DA Objects To Roman Polanski's Request for Sentencing in Absentia
In affirming the denial of Roman Polanski's motion to dismiss the criminal charges against him last month, the California Appeals Court noted that Section 1173 of the California Penal Code allows for felony sentencing in absentia. The pertinent part of the statute reads (via Lexis.com):
If the conviction is for a felony, the defendant shall be personally present when judgment is pronounced against him or her, unless the defendant, in open court and on the record, or in a notarized writing, requests that judgment be pronounced against him or her in his or her absence, and that he or she be represented by an attorney when judgment is pronounced, and the court approves his or her absence during the pronouncement of judgment...
The Court said "Based on the oral arguments of counsel, this court would not expect any objection to be made if Polanski should request to be sentenced in absentia."
Polanski then moved to be sentenced in absentia. Today, the L.A. prosecutor objected. A hearing is set for next week. I haven't found a copy of the prosecutor's response, but I also haven't seen any California cases that uphold the denial of a defendant's request because of an objection from the prosecutor. While the decision is up to the judge, I think the prosecutor is on shaky ground. Here's why: [More...]
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