Appeals Court Rejects Roman Polanski's Bid Over New Evidence of Judicial Misconduct

California's Second Appellate District has denied Roman Polanski's petition for writ of mandate. He filed the petition in March, seeking a sentence of time served in his 1977 sex case, based on new evidence of judicial and prosecutorial misconduct contained in previously undisclosed sealed transcripts of improper communications between the Judge and prosecutors. He also sought to have the new transcripts disclosed to the Swiss.

Also today, the court rejected a bid by the victim to dismiss the case.

The order in Polanski's case reads: (obtained from Court docket): [More...]

By petition for writ of mandate filed March 18, 2010, petitioner requests relief from this Court on the basis of new evidence and ask this Court to overturn the magistrates's order sealing a conditional examination transcript. Petitioner has failed to present this evidence to and request his desired relief from the trial court. (Phelan v. Superior Court (1950) 35 Cal.2d 363, 372; Safai v. Savia (2008) 164 Cal. Ap.4th 233, 243), and he has not established that he lacks an adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. (Code Vil. Proc., sec. 1086.)

Petitioner has also failed to demonstrate that the trial court lacked the discretion under Penal Code section 1193 to refuse to approve petitoner's absence at sentencing. The petitioner for writ of mandate is summarily denied.

So they are saying he should have filed his request to unseal the transcripts (so the Swiss could have them) in the trial court? Can he still do so and then appeal the trial court's refusal? Since the court won't let him be sentenced in absentia, and it won't investigate the misconduct allegations, his hopes seem to lie with the Swiss, who have been waiting for some kind of statement from the California court on how much time Polanski faces if extradited. (If it's under the time specified in the treaty, he's not extraditable.) It doesn't look like the Swiss are going to get an answer from California. Maybe they will say since the court refused to clarify the issue, the prosecution didn't carry its burden of proving Polanski is extraditable in response to Polanski's challenge. Or, maybe the opposite will happen.

Since Polanski will get time served if he returns for sentencing, the real reason for dragging him back is to cause a media sensation with a perp walk and make it seem like he's walking down the hall of shame. Shame on them. Free Roman.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Shame on Roman. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Apr 22, 2010 at 07:25:31 PM EST

    Amazing (2.00 / 1) (#2)
    by squeaky on Thu Apr 22, 2010 at 07:41:15 PM EST
    Sounds like you would take great pleasure in this:


    the real reason for dragging him back is to cause a media sensation with a perp walk and make it seem like he's walking down the hall of shame.

    Everyone has their peccadilloes, I guess. Taking pleasure in public humiliation  seems like a hobby for many here in the US. Wonder if that has something to do with the US being prison nation.

    Even the last judge who was willing to let Polanski go free for time served as long as he had his trial on TeeVee..


    Rape is a peccadillo. (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Apr 22, 2010 at 08:07:42 PM EST
    Well, as Whoopi said, it wasn't rape rape.

    he didn't plead guiilty to rape (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Apr 22, 2010 at 08:13:47 PM EST
    nor has he been convicted of it. He plead and faces sentencing for unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. The word rape is not in the offense he pleaded to.

    Need to (none / 0) (#12)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Apr 23, 2010 at 05:13:52 AM EST
    tell Whoopi.

    legalese (none / 0) (#25)
    by diogenes on Fri Apr 23, 2010 at 05:24:45 PM EST
    He didn't plead guilty to it nor was he convicted of it because he was powerful and because the victim didn't want the potential humiliation of a trial.  That's why he got a sweet plea deal.  It's what he actually DID that matters.  Or are you saying that if someone is never convicted of something that he never did it?

    Legalese? (none / 0) (#26)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 23, 2010 at 05:39:26 PM EST
    Coming from a prison psychiatrist, I am amazed that you believe that a lynch mob is a better form of justice than the one we have...

     Oh well, I guess that is the tea party way..


    Everyone has their peccadilloes, I guess (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by diogenes on Thu Apr 22, 2010 at 08:08:46 PM EST
    You would call drugging and raping a 12 or 13 year old a "peccadillo"?  Shame on Roman indeed.  In a just world he would have gotten several years rather than a few days of prison, so we wouldn't be talking about "time served".

    It was when I realized (2.00 / 1) (#10)
    by JamesTX on Thu Apr 22, 2010 at 10:45:56 PM EST
    that this had nothing to do with children and concern about children that I came to understand it was, in fact, motivated by the desire to see people humiliated. I wonder how much the people who call for public stoning of the Polanskis of the world have done lately for the children who are forced to work 16 hours a day making their cheap clothing and harvesting the crops for their cheap food and making their cheap circuit boards. They won't lift a finger for those kids, and they aren't calling for the public stoning of the governments and industries which victimize them. No, this isn't about children. It is much more sinister than that.

    As usual, the relatively limited culpability he agreed to accept is read automatically as a full confession not only to all the untested allegations which have withered with time, but all the hype added to those allegations in the context of current attitudes. He didn't admit to rape. He hasn't been found guilty of any of those things. His victim wants him freed.

    I don't think child rape is a good thing, but I am not sure where this is all going to end. Being reasonable about these things is not tantamount to supporting child sex abuse, and I am tired of being accused of that. Americans really need to get a handle on this, because it is a threat to everyone. Today, we not only have to endure the overly punitive and barbaric attitudes -- the strong desire to see someone suffer unimaginably -- which come with anything related to sex with minors (they have now even expanded it to sex between minors), but we have to agree with the madness or risk being vilified to the same extent as the person accused. Whenever allegations lead a majority of the population to automatically support crucifixion, the only thing that can happen is the attitude will spread to other offenses. The category will expand, as it always does. Before long, they can include things like parking violations.


    make a distinction between 1) a 43 y/o celebrity who gets a 13 y/o girl drunk and drugged and then has anal sex with her, and 2) a parking violation.

    LOL - thanks! (none / 0) (#21)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Apr 23, 2010 at 12:27:56 PM EST
    Really? (none / 0) (#22)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 23, 2010 at 12:48:29 PM EST
    Or is being reasonable weighing the victims position today, and the defendants behavior over the last 25 years.

    You do appear to have lost your ability to reason, here, and this subject in general.  It would appear that your oft repeated argument that sex-offenders have a extremely high recidivism rate would mitigate your feverish desire to extract pounds of flesh from Polanski. But then again, I am certain that you believe that Polanski has reoffended many times, he just has not been caught.


    You amuse me. (none / 0) (#23)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Apr 23, 2010 at 01:10:35 PM EST
    And your statements (none / 0) (#27)
    by JamesTX on Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 07:03:59 PM EST
    demonstrate my point in full. You speak of all the allegations as if they are true -- when Polanski has neither been convicted of them nor admitted to them. But you continue to repeat them as if they are facts, and then base your conclusions on those "facts". The point I am making here is that there are many people out there like you, who are willing to crucify people without trial and without proof. The underlying motivation appears to have nothing to do with protection of children, but more of a sort opportunity to express aggression without risk because it is against people who have little popular defense. Creating criminal categories where angry mobs can simply continue to escalate their calls for more and more brutal punishment attracts those who express aggression in this way -- by venting it onto people who are not popular and thus not risking criticism for aggression. The fact that you can't seem to differentiate between what Polanski has been convicted of and what rumor has it he did shows why it isn't a good policy. It may not matter to you that innocent people can get hurt this way, but it matters to some of us.

    An innocent person was hurt, remember? (none / 0) (#28)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 01:12:23 PM EST
    What? (none / 0) (#29)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 01:39:04 PM EST
    Innocent? What does that mean in this context, or are you just throwing words around that enhance your emotional position?

    That "innocent" person you speak of, wants Polanski's charges to be dismissed.

    As regards "harm", if you are talking tort, she has collected a sum from Polanski to compensate for the "harm", already.

    I have to say, for a rational guy, your reason seems to be clouded when it comes the issue of sex with a minor. You have a right to be angry, but I would think that your brain would have some mitigating influence on what your heart says at this point in your life..


    You continue to amuse me. (none / 0) (#30)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 01:53:05 PM EST
    At Your Service, Sarc.. (none / 0) (#31)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 02:17:57 PM EST
    Perhaps so, so let's be (none / 0) (#32)
    by JamesTX on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 10:12:15 PM EST
    certain to arrange things so that many more are.

    Righteous Indignation (3.50 / 2) (#14)
    by Rojas on Fri Apr 23, 2010 at 08:59:11 AM EST
    is a powerful narcotic. It also serves as an excellent compost for the establishment and subsequent harvest of true believers. Bio energy for fuel of a fascist state.

    Polanski's path is clear (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 22, 2010 at 08:10:49 PM EST
    If he wants the criminal case concluded he needs to appear b/4 the LA County Superior Ct.for sentencing, as do others in similar circumstances. Hard to see why he should be treated differently than any one else.  

    the law allows a defendant to waive their (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Apr 22, 2010 at 08:19:18 PM EST
    right to be present at sentencing, if the court agrees. As a federal judge said last week in Joe Nacchio's case:

    Logically, the essence of a right is the freedom to exercise it or not. If one cannot waive a right, then it ceases to be a right and becomes obligation. Thus, because Mr. Nacchio has the right to be present at his re-sentencing, he may also waive that right. His waiver, however, is not effective unless it is both informed and voluntarily made.

    It's not at all clear that every defendant appears for sentencing. The question is why did the judge refuse his request, and has he refused it for everyone else who's asked, and if not, why is  Roman being treated differently?


    Treated Differently? (2.00 / 1) (#20)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 23, 2010 at 12:04:29 PM EST
    Yes he is being treated differently than everyone else because he is a star. The bloodlust is high, the media frenzy will feed it, and the Judge, DA and everyone else who is looking for some free sensationalist press coverage will bask in glory.

    Your prosecutorial reflex always seems to miss the part where the defendant is being treated unfairly, wonder why?


    jeralyn, when did you develop (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by cpinva on Fri Apr 23, 2010 at 01:58:42 AM EST
    the ability to foretell the future?:

    Since Polanski will get time served if he returns for sentencing, the real reason for dragging him back is to cause a media sensation with a perp walk and make it seem like he's walking down the hall of shame.

    do you have some inside info on this, or is it merely your opinion? myself, i have no idea why they insist (the cads!) that he come back and actually appear in court, like all us little people would have to.

    let's be blunt here. the only reason mr. polanski even got away without being charged with rape at all, is because of who he is. again, were it one of us peons, we'd still be doing time. while it's true he was never charged or convicted of it, based on the facts and circumstances, as agreed to by all the parties, and posted here, rape is exactly what he committed.

    for myself, i don't find rape to be a "peccadillo", had he committed the same acts with my daughter, possible jail time would have been the absolute least of his concerns.

    this is bull (2.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Apr 23, 2010 at 09:43:57 AM EST
    the reason he has had to go though this is because of who he is.

    you suspect you might not drop your daughter off at a drug fest at Jack Nicholsons house as this womans mother did.


    But the victim wants to drop all charges (none / 0) (#8)
    by Saul on Thu Apr 22, 2010 at 08:59:02 PM EST
    if I read you right.  Isn't that the life line of this case?  How can the state proceed if there are no charges to be filed by the victim?

    The victim doesn't file the charges, (5.00 / 5) (#9)
    by Peter G on Thu Apr 22, 2010 at 10:25:16 PM EST
    the state does.  In the criminal case, the victim is just a witness ... an important one, of course, but really, just that.  A criminal case is about a public response to a wrong done to the community; it is a legal matter between the state (or, as they say in California, "The People") and the accused.

    Clemency Plea (none / 0) (#13)
    by JDB on Fri Apr 23, 2010 at 07:12:24 AM EST
    Per Doug Berman, Polanski has also written to Obama (letter hand delivered by Sarkozy) asking for clemency.  I didn't think the President could issue clemency/pardon for state charges?

    WH Denies Letter (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 23, 2010 at 11:58:45 AM EST
    So it is speculation that this event even happened.

    You are correct, and (none / 0) (#15)
    by Peter G on Fri Apr 23, 2010 at 09:02:49 AM EST
    either Polansky, his lawyer, or Prof. Berman is wrong.  The President of the United States has clemency and pardon power only over federal offenses.  California is a "separate sovereign" for these purposes, and the clemency power lies with the Governor.

    Or Sarkozy is wrong, that is (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Peter G on Fri Apr 23, 2010 at 09:12:11 AM EST
    ... I left out one of the possibilities.  But no, this is not within the powers of the President.  Of course, if it were, the President wouldn't do it.  Where would the political advantage be in that, to exercise his first act of clemency -- sadly, he has so far done NONE -- for Polansky, of all people, at this stage of this case?  Absurd.  Plus, the White House has denied that the request was even made.