LA Judge Deals Another Blow to Roman Polanski

At a hearing in Los Angeles yesterday, Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza denied Roman Polanski's motion to unseal the testimony of the original case prosecutor so it could be reviewed by the Swiss in deciding whether prosecutors made false allegations in the extradition request.

Polanski's attorneys argue that the issue is important, in part, because the United States' extradition treaty with Switzerland allows the extradition of a defendant only if the remaining time still to be served is more than six months. They note that an affidavit by L.A. County Deputy Dist. Atty. David Walgren that was given to Swiss authorities does not say Polanski's diagnostic testing was meant to serve as his full prison term.

"This affidavit does not provide the facts, and Mr. Gunson's testimony proves that," attorney Chad S. Hummel said in court Monday.

LA prosecutors argued the extradition request was accurate, citing the fact that it was reviewed by the Department of Justice. When did federal prosecutors become judges? Their view is one that can be taken into account, but it should be the Judge's call.

Prosecutors say Polanski faces up to two years when sentenced. They are arguing about the difference between 48 days (the maximum number of days between the 42 Polanski served and the 90 the judge said he intended to impose) and two years, in a case over 30 years old where the defendant is 76 years old and has been exiled from the U.S. for decades and forced to live under house arrest in Switzerland for months. Give it up already. What are these proceedings, which the victim opposes, costing cash-strapped California? Enough is enough. Free Roman.

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    forced to live under house arrest (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue May 11, 2010 at 09:33:38 AM EST

    ...forced to live under house arrest in Switzerland for months.

    In his own spacious chalet mansion with whatever friends and diversions he chooses to entertain on a practically unlimited budget.  More champagne with the caviar sir?  Enough shine on your shoes sir?

    Don't throw me in that briar patch, Br'er Bear!

    ask anyone who has been on (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Tue May 11, 2010 at 09:57:27 AM EST
    home detention if they don't think their liberty was restricted? It may not be jail, but it's still a big governmental interference with your life. What's the longest period you've gone without leaving your house?  

    I understand it is a restriction on liberty (none / 0) (#9)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue May 11, 2010 at 01:27:14 PM EST

    On the other hand, I would wager $100 against a used bottle cap that well over half the population of the world would trade places with him in a second.  Good caviar and good butlers are out of reach for most of us.  This kind of reminds me of the Good Fellas prison scene.

    72 days in answer to your question.  That is pretty common for submarine crews and by no means the longest.  All done without caviar, champagne, or butler services and sleeping in three high bunks separated on three sides by inches to another bunk.


    Yes (none / 0) (#10)
    by squeaky on Tue May 11, 2010 at 01:34:23 PM EST
    And many people would also prefer going to jail. Unfortunately, the people who are eager to make a stupid choice, are not the ones under house arrest.

    Do you also think that half the world would trade their life as it is, to being under house arrest in their own house. That is the apt comparison, yours is irrelevant.


    So your point (none / 0) (#11)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue May 11, 2010 at 02:04:40 PM EST

    So is your point that confinement in the lap of luxury is not relevant, but rather who owns the mansion?

    No (none / 0) (#12)
    by squeaky on Tue May 11, 2010 at 03:24:05 PM EST
    My point is that you have made a stupid comment, that has nothing to do with this situation. Wild speculation based on your fantasies of what it would be like to be in Polanski's shoes.

    A far more germane question would be how anyone would feel under house arrest, and that means not being able to leave their own residence.


    Well in fairness (none / 0) (#15)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue May 11, 2010 at 05:26:04 PM EST
    most of us don't commit the crime the Mr. Polanski commited either.

    The point is what the law or (none / 0) (#17)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue May 11, 2010 at 08:42:31 PM EST
    due process requires, not what some think of Polanski.  Justice is supposed to be blind.  Either we believe in the rule of law or we don't. As soon as the rules are broken because someone thinks the person or persons affected by breaking the rule "deserve it", we don't have the rule of law, but an arbitrary system.

    When liberals claim Polanski deserves whatever the Court dishes out because they don't like what he did, in my opinion, they fall into the same pattern as the right, when it decries the application of due process rules to "suspects" it deems unworthy.  

    Whether I agree or not, I have no problem with anyone who views Polanski as a rascal, but that's a separate judgment from what his legal rights might be.  

    Sorry for the soap box tonight.  


    you are right (none / 0) (#18)
    by nyjets on Tue May 11, 2010 at 10:17:39 PM EST
    As much as I hate Polanski for what he did, the rules were broken. If he simply fled the country because he developed cold feet, that is one thing, but there is evidence that the judge broke the rules. And thanks to the judge, we have this mess. The only real option is to just drop the matter. Polanski got away with it clean thanks to the judge.

    Actually, another option is for Mr. Polanski (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by oculus on Wed May 12, 2010 at 01:09:00 AM EST
    to appear in person w/counsel before the LA County Superior Court.  Either via extradition or by waiving extradition.  At that point his counsel may file motions to dismiss, including request that court order investigation of allegations he was promised no more than 90 days in state custody but the court breached the promise.  

    Shush now, Polanski is the victim here. (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed May 12, 2010 at 12:28:58 PM EST
    Sorry. Just can't do it. (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Wed May 12, 2010 at 12:41:55 PM EST
    Question (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by jbindc on Tue May 11, 2010 at 10:35:04 AM EST
    Why do we care what the victim wants or doesn't want in this case? Normally this site opposes things like victim impact statements, so why the exception for this case?

    Deterrence (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by diogenes on Tue May 11, 2010 at 11:49:00 AM EST
    "What are these proceedings, which the victim opposes, costing cash-strapped California? Enough is enough. Free Roman."

    The point of the case is actually to deter future fugitives from justice.  Is this not a commendable goal?

    Not to mention Mr. Polanski's (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by oculus on Tue May 11, 2010 at 11:55:43 AM EST
    attorneys have filed motions in the trial court in LA, in the DCA in LA, and apparently have also filed documents/motions in Switaerland.  District Attorney's office has filed opposition to those motions.  Who is driving up the cost of extraditing Mr. Polanski?

    Prosecutors Dream? (none / 0) (#8)
    by squeaky on Tue May 11, 2010 at 12:34:19 PM EST
    An indigent defendant....  The LA Court and prosecutor is responsible for driving up the costs, no one else.

    Interesting, but predictable, that you would agree with our right wing friend and blame the defendant for having this cost CA $$..


    I'm sorry (none / 0) (#14)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue May 11, 2010 at 05:24:31 PM EST
    but wouldn't your view aruge that we shuold never prosecute the rich?

    No, I am Sorry (none / 0) (#16)
    by squeaky on Tue May 11, 2010 at 06:24:21 PM EST
    I do not see the logic of your statement.

    apparently, (none / 0) (#1)
    by cpinva on Tue May 11, 2010 at 07:37:21 AM EST
    Their view is one that can be taken into account, but it should be the Judge's call.

    judge espinoza made that call.

    i think i'm confused. at what point is someone actually, officially, on the record sentenced? i always thought it was when the judge actually pronounced it from the bench, is that incorrect?

    i ask because you constantly refer to the original judge's intention, rather than the official sentence, made by the judge and recorded as part of the case file.

    what the judge may have stated was his intent is interesting, merely as a point of conversation, since mr. polanski's flight, prior to actual sentencing, rendered the judge's unofficial intentions moot.

    of course, if i'm mistaken as to when one is officially sentenced, that would have an obvious bearing on my opinion.

    The wheels of justice re extradition (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Tue May 11, 2010 at 10:58:14 AM EST
    are moving ever-so-slowly in Switzerland, apparently due to the motions and writs filed on behalf of Mr. Polanski in LA County Superior Court.  Isn't there any time limit on when extradition request must be acted upon?

    Maybe we should (none / 0) (#13)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue May 11, 2010 at 05:22:30 PM EST
    just quit prosecuting the rich and powerful altogether- I mean it costs so, so much more than locking up the poor.

    Interesting. Petition by film makers (none / 0) (#20)
    by oculus on Wed May 12, 2010 at 11:22:35 AM EST
    honored at Cannes Festival:  Bernard Levy

    Note the direct diss of Governor Swarzenegger.  

    Hear Hear! (none / 0) (#21)
    by squeaky on Wed May 12, 2010 at 12:10:09 PM EST
    Jeralyn , I'll just quote your post on Graner (none / 0) (#24)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed May 12, 2010 at 05:54:14 PM EST
    "Considering we give white collar criminals and drug offenders a lot more than 2 years, Polanski ought to just do his time and maybe, just maybe, if it's long enough, he'll reflect and realize he did go terribly awry" But then again apparently grostequely violating someone from a position of power is apparently a lot more acceptable if you're artist than if you're a soldier.