 PM
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We are really really stretching here. Clinton-Lewinsky, Watergate, birthers, Michael Jackson, any number of other examples, every the example? we usually around here blame the media themselves for their frenzies.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:23 PM
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438: You are not very respectful, are you, of a person on the scene with best information and a strong interest?

It is to laugh long and hard, oh disingenuous one.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:23 PM
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443
Polanski got to the plea bargain by having his lawyers threaten to publicize his victim's prior sexual history, so he's already had that tactic work once.

It's unfair to blame Polanski for his lawyer's conduct, though. They were just doing their job.

/troll


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:24 PM
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There can be more than one concurring proximate cause of an injury. Sure, the media is itself accountable. That doesn't absolve Polanski. Just like the subsequent medical malpractice by an ER doc doesn't absolve the negligent driver who landed the victim in the E.R. in the first place.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:25 PM
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But this particular chain of causality does feel weak to me.

Saying it is Polanski's running rather than the extradition that have the media outside Geimer's door (presuming they are there) is to wreak havoc with proximate cause of Occam's razor.

The vans weren't there a month ago, they are there now, it's the extradition that causes them to be there.

And yes, I am saying it is the cops, prosecutors, and justice system that "cause" a trial, rather than the criminal or crime. It was Ken Starr and the Republican House that caused the impeachment, not Clinton.

Often the cost is worth it. I ask now, worth it to whom, and why?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:36 PM
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417 is largely correct except that the use of "active consent" may imply a distinction between active and passive consent that I don't agree with.

As for the last bit:

I've made the lines between the situations look clearer than they are -- I bet lots of prosecutors would attempt to prosecute the 'procured consent through surreptitious drugging' situation, while ignoring 'consent related to voluntary drunkenness'. That is, I wouldn't be surprised if in practice, prosecutors tried to make Shearer's distinction. But it doesn't seem to be straightforwardly in the statute.

Prosecutors respond to jury verdicts. I expect the verdict in the case I linked would have been different if the prosecution had presented convincing evidence that the woman's drinks contained a drug other than alcohol. But as you say it isn't straightforwardly in the statute.

If I were writing the law, rape by use of drugs would refer to cases where consent is procured by surreptitious adminstration of drugs, rape by reason of incapacitation would refer to cases where the victim was incapacitated for some reason and forcible rape would refer to cases where the actor overcame resistance.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:36 PM
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Is she not a good judge of who has done what to her and what they deserve for doing it?

The problem with that is the great variance among victims' desire for justice or vengeance or closure or avoidance. I think it is pretty common to consider huge circumstantial sources of variance in punishment to be a flaw in a justice system, at the very basic level of fairness. If the concept is to minimize that variance, then a victim with high forebearance doesn't get to say "yeah, I'd rather drop it" if the larger community thinks it was a crime.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:37 PM
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How do we presume to more knowledge of who is to blame for what happened to the victim than she has? If she doesn't want some kind of revenge on Polanski, why do you want it in her name?

If you assume that the justice system is in fact a revenge system, this makes perfect sense. I know this sounds heartless, but there's a reason these crimes are against the state. Perhaps the father of the girl should have hunted him down and killed him, but the thrust of Western Civilization has had some little bit to do with moving from pursuits of revenge to pursuits of justice.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:39 PM
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448:But the negligent driver didn't cause the medical malpractice. I don't think any reasonable person would make that claim.

But that is what is being said about Polanski here, that Polanski is causing the media frenzy.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:40 PM
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Sorry. If I had waited a little longer I would have plagiarized Megan in there along with m.leblanc, read, and Aeschylus.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:40 PM
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433

The publicity is also something he did to her.

In fairness she has also done it to herself in part. Unfortunately this incident seems to have been the most notable event in her life and at times she appears to welcome the attention.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:43 PM
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Saying it is Polanski's running rather than the extradition that have the media outside Geimer's door (presuming they are there) is to wreak havoc with proximate cause of Occam's razor.

No fucking way. The fault lies with the wrongdoer and not with the person who responds to the wrongdoer, even if time elapses in between. If extradition is a proper way to respond to sentence-jumpers, then fault does not accrue to people who are correcting a problem caused by the wrongdoer. All additional injustices that flow from the sentence-jumping go back to the original wrongdoing. (In my eyes.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:44 PM
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The community has a whole set of interests in punishment, ranging from protecting the community to rehabilitation to deterrence to revenge. Most of those do not apply here. When it comes to the revenge motivation, I do indeed believe the state should give a lot of creedence to victim impact. The public desire for abstract revenge seems to me a very problematic motivation at best.

When it comes to deterrence, I don't think anyone would look at this 40-year drama and see a case where someone got off free.

443: Again, her statement did not at all read to me like someone who had been bullied or intimidated into giving up her claims. You are implictly claiming that she now wants him to get away with time served (or a short sentence) because he has made her miserable for decades. That doesn't make much sense. A year or so of publicity associated with a trial is not much in addition to what she has already gone through, and it doesn't seem like it would stop her from pursuing the case if she wanted to.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:46 PM
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453

But the negligent driver didn't cause the medical malpractice. I don't think any reasonable person would make that claim.

But he may be liable for the damages.

And if you shoot someone and he dies in the hospital I don't think you can generally argue that he wouldn't have died with better medical attention and therefore you are innocent of murder.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:48 PM
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I don't think anyone would look at this 40-year drama and see a case where someone got off free.

Not at all, except, you know, for the whole getting-off-free part.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:53 PM
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455:Jesus

However bad I might sometimes be, I hope I am not as bad as 455.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:53 PM
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has a whole set of interests in punishment, ranging from protecting the community to rehabilitation to deterrence to revenge.

And to being a consistent instrument with known and definite consequences. That isn't only for deterrence, but also for fairness. God knows that we don't do a good job of that, but we're usually outraged and wish we could correct deviations from that goal.

(Of course, I am not a mercy-based person.)

(Also, I don't know much about this case and don't want to, but I've seen a whole bunch of comments explicitly to the point that a pleasant few decades making films in France is exactly "a case where someone got off free." So people are very much looking at this drama and thinking precisely that, with what accuracy I can't guess.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:55 PM
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454: Oh, no worries, k-sky. I was only copying m. leblanc anyway.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 2:01 PM
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As for the victim I think her wishes are basically irrelevant at this point. I would give some weight to the views of the original prosecutor who appears to feel Polanski was being jerked around by the judge. Still not appearing for sentencing is not an appropriate means of objecting and there is a considerable state interest in making this clear.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 2:03 PM
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456: It's not always about you and dsquared, you know.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 2:04 PM
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455 was horrible, but I can't argue with the last sentence of 463.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 2:04 PM
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Yeah, I'm hoping 455 was intentional trolling, rather than genuine ghastliness.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 2:06 PM
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Re-reading 464, I'm worried that you might think I'm serious, Megan.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 2:07 PM
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But the negligent driver didn't cause the medical malpractice. I don't think any reasonable person would make that claim.

This may differ state to state, but in Illinois the law is pretty clear that the negligent driver remains liable even if medical negligence made the injury much worse than it otherwise would have been.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 2:11 PM
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Oh, I knew you were kidding. No one could legitimately suggest there are issues that don't revolve around ME. That leaves friendly-joking-around and I know you do that.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 2:14 PM
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460 465 466

So how would you all interpret stories like this. I don't think it describes someone who straightforwardly wishes to be forgotten.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 2:32 PM
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Damage control.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 2:34 PM
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455 might be literally true and still be a statement that only a horrible person could say in earnest. After all, he only said "in part," right? Could be 90 percent of the blame, could be 1 percent. "In part" theoretically allows for the most miniscule influences, but if that's was all he meant, what would be the point of mentioning it at all? In common usage it implies not just the most miniscule influences but some significant degree of responsibility.

He blames the victim, but phrases it in a way that has plausible deniability.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 3:12 PM
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Which is what allows me to hope, in my never ending wish to see the good in everyone, that it's trolling rather than heartfelt horribleness; the structuring seems artful enough to be deliberate.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 3:24 PM
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472 473

What's so horrible about noting that victims sometimes like the attention? Complaining about publicity while doing things to generate it is rather standard in Hollywood but a bit hypocritical.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 3:34 PM
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What was it Louis Armstrong said about jazz? If you have to ask, you ain't never going to know.

You must know someone whose interpersonal judgment you trust. Try running 455 by them and ask if they can figure out what's horrible about it. If they think it's harmless, you're all good.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 3:55 PM
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Distracting joke horrible, based on high-speed chases in Texas:

Cop goes after a pickpocket at a baseball game, pulls his gun and kills four fans as collateral damage. Pickpocket gets charged with four counts of felony homicide, and cop gets an award for catching a mass murderer.

No, I doubt anything like this really happened, but I am not a fan of indirect culpability.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 4:06 PM
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475

So what is your objection? That it isn't true? Or that it is a breach of social convention to point it out?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 4:19 PM
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This blog really is your best source for helpful advice about interacting with fellow humans without revolting them?

Yow.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 4:32 PM
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478

This blog really is your best source for helpful advice about interacting with fellow humans without revolting them?

Actually this blog is about the last place I would go for advice as you all are proud of being out of step with normal people. I have apparently stumbled across some bizarre unfogged taboo and was trying to figure out exactly what it is.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 5:14 PM
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477: So what is your objection? That it isn't true?

Regardless of Polanski and the law, this from your link:

After all, Geimer's Polanski association usually means having to give uncomfortable interviews about her past -- "Nothing as fabulous as this," she says. "We thought this would be really fun. We don't get many chances to come to New York, so I was really happy to come and see the city and do all this fabulous stuff. Got to be back to work on Friday or the boss will fire me."
She got to go to a HollywoodNew York premiere of a Hollywood documentary because she was one of the subjects of the movie. Are you begrudging her that?

max
['Is this thread a contest to see who can be more miserly?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 5:15 PM
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Umm, to the "50 year fear". I am still looking for good information, tho not looking all that hard

Just a comment deep in a thread at Talk Left.

plea, maximum state prison time for violation of PC 261.5 wss 20 years. That is what Mr. Polanski sd. in response to the DDA's inquiry. No one corrected him.

Also, the transcript does include what is known in CA as a "Harvey waiver," which permits the court to take into account the factual basis of every count charged, not just the count to which defendant pleaded guilty. Surprising.

Ok, 20 years. But I seem to remember Polanski pleading guilty to more than one count. Whether that's right, what those counts were, and what max was for those counts, I don't know.

Course, y'all can also say, "Trust Us Roman, we won't sentence you to twenty years" but Roman has been burnt by a court before.

Only given as an explanation as to why he is fighting extradition.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 5:38 PM
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And this goes too the difference between "charges" and "counts". A lot of the felony charges were dropped in the plea bargain, but the crime could have generated multiple "counts" of statutory rape.

I really don't like pretending to be a lawyer, but all over the internet people are saying Polanski is "only facing 48 days". He is looking at twenty years at minimum with an asshole judge.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 5:44 PM
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480

She got to go to a HollywoodNew York premiere of a Hollywood documentary because she was one of the subjects of the movie. Are you begrudging her that?

There are two issues. I haven't seen the movie but if LGM is to be believed it smears the victim. So you can question her judgement in appearing to endorse it by appearing in it and attending the premier.

Second I don't care if she gives interviews about the case but I don't think it is consistent with an expressed desire for privacy.

Newspapers like the NYT do not normally print the names of sex crime victims but they are doing so in this case because they feel she has waived her privacy rights.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 6:18 PM
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Transcript of the plea hearing would typically show the potential penalty. The defendant is admonished of charge, the potential sentence and is asked if he is specifically admitting the elements of the crime.

I don't care enough to find out if that transcript is online. If his plea was conditioned on a specific sentence, then he gets to withdraw it if the judge won't accept that sentence. If he agreed to plead guilty knowing the judge might not agree to the sentence he wanted, then too damn bad the judge didn't agree. What he didn't get to do? Flee the country because he didn't like the penalty for his crime.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 6:34 PM
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He is looking at twenty years at minimum with an asshole judge.

So?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 6:55 PM
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479
I have apparently stumbled across some bizarre unfogged taboo and was trying to figure out exactly what it is.

The "don't blame the victim" taboo? Bizarre, I know.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 9:35 PM
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482: Really fascinating use of "minimum" there.

479: And the taboo against baseless speculation about how crime victims should have acted to minimize the damage to them. You don't know jack about this woman's life, and secondguessing how she's chosen to interact with the media to minimize the harassment she has to undergo (cheerfully attending a premiere versus pushing through reporters on her front lawn demanding to know how badly she's still traumatized?) is shitty.

Maybe she's a publicity hound who thinks of having been anally raped as a thirteen-year old girl as the most interesting thing that ever happened to her, and is still basking in the media attention from it. It's not literally impossible -- very few things are. Raising that as a serious possibility as if you had any insight into the situation is really disgusting of you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 5:30 AM
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And that her lack of physical resistance was due to fear not inability.

I'm pretty sure that the California rape statute says something about sex against the victim's will by means of fear of bodily injury. So she might have been able to resist, but worried that she couldn't escape or that she'd get hurt badly if she tried. They ought to change the law to "sex without consent," but until then.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 6:44 AM
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Looking at the legal process in this situation is mildly amusing, but, at the end of the day, he admitted to having sex with a 13 year old and then he fled.

He has to come back and face the music. If the judge did or does something unlawful, his recourse is to appeal like every other defendant.

You dont get to flee bc you dont like what the judge is going to do.

We can discuss (as we have previously) rape trials. They are not much fun. Rape trials are horribly difficult. Due process, the adversary system....tough stuff in rape trials.

Once someone makes an allegation and a person is charged, as a practical matter, the burden shifts to the defendant to come up with a reason as to why she would lie. (We could even debate the rape shield law if you want. It is fraught with difficulties.)


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 6:56 AM
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489: We could discuss all of those things. But you are right. In this case we don't have to. So long as a valid guilty plea was entered, and has not been withdrawn, the difficult isusues presented by trials are not relevant. A guilty plea waives the right to a trial.


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 7:07 AM
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490.

I agree with you agreeing with me!


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 7:16 AM
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via LGM: Filmmakers double down on the "One of us! One of us!" defense. I wonder if Genarlow Wilson was asked to sign it? (cheap shot)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 7:42 AM
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491 gets it exactly right!


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 7:43 AM
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491, 493: Geez, get a dorm room!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 7:44 AM
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So does the Vatican!

Or as Roman Polanski put it to Martin Amis i 1979:

"If I had killed somebody, it wouldn't have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But... fucking, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to fuck young girls. Juries want to fuck young girls. Everyone wants to fuck young girls!"

But not of course "girls" in the case of the Vatican.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 7:48 AM
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495 to 492


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 7:48 AM
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Maybe she's a publicity hound who thinks of having been anally raped as a thirteen-year old girl as the most interesting thing that ever happened to her, and is still basking in the media attention from it. It's not literally impossible -- very few things are. Raising that as a serious possibility as if you had any insight into the situation is really disgusting of you.

I know Shearer doesn't care, but I have to say this seems to me to be ridiculously unfair to him.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 8:04 AM
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492: Thanks for living down to the stereotype of French people as skeezy assholes, guys. Great. You know, I get that America is too Puritanical and all and I totally agree, but shouldn't it be possible to find a happy medium between criminalizing homosexuality and softcore porn on the one side, and reducing raping a 13-year-old to "a case of morals" on the other? Also, viewing this arrest as an infringement on the freedom of expression of moviemakers: get over yourselves.

497: Why? I guess I might be going after Shearer too hard here, but that looks to me like an accurate summary of 455.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 8:19 AM
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The first signatory is Woody Allen? So awesome.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 8:24 AM
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Kobe understands the demands of celebrity.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 8:28 AM
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498, 2d p: Shearer pointed out something that is true -- Geimer's behavior doesn't demonstrate a consistent aversion to publicity. You may all be too polite to mention this, but Shearer stating this does not make him a horrible human being.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 8:37 AM
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499: Noticed that. I think it is a mere accident of alphabetization (on the complete list, not just the all-stars*, Erika Abrams comes in first), but yeah.

*I can't help picturing some agents negotiating whether their client makes it on the short list of the Polanski "morals" petition signers.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 8:41 AM
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501: Shearer seems to suggest that a desire for publicity may have been her reason for a) charging Polanski with rape, or b) for having sex with Polanski in the first place. If that is not what he means to suggest, then it seems like a pointless remark. Since Shearer usually means to be provocative, it's not surprising that LB took him to be implying a or b, either of which seems fairly awful in the circumstances.

Perhaps Shearer would like to say.

What difference does it make to anyone if Geimer has a consistent aversion to publicity? Is publicity-seeking more unbecoming to a victim of child-rape than to, say, a child-rapist?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 8:57 AM
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501
Shearer pointed out something that is true -- Geimer's behavior doesn't demonstrate a consistent aversion to publicity. You may all be too polite to mention this, but Shearer stating this does not make him a horrible human being.

If he had merely pointed this out without speculating about her motives, that would be trivial. It's just word games; by this standard the only person who does demonstrate a consistent aversion to publicity is J.D. Salinger, and even him only after a certain age. To point out that she's not a hermit and based only on that jump to the conclusion that being raped "seems to have been the most notable event in her life and at times she appears to welcome the attention" is trolling at best.

503: I thought Shearer was mainly referring to (c), the 2008 article he linked to in 470 about her going to the premiere of a documentary about Polanski. Which, as LB pointed out and was clear from her own quotes in that article, was mainly about damage control.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 9:04 AM
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503: You don't seem to have read through the discussion. The question of how publicity-averse Geimer is, came up, because of this quote from an article Geimer wrote, "And, honestly, the publicity surrounding it was so traumatic that what he did to me seemed to pale in comparison."

Shearer's comment did not suggest that she charged Polanski out of a desire for publicity.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 9:08 AM
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501, 505: Shearer links to an article that says this:

Geimer... says that participating in the documentary was a strategic move. "Generally for me, it's just easier that if people want to talk to me, I talk to them," she says. "That way they don't sit out in front of my house and wait for me."

Plus, she approves of the movie -- "I didn't think somebody could make it that interesting" -- and hopes it will quell some of the curiosity about what happened that night. "I'm glad [director Marina Zenovich] put the truth of the way it happened out there, because I don't want to have to tell people,"

Coming to the premiere, likewise, was a way to try to get the press off her back. "I figure if I keep talking to people, maybe they'll get tired of me," she says. "That's one of my theories, that no one will want to talk to me anymore! Hasn't worked yet." The New York trip will be the final extent of her foray into fanciness, though.

And he uses it to argue that she's asking for publicity. I suppose instead of horribleness or trolling, I could accuse Shearer of merely not reading his own link. Or maybe he thinks she's lying throughout that. Hey, nothing's impossible.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 9:23 AM
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503

Perhaps Shearer would like to say.

To be clear my comment was referring to her behavior long after the incident.

What difference does it make to anyone if Geimer has a consistent aversion to publicity? ...

It matters because one of her stated reasons for wanting the prosecution of Polanski to be dropped was a desire to avoid further publicity. The discussion went something like:

A: We should listen to the victim and not subject her to further publicity.
B: Her continuing notoriety is all Polanski's doing.
Shearer: It isn't all his doing.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 9:25 AM
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506

And he uses it to argue that she's asking for publicity. I suppose instead of horribleness or trolling, I could accuse Shearer of merely not reading his own link. Or maybe he thinks she's lying throughout that. Hey, nothing's impossible.

I don't think her stated aversion to continuing publicity should be taken at face value.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 9:29 AM
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To be fair to Shearer, he didn't say she was asking for the publicity but that at times she seems to welcome it. In your quote she seems to be saying that she cooperates (?) with the media hounds because she hopes that if she does so, it will get old and go away. It came up in context of a discussion of whether the prosecution was damaging to her by encouraging more media attention and there is a fair point to be made (whether this was Shearer's point or not) that it is inconsistent to attend the documentary release and not complain about that publicity while complaining about the publicity generated by the court seeking to enforce its jurisdiction.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 9:31 AM
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So am I reading you right, James, that 507A should not be accepted uncritically in light of her comments with respect to and attendance of the documentary release?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 9:34 AM
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508:

Shearer, if we could look into her heart and see that her aversion to publicity IS genuine, would you agree that:

1. imposing this publicity on her is an injury that flows from Polanski's original rape?
2. saying that "she benefits from and enjoys the publicity" is an insult that mocks the annoyance and hurt she genuinely feels (now that we have seen her heart) from continued publicity?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 9:42 AM
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But Megan, we can't see inside her heart. Given that, in deciding whether to drop the prosecution, is it so implausible to suggest that her stated aversion to publicity should not be taken at face value when she fairly recently attended the film premiere and made statements about how she approves of that film, which one has to presume also has added to publicity?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 9:57 AM
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505: Well that's true. I just can't keep track anymore of who's a criminal, who's a christ-like victim, and who's a manipulative publicity hound, and since none of what I think about any of it matters to anyone, I think I'm going to drop it.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:01 AM
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Yeah, my usual rule is to take statements at face value. I'm just trying to stipulate that she is averse to publicity to get Shearer's take on my questions.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:02 AM
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513: Yes, that what I should do too, except that then I might be forced to do my actual job.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:03 AM
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I think this is where the tacky/shitty nature of Shearer's original comment comes in. We can't see into her heart. Maybe she's a publicity hound. Maybe she's acting in a way well calculated to minimize media attention -- that is showing up for the premiere really did mean that she'd get hassled less than if she stayed home and had to deal with the media on her doorstep. Maybe she's trying to minimize media attention, but her skills and judgment are poor, and going to the premiere was a bad idea in that regard.

Given the nature of the origin of her notoriety, speculating, without a whole lot of factual basis, about her motives in a way that makes her look like a publicity-hungry hypocrite seems to me to be a needlessly unpleasant and creepy thing to do. It's perfectly possible that she is a publicity-hungry hypocrite, some people are. But just because it's possible doesn't mean it's well established by the information we have, and the speculation in that direction is kind of gross.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:08 AM
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499: Soon-Yi Previn was 21 years old when their affair surfaced, and the two are married today. I think it's important to maintain distinctions between deeply squidgy interpersonal betrayals and morally monstrous behavior.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:11 AM
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LB, you're skipping ahead. I was trying to get Shearer to establish the intermediate steps himself.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:12 AM
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I like "deeply squidgy".


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:12 AM
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511: I think he's already answered 511.1 in 503: "Shearer: It isn't all his doing." It isn't all at least implicitly concedes that it is some.

I don't think you'll get a concession on point 2 because it is a goalpost shifting question. Shearer says he doesn't take her aversion at face value, so asking "But if we could know that her aversion is sincere, you'd be an asshole, right?" changes the game.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:13 AM
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518: Didn't seem worth the effort. I was hoping he actually knew a human being who'd walk him through it in person, but that doesn't seem to be an option.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:13 AM
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Shearer says he doesn't take her aversion at face value, so asking "But if we could know that her aversion is sincere, you'd be an asshole, right?" changes the game.

The thing is, I'd say that assuming without knowledge that her aversion is insincere, as he did, makes him an asshole.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:16 AM
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assuming without knowledge that her aversion is insincere

Well, I usually count it as a commenting foul and mentally give a yellow card for it. And this was pretty hard contact.

I was trying to go slowly and work through the concept that it would be an insult, and then get to some possibility that he has done this insult, and then calculate the expected value of that insult, which I think is more than zero. But someone kept shouting out the answer.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:20 AM
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Or, you know, we could try to attempt a generous reading of what he was attempting to say and approach it from there. He was responding to Bob's argument that the prosecution should be dropped because Geimer has said the media attention is worse than the original crime. James pointed out (indelicately, no doubt) that Geimer didn't seem to think the movie should be dropped.

It seems somewhat natural that Geimer should have conflicting feelings about the publicity. Personally, anyway, I can imagine both wanting to be left in peace and wanting my side of the story heard -- which seems to be why Geimer would like the prosecution dropped but approved of the film.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:21 AM
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510

My general position is regardless of how much weight the victim's wishes should have been given in arriving at the original plea bargain Polanski's subsequent troubles with the law are not really her affair (although I recognize they may affect her).

But if we are going to bring the victim into it I don't think her stated aversion to publicity is entirely consistent with her actions.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:23 AM
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524: Eh. I get being generous with infelicitious phrasing when I can understand someone's point and I think it's non-objectionable. I don't clearly see a non-objectionable point Shearer's making, and until he states one I'm not inclined to make guesses about what one might be. (Also, I don't think the documentary could reasonably be regarded as 'her side of the story' -- while I haven't seen it, my impression is that it's very much "Poor Polanski, getting railroaded out of the country for a silly little incident like this. The criminal justice system sucks.")


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:26 AM
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Which is to say, he's not completely off base to note indications that she's not totally averse to the publicity. But her supportive comments about the movie-related publicity do not mean she is lying when she says the publicity in general has made her feel further violated, which is where the problem seems to lie. I don't know if James meant to imply that she is lying about feeling further violated, but if so, the problem lies not in his treating additional evidence as cause for skepticism but in his failing to perceive how she can quite reasonably have this difficult and conflicted relationship with the media coverage.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:26 AM
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526: Sure, I was just referring to the movie as presenting "her side" based on the quote in Cyrus' 506: Plus, she approves of the movie -- "I didn't think somebody could make it that interesting" -- and hopes it will quell some of the curiosity about what happened that night. "I'm glad [director Marina Zenovich] put the truth of the way it happened out there, because I don't want to have to tell people,"


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:28 AM
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524

It seems somewhat natural that Geimer should have conflicting feelings about the publicity. Personally, anyway, I can imagine both wanting to be left in peace and wanting my side of the story heard -- which seems to be why Geimer would like the prosecution dropped but approved of the film.

I agree about conflicting feelings. I think famous people often have conflicting feelings about their fame.

I have doubts about the second part. Geimer doesn't seem all that interested in telling her side. I haven't seen the film but accounts are it presents Polanski's side and makes her look bad. Which makes her apparent endorsement a little strange.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:30 AM
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524:He was responding to Bob's argument that the prosecution should be dropped because Geimer has said the media attention is worse

Dammit, I didn't make that argument. 431 was a quote, and quote only.

People can respect my ambiguity and obliqueness or not, but I often use because I lack firm opinions or judgements on particular issues or details.

I do wish people would stop reading my mind and reporting their visions as fact


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:30 AM
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I may have failed, but I have tried as best I could to limit my comments to facts and process, not outcomes.

"Eaten by weasels" is ok fine with me. Mistaking the facts or subverting the process is very much not ok, even or especially with the least sympathetic defendants.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:37 AM
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Throwing that argument out there then? Wasn't trying to tar you with a position, bob, just trying to clarify the isea I think james responded to.


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:39 AM
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Geimer doesn't seem all that interested in telling her side. I haven't seen the film but accounts are it presents Polanski's side and makes her look bad. Which makes her apparent endorsement a little strange.

I can see it as "People are going to ask me about this for the rest of my life. I don't want to keep telling the story, and I don't want to have to act damaged and hurt about it forever. Whatever the documentary's focus is, I can point to it as 'why bother asking me, the story's there, and thirty years later I'm fine.'"

I'm just curious, Shearer -- did my reaction to 455, as spelled out in 519, make any sense to you? I'm sure you didn't mean it that way, and I'm not asking you to endorse it as a self-evidently compelling interpretation. I'm just wondering whether it still comes off as crazy Martian talk, or you can understand the reaction now that it's been explained?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:43 AM
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511

Shearer, if we could look into her heart and see that her aversion to publicity IS genuine, would you agree that:

And if we could look into the past and learn that Polanski was guilty of nothing more than what he pled to than many of the comments here have been hurtful and insulting. So what?

2. saying that "she benefits from and enjoys the publicity" is an insult that mocks the annoyance and hurt she genuinely feels (now that we have seen her heart) from continued publicity?

Aren't quote marks suppose to denote actual quotations and not tenditious rephrasings?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:45 AM
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People can respect my ambiguity and obliqueness or not, but I often use because I lack firm opinions or judgements on particular issues or details.

I do wish people would stop reading my mind and reporting their visions as fact

It's not going to happen, Bob. If you're deliberately ambiguous and oblique, people will make guesses about what you mean. That's how people communicate.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:45 AM
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When I say 519, I mean, of course, 516. Squidginess is neither here nor there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:46 AM
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532:Ok.

I may have put Geiner's arguments and opinons out there, and maybe even defended them.

That does not mean I necessarily share them.

Whether it is fair or unfair to conclude something about me from my advocacy for the devil, like sympathy, is up to readers. I can't help that.

Or maybe I can. Whatever.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:49 AM
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535:I know.

I didn't want to start this with "Extradite, lock him up, and throw away the key" because then it seemed to me that arguments about process would seem trivial and irrelevant. If the outcome is pre-determined, why care about process?

Goes to stuff like remedies, etc.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:55 AM
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Aren't quote marks suppose to denote actual quotations and not tenditious rephrasings?

You're right. I shouldn't have used full quotes. Sorry about that.

But to the point of my question. If it were stipulated that she is averse to publicity, that it damages her quality of life, does it insult her and trivialize that damage to say that she has solicited it?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 11:00 AM
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And I do have a history.

It horrifies me that so many say:"Well, yeah, we repeatedly tortured him and used evidence obtained from others by torture, but we really really want to lock up Khalid Sheik Muhammed, so tough luck, KSM."

It revolts me that Padilla is in jail. Terrifies me.

The remedies needed to be unbearable.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 11:08 AM
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The remedies needed to be unbearable.

This I don't follow. Who needed what remedies to be unbearable by whom?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 11:11 AM
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533

I'm just curious, Shearer -- did my reaction to 455, as spelled out in 519, make any sense to you? I'm sure you didn't mean it that way, and I'm not asking you to endorse it as a self-evidently compelling interpretation. I'm just wondering whether it still comes off as crazy Martian talk, or you can understand the reaction now that it's been explained?

It is not clear to me what in 516 "I am sure you didn't mean it that way" is referring to.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 11:17 AM
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541:The US needed the remedies for torturing KSM to be unbearable, or incredibly painful, to the US.

The trials and imprisonment of Bush & Cheney might have sufficed. I don't think the prosecution of lower-level torturers would be enough, just as the punishment of cops for violating suspect rights was a joke. Only when Miranda dictated the release of criminals did cops get serious.

KSM being released back to a safe haven would hurt, and deter torture.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 11:22 AM
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Eh, take that out if it's confusing you -- it's not actually true, in that I'm not sure at all what you meant. I was trying to explicitly allow for the possibility that you weren't thinking anything that I would have perceived as offensive, and asking if whatever the hell you actually meant, you can understand my reaction to what you said.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 11:22 AM
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539: Megan, Shearer can be a jerk, but he isn't a moron.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 11:30 AM
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The Swiss fucked up be not extraditing Polanski twenty years ago, and/or the US failed by not demanding extradition. I see nothing so far that will keep the Swiss from letting the next runner slide for twenty years.

Unless France declares war, but I would hate to see France lose a war to Switzerland.

That's a joke.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 11:30 AM
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Gotta go.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 11:32 AM
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I've never thought he is a moron. I was hoping for an answer to the questions I asked, but if they don't interest him, I'll drop it. I'm not that invested in this part of this conversation.

PGD never responded to my points about fairness in the justice system either.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 11:36 AM
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548: in 461, I take it. I sort of quit this convo because I didn't want to get backed into defending Polanski when I don't want to. But anyway, I see fairness as a procedural and not a consequences / outcomes thing. There is no such thing as two identical crimes, the system by which crimes are bundled as similar charges is inescapably arbitrary. I have no problem with victim impact statements or victim input being part of the procedure for sentencing, so long as it does not impinge on the state's ability to make choices that protect community interests that go beyond those the victim's interest in retribution.

With that said, an undeniable fairness issue here is Polanski's ability to flee the criminal justice system because of his wealth/power. That flight has to be punished or else you have a real parallel system.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 11:45 AM
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Dude, I am super sympathetic with sort of quitting this conversation.

If I'm understanding you, people should have procedural fairness up to the verdict, and then victim imput could influence the sentence? I understand that. At the extremes, it could undo a lot of the procedural fairness, but hopefully we mostly aren't working at the extremes. I don't think I agree, but I'd have to think more about it.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 11:53 AM
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I must admit I bridled a bit when people started bringing in Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn as a relevant talking point. Seems to me if you treat age of consent as a formal legal bright-line issue -- no leeway, no circumstantial variation, one day under and it's rape, consent not relevant -- then the bright line cuts both ways. In bright-line terms, "barely legal" means actually legal: and, since ribald jokes about old men and much younger women are hardly likely to vanish any time soon, the old men in question, when legal is legal, have every right to be bolshy and truculent about it. Soon-Yi was not 13 and there's no sense in which she wasn't consenting; clearly she still is. At 12 years -- 17 if you include the unmarried part -- this is in fact the longest-lasting of Woody's marriages.

Bolshy and truculent includes maintaining that his situation -- happily married to a 38-year-old woman, 39 in a week's time -- has no real bearing on his decision to put his name to a declaration that artists should be judged by different legal standards. The declaration seems monumentally dickish and tin-eared, and there's no way people aren't going to throw this stuff at him. But I don't see why this stand counts as some kind of a lack of self-awareness: he thinks he was right to marry a woman 34 years his junior and time seems to have shown he was right -- and being wrong about Polanski doesn't change that.

Surely one of the real strains on the bright-line strategy -- which I basically think is right, practically as well as morally -- is the (to me) surprisingly wide variation in ages of consent worldwide: Spain -- 12; plenty of places -- 9! And it's not consistent in the various US states. "Statutory rape this side of the river" seems like it has less moral heft than it needs: it becomes a matter of regional taste rather than civil sensibility.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 12:40 PM
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533

No your reaction doesn't make a lot of sense to me except as part of a generalized taboo against questioning the actions (even 30 years later) of rape victims in any way. I don't accept this taboo. Nor do I accept the view that Polanski's status as a Holocaust survivor exempts him from normal standards of behavior.

If you took me to mean (as suggested by mcmc in 503) that she instigated the whole incident out of a desire for fame then I would understand outrage. But this is neither what I intended to say or in my view a reasonable interpretation of what I did say.

Nor did I intend to claim that she is consciously lying about her motivations.

My main point is that she has in some sense waived her privacy rights. Which is why the NYT printed her name and picture which they would not ordinarily do.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 12:49 PM
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548

I've never thought he is a moron. I was hoping for an answer to the questions I asked, but if they don't interest him, I'll drop it. I'm not that invested in this part of this conversation.

I am willing to stipulate that speculating about people's actions and motivations can be insulting and hurtful to them even (or perhaps especially) when true. It does not follow that it should never be done.

Considering all the other speculation in this thread I don't see anything particularly egregious about 455. Especially since the victim is unlikely to read it.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 12:56 PM
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If you took me to mean (as suggested by mcmc in 503) that she instigated the whole incident out of a desire for fame then I would understand outrage. But this is neither what I intended to say or in my view a reasonable interpretation of what I did say.

Nope, that wasn't what I thought you meant, and I agree that it would be an unreasonable interpretation.

My main point is that she has in some sense waived her privacy rights.

This is pretty meaningless -- she hasn't got legal privacy rights to waive or not waive. Describing her interest in not being harassed by media attention as a 'privacy right' isn't a useful way of conceptualizing it, I don't think.

If you mean that there's no reason for decent people to consider her interests and wishes with respect to publicity because of her actions, and that if she had acted differently in the past there would be reason for decent people to consider her interests and wishes, I disagree with you -- I don't think she's done anything that makes consideration of her interests and wishes in this regard less important than it would have been if she'd spent the last thirty years in a convent.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 12:56 PM
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551.last: A bright-line distinction seems necessary (or at least plausible; IANAL) in legal terms, but I have no problems with treating it as shades of gray as a matter of mere personal judgement of whether I approve of something or not. A 50-year-old having sex with a 20-year-old, for example, is almost definitely not a healthy relationship between equals (but, of course, nothing's impossible), even though I'd definitely say the age of consent should be well under 20.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 12:59 PM
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551: Also, the Woody Allen thing is complicated by the fact that she was sort of kind of his adopted step-daughter. Not legally important, but adds greatly to the bad optics/dirty-joke quality of the situation.

No one's still complaining about Jerry Seinfeld dating a teenager -- I think they're still married, right?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 1:02 PM
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I thought Seinfeld married that girl who was super rich and engaged to someone equally super rich. I didn't think she was a teenager.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 1:05 PM
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556: Nooo. He dated her for a long time, but famously (well, due to two separate and hilarious NYT wedding pages entries) picked up a girl at his gym who had been back from her honeymoon for all of two weeks. She left her husband within a month and she and JS are still married.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 1:07 PM
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Seinfeld never married the teenager.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 1:07 PM
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I swear there was a Jerry-Seinfeld/barely legal teenager relationship that ended up fairly long-term, but I'm awful with gossip: I couldn't tell you her name or if she is his current wife.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 1:07 PM
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560: Shoshanna Lonstein. (Not that I'd have known that without google.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 1:09 PM
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Especially since the victim is unlikely to read it.

I used to think that way. But who would have thought that Mark Helprin would read Saiselgy's comments?

You never know when a person might be really bored one day and google themselves. I know I do it, and nobody actually discusses me on the internet.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 1:14 PM
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I guess what I'm getting at is this progression

Cyrus (stating yr preference as is yr right): "You are 50 and she is 20 -- this may be legal but it is not healthy and I cannot approve!"
Woody (nettled): "Fuck you Mr Trad-Dad Square with yr conventional so-called MORALS! None can legislate the pangs of the heart!" (This is how he actually talks off-screen)

I don't think this kind of to-and-fro is going to go away, nor do I want it to, but I do think it's what clouds the idea of the bright line, where a formal scission point is rubbed away into tastes and feelings and the particular circumstances and the angry feelings of one group towards the beliefs of another, and this means the vulnerable are actually less protected, in this rhetorically gameable miasma?


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 1:16 PM
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And there are also other rape victims out there. Anyone reading that knows that if they get raped and don't hide in a convent, people are likely to start speculating about how they really welcome the attention they get from having been raped.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 1:17 PM
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Yes, obviously the whole dumping-mum-for-adoptive-daughter* doesn't put Woody in the best light, esp.as Mia found out when she discovered naked pix of Soon-Yi in his apartment. But being an arsehole in matters of love isn't illegal either.

*Not technically HIS adoptive daughter according to that infallible legal source Wikipedia.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 1:20 PM
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@562: not so! the very first site you click on if you google "peep" has a big red banner that says "Watch Peep Now!"


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 1:22 PM
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And there's a huge gap between being willing to talk about something if it comes up and actively seeking publicity. IMO it's good to be able to say "yes, it happened, and yes, it sucked, and no, I'm not horribly traumatized by thinking/talking about it now", and people oughtn't be viewed as exhibitionist or whatever for not treating past episodes of suckitude as something to be hidden shamefully away.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 1:22 PM
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I'm awful with gossip: I couldn't tell you her name or if she is his current wife.

Ooooo, I'm still mad about the game of Taboo I played with my hippie friends a couple weekends back. I swear, the four people on my team couldn't name the person I described as "formerly redhaired starlet, starred in Mean Girls, dating Samantha Ronson, called a firecrotch by some asshole on That 70's Show, pretty, now blond, in and out of rehab." Jesus, fuckers! I don't think I follow celebrity news, but all four of you stared at me blankly? What more could I have said?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 1:22 PM
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567 to 564, more or less.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 1:23 PM
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562

You never know when a person might be really bored one day and google themselves. I know I do it, and nobody actually discusses me on the internet.

A reason for not referring to the victim by name which I have not done (except in 507 in the form of a quotation).


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 1:25 PM
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570: Good point, James. I think 564 is ridiculously unfair, but I don't feel up to continuing this argument.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 1:28 PM
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564

And there are also other rape victims out there. Anyone reading that knows that if they get raped and don't hide in a convent, people are likely to start speculating about how they really welcome the attention they get from having been raped.

This is the the taboo against criticizing rape victims in any way thing. It is also the fallacy of the excluded middle (or something like that). There is quite a distance between hiding in a convent and appearing at the premier of a movie about the incident. If Polanski had showed up and said he was doing so in order to minimize publicity would you have accepted that at face value?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 1:32 PM
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572: It's not about minimizing publicity, it's about minimizing press harassment. Vast difference.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 1:36 PM
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This is the the taboo against criticizing rape victims in any way thing.

There's a lot of distance between 'taboo against criticizing rape victims in any way' and thinking it's shitty to second-guess or condemn a rape victim's (or really, the victim of any significant trauma) emotional reaction to or practical response to the rape and aftermath where that reaction isn't wrongful in itself. You show me a rape victim doing something actually wrong, I'll go ahead and criticize it. But talking as if her feelings and wishes are unimportant because you think her response to the publicity surrounding the crime was such as to 'waive her privacy rights' is still shitty.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 1:41 PM
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When we are done with this topic, can we talk about what kind of horrible parent you have to be to allow your daughter to model at age 13?

That is a cry for attention.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 1:47 PM
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A 50-year-old having sex with a 20-year-old, for example, is almost definitely not a healthy relationship between equals

I'm not sure about the implicit assumption that a healthy relationship has to be between "equals", nor do I know how to define "equal" when there are so many dimensions of power and influence in intimate relationships.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 1:58 PM
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575: No.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 2:06 PM
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dating Samantha Ronson,

Well, they are no longer dating, so perhaps that is what tripped them up.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 2:07 PM
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A 50-year-old having sex with a 20-year-old, for example, is almost definitely not a healthy relationship between equals

Yes, the 20-year-old probably has a much greater choice of potential mates than the 50-year-old does, so you've got that power differential in terms of who is more likely to be afraid of getting dumped. But if it works, it works.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 2:07 PM
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568: The Parent Trap?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 2:08 PM
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574

... But talking as if her feelings and wishes are unimportant because you think her response to the publicity surrounding the crime was such as to 'waive her privacy rights' is still shitty.

Do you believe the NYT (and other MSM) should be naming her?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 2:21 PM
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575

When we are done with this topic, can we talk about what kind of horrible parent you have to be to allow your daughter to model at age 13?

I don't agree with this at all as a general principle.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 2:23 PM
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579: the bright-line system gives you certain points where you legally declare there's an absolute power imbalance -- these people are defined as children, these as vulnerable*, so hands off -- but for the rest, it's up for negotiation and argument: a group that's declared vulnerable by definition of course actually loses rights, in return for the legal protection

*incuding in certain circumstances employees, for example


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 2:24 PM
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581: There's a cat-out-of-the-bag effect -- once her name is known, referring to her as the victim of the Polanski rape doesn't protect her any better than referring to her by name. I'm not sure what events led to her name being public, or when that happened -- I might second-guess the first newspaper to print it (or the first large-circulation media outlet, if the first was small), but after that point I don't think it makes a difference.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 2:27 PM
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The Onion: What Do You Think?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 2:44 PM
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551: I must admit I bridled a bit when people started bringing in Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn as a relevant talking point.

The "talking point" arose quite legitimately in relation to the "optics" of the petition. Bright line be damned, you have the guy who made Manhattan, had lusting after young girls a constant trope of his comedy, and "married his kinda adopted young daughter" lead off the petition and it demonstrates either (or both) no understanding of how people emotionally process this stuff or total arrogance. No moral equivalence claimed, but Jesus, could Woody not have sat this one out?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 2:58 PM
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584: I disagree. It's possible to find out her name with a little work once a single news outlet has printed it, but that's quite different from having it included in nearly every single news story about the case. In the former instance one has to start from the case and work towards the person. In the latter, one is likely to start with the person and encounter her connection to the case. For people who know her in real life, that means pretty much everyone who knows her name now knows an intimate part of her personal story, bank tellers, apartment managers, the mail carrier, everyone. In this instance she herself contributed to spreading the knowledge, but there are plenty of instances where the victim does want privacy and the media repeatedly violate it while hiding behind the weak justification that it's already public.

There's a vast difference between a fact being accessible and it being common knowledge.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 3:03 PM
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Also please pretend I know how to use English.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 3:05 PM
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587: You do have a point there. I think there's something to be said on the 'cat out of the bag' front, but the cat has to be pretty far out of the bag before that works.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 3:07 PM
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It's somewhat analogous to "LizardBreath from the popular blog I cannot remember the name of right now".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 3:10 PM
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Heh. That was odd.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 3:11 PM
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Why should he sit it out? He didn't do anything wrong! I mean, except signing the petition at all. That's the wrong (also arrogant) bit. Not that his partner of 17 years is now nearly 39.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 3:13 PM
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592: Well, from Polanski's point of view, I think he would have been sensible in asking Woody to sit it out. Whatever the rights and wrongs of Woody's relationship with Previn (and certainly no laws were broken), the petition is about PR, and at this point Polanski doesn't need public support from someone who's going to make most people think "And there's another one who likes 'em young."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 3:40 PM
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She's 39!

I think the entire petition is nuts from Polanski's PR point of view.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 3:47 PM
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556, 558: That's my gym! Never seen either of them.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 3:55 PM
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Maybe they're too short to be seen from your height.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 3:58 PM
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They probably just go to the gym during celebrity/stay-at-home mom hours (late morning, early afternoon).


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 4:08 PM
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589

You do have a point there. I think there's something to be said on the 'cat out of the bag' front, but the cat has to be pretty far out of the bag before that works.

The stated explanation for printing her name is not that the cat is out of the bag. Here for example:

... has long since publicly identified herself ...


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 4:18 PM
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That doesn't tell you much without actually knowing the history of how she "publicly identified herself". I'd guess that the cat was probably out of the bag, in terms of broad publication of her identity, before she did so. I could be wrong -- I don't actually know. But neither do you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 4:35 PM
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598: I think that falls under "pretty far out of the bag." I made a point of addressing cases other than this one for that reason. I think the escaping cat criterion is pretty weak in the age of Drudge and the like. I prefer a direct relevance criterion.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 4:37 PM
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586: Yeah. It's too bad they couldn't get Norm Mailer and Jack Henry Abbott to sign one of those Artists in Favor of Other Artists Fucking Little Girls petitions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Abbott


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 4:58 PM
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599

That doesn't tell you much without actually knowing the history of how she "publicly identified herself". I'd guess that the cat was probably out of the bag, in terms of broad publication of her identity, before she did so. I could be wrong -- I don't actually know. But neither do you.

I know it is the general policy of MSM like the NYT not to publish the names of sex crime victims unless the victims have in some way waived privacy. I don't see any reason to believe this case is different. As best I can determine the first mention of the victim's name in the NYT is in this 2003 article :

Yet the dirty tricks and wild accusations continued unabated through the final days. Who was responsible for getting Samantha Geimer, who in 1977 was the 13-year-old victim of Roman Polanski's sexual advances, to write a warmly phrased opinion article in The Los Angeles Times asking Oscar voters not to take Mr. Polanski's personal life into account when judging ''The Pianist''?

As best I can determine the NYT has never printed the name (although it has appeared in blog comments) of the Duke accuser although it is of course widely known.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 4:59 PM
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587
I disagree. It's possible to find out her name with a little work once a single news outlet has printed it, but that's quite different from having it included in nearly every single news story about the case. In the former instance one has to start from the case and work towards the person. In the latter, one is likely to start with the person and encounter her connection to the case.

Interesting. 10 or 20 years ago, pre-Google and other search engines, this was true. Today, though, even if her name only appeared in very limited and disreputable contexts in relation to him, all it would take is a quick Google of "polanski rape victim" for her bank teller or apartment manager to find out.

Does the Internet mean we're going to give up on that social custom as a quaint anachronism of a more private time? Sounds like reaching for an excuse, but mores change all the time to match pragmatic reality.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 5:29 PM
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For some reason, I seem to be unable to comment at EOTAW, even though I just drafted a ridiculously long comment and they mentioned my name on the front page. Conspiracy theory!

Anyhow, I know this is boring now over here, but I found the Polanski probation report really interesting -- in its omissions, it's kind of a monument to how much feminism has changed the world. Here's most of what I would have written over there, if I could . . . .


The basic defense to a (non-statutory) rape charge under California law is that the defendant believed that the victim consented to the sexual contact. That belief must be "actual" (that is, the defendant subjectively believed the victim was consenting to sex) and "reasonable" (that is, based on the jury's sense of the facts, the defendant had an objectively reasonable basis for believing that the sex was consensual). What's "reasonable" depends, of course, on the social attitudes of the jury (and, by extension, the prosecution, and society at large).

Based on the probation report, I think we can infer that the state seems to have believed that Polanski had a pretty good consent defense to rape -- the report basically reflects the views of an office tied to the DA's office, and contains many, many indications that the probation office thought that there was really no basis to the Penal Code 261 rape charge, and that this was a pure case of "statutory" rape. That's an inference from the report, but I think a justified one.

Put bluntly, the (largely male) DA's office of 1977 seems to have thought that it was at least kind of understandable for Polanski to have believed that a young girl who was obviously both drunk and high was consenting to sex simply because she didn't forcibly object to his advances, and that a jury would likely believe his story, despite the victim's story that she did say no.

Thankfully, that 1977 attitude is gone today. Good luck trying to convince your contemporary DA's office or jury that it is reasonable to think that sex with a 13 year old girl is anything but non-consensual where you admit that the girl did NOTHING to initiate sex or to indicate consent, other than some mildly provocative behavior that took place before sex was initiated (agreeing to see Polanski again after an initial topless photo shoot, socializing in a pool, etc.). Saying that the victim didn't actually say "no," which was basically Polanski's defense, surely wouldn't be enough to cut it almost anywhere today, especially where (as here) the victim would testify that she actually did say "no."

But Polanski's defense was apparently enough, in 1977, to convince the LA County DA's office to accept what was effectively a slap-on-the-wrist sentence. The fact that most prosecutor's offices are not so benighted today is testimony to the incredible success of the feminist movement in changing the understanding of the crime of rape. So, ironically, Polanski's decision to flee the country for 30 years may bring him into contact with a far more severe attitude to the crime he committed than was present when he left.

*I think that the report strongly suggests that the decision not to press forward with the rape charge was based on the fact that the DA thought that Polanski had a decent defense to rape, not on the victim's unwillingness to proceed. But that's my speculation from the report, though, not anything like an established fact.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 5:50 PM
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604: The judge's comments immediately after announcing the plea deal I think support you, RH. (Although it is also the case that the girl's family hired a lawyer who was arguing against a trial prior even to the plea deal.) He makes all sorts of creeptastic statements about the girl's "well developed" body and how she was "regrettably not unschooled in sexual matters," but that nevertheless this was not license for a "man of the world" to have sex with her "no matter how submissive [!!!--oud.] and uninhibited."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 6:06 PM
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604.1:They ban people "just to see them go" over there.
To quote ari.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 6:07 PM
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Yes, good point. It's easy to forget, sometimes, just how difficult it was to make rape charges stick back in the day -- what? you knew the assailant? there's no sign that you physically fought back? you were wearing sexy clothes?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 6:07 PM
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||

Legal Bleg:

What's the name of the case which illustrates the point that children can have intent for purposes of tort law? It's about a kid who pulls out a chair as someone is about to sit down and is held responsible.

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 6:10 PM
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EotAW has actually devoted a whole post to RH's comments. I am certain that he is not banned.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 6:13 PM
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The two pictures at the link in 561, taken the same year, are impressive testimony to the transformative power of eye makeup. Not the same person.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 6:13 PM
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609, I know, I was so proud, and now I can't post anything! I blame Ari.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 6:20 PM
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608, Garratt v. Dailey.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 6:25 PM
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The fact that the Woody Allen relationship is such a serious long term one makes it more disturbing to me, rather than less. Assuming she wasn't his de-facto step daughter, then the idea of a twenty year old crushing/lusting on a charming, famous much older person doesn't seem that outlandish. Nor do I see a semi-serious fling of that sort as likely to be harmful. Choosing to spend your entire twenties and thirties with them - a bit bizarre. Still, she was twenty, she gets to decide. I'm not sure what the age of consent should be but twenty year olds definitely should have the right to freely choose who they sleep with. Thirteen year olds are even more clearly on the other side of that line for me.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 6:28 PM
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Eh, people do all sorts of stuff that looks weird from a distance. If it's worked for them for this long, what's disturbing about it?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 6:35 PM
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599 602

As well as writing a LAT op ed, the victim also appeared on Larry King Live on February 24, 2003.

Cumulative Google groups hits on victim's name (maiden name in parenthesis) through end of year listed.

2004 6(7)
2005 7(27)
2006 16(59)
2007 124(67)
2008 790(101)
2009 9350(998)


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 6:38 PM
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||

I just finished my 5th or 6th reading of this long piece over by Eric at Exercise of the Academic Whim.

In itself, seems very much a kind of "top-down" explanation of American history & development. Example:

The New Deal's reliance on local institutions helped it succeed where the American System failed, by mobilizing local knowledge about (for example) soil conditions. But local control also meant reinforcing the power of existing elites, at the expense notably of African Americans and Indians.

Umm, I won't bore with a counter-argument about the empowerment of workers, but here is Louis Proyect talking about Michael Moore's movie and Proyect's comrades from 30s Detroit.

Nor will I bore with why this is an example of the problem I have with Rauchway.

Possibly worth reading anyway.

(The Halford "banning" was of course a joke, but now the fun is spoiled.)

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 6:42 PM
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613:My impression from a movie I have seen about Allen is that Allen found a woman willing to play his mother.

I won't guess at her motivations. Women of many ages etc seem to like Woody Allen. And I think the blog has discussed May-December before.

If anyone watches Mad Men I think that might be a large part of the declining, probably dying Roger Sterling's motivation for the new young wife. The previous wife didn't look inclined to nurse him to his end.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 6:50 PM
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This is my opportunity to recount my real-life Mad Men story, which I've been dying to do here. A few weeks ago I was driving a usual route home (I live in one of the older sections of LA) when I saw a whole bunch of white people dressed up in 50s style costumes; I assumed they were swing dancers or something but it was pretty weird. Then, I pulled my car forward and almost ran into (the actor who plays) Roger Sterling. I leaned out of the car and said "I'm sorry, but you shouldn't have left your wife." He was taken aback for a second, and then laughed and waved.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 6:57 PM
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OMG Halford!


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 7:00 PM
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618 wins the internet!

[Also, ooooh. Why are they in LA???]


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 7:00 PM
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Were they filming?


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 7:00 PM
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I still sometimes think of that actor as "the politician who wanted Carrie Bradshaw to pee on him" rather than "Roger Sterling."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 7:02 PM
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620: Mad Men is set in New York, but is filmed in L.A. Mostly here, but occasionally in believably East Coast L.A. locations.

Similarly, the show is set in the 1960s, but is filmed in the present day.

I know that sounds snarky, but it was a few years of aterschool watching before I understood it about Happy Days.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 7:06 PM
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This was south of Wilshire, near the Ebell theater, definitely an East-Coast looking part of LA

(I'm hoping to profit from this; my own house was in the running last year for a Wal-Mart Christmas commercial as a "traditional midwestern-style home" but got turned down at the last minute, which sucks because that would have meant $$$).

I assume they were filming because there were fat schlubby dudes in shorts with clipboards walking around.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 7:14 PM
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604: Right, exactly -- it's like reading old rape cases from law school; I remember a particularly disturbing one where the rapist grabbed a small woman, a stranger to him, on a path in a park, pulled her to a non-visible location, and raped her. And successfully defended himself by arguing that she neither screamed nor fought, so his belief that she consented was reasonable. It's good knowing that being frozen with terror is much less likely to be construed as consent to sex these days.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 7:25 PM
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Exercise of the Academic Whim

That's quite good, actually. And google suggests it's all yours. Well done.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 7:37 PM
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I still sometimes think of that actor as "the politician who wanted Carrie Bradshaw to pee on him" rather than "Roger Sterling."

This is exactly why I'm unable to ever take him seriously as a different character.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 8:05 PM
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I've never seen Sex and the City, but from that one-line descriptor his character on that show seems totally consistent with the one he plays on Mad Men.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 8:14 PM
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Halford's 604 is a very good comment. It is both refreshing to see that society has come a long way and sobering to think about how bad things used to be.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 8:15 PM
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Wells has partially recanted .


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 9:05 PM
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616: that is indeed a brilliant and illuminating post by Rauchway. I've been thinking a lot about why analogies between the current moment and the New Deal fail, and that post is helpful.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10- 1-09 8:33 AM
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B linked to a youtube video of Whoopi Goldberg on The View blaming Geimer's mother for not being there. Puke.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10- 3-09 6:51 AM
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