Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Celebrities for paedophilia

Public opinion rarely shows much sympathy for paedophiles. In fact, the depth of hatred and hostility that they receive seems to me somewhat excessive. So I suppose that I should find it refreshing to see a number of celebrities calling for Roman Polanski’s release.

However, I don’t. I believe in the rule of law. And that means that if someone is convicted of a serious crime, and they flee from justice before sentencing, then it is right and proper and they are brought to justice.

The key facts in the case are these:
1) Polanski pleaded guilty to the crime he was convicted of, and there seems to be no question that he was guilty.
2) When Polanski did the deed, he was, or should have been, aware that what he did was against the law, and that those found guilty of such activity could expect a custodial sentence.
3) The crime in question was not a minor matter - unlike many things that are criminalised in modern society. Even in a libertarian society, what Polanski did would be regarded as a serious crime.

And the fact that the woman he assaulted wants him to be released is irrelevant. Should two child molesters be treated differently because one victim is vindictive and the other is not?

Reading the words of the petition makes one wonder what planet these celebrities live on.
“His arrest follows an American arrest warrant dating from 1978 against the filmmaker, in a case of morals."
So the sexual assault of a 13 year-old girl by a middle aged man is merely “a case of morals”?
“Film-makers in France, in Europe, in the United States and around the world are dismayed by this decision. It seems inadmissible to them that an international cultural event, paying homage to one of the greatest contemporary filmmakers, is used by the police to apprehend him.”
So international cultural events are sacrosanct?
“Roman Polanski is a French citizen, a renown and international artist now facing extradition.”
So the fact that the French gave citizenship to a fugitive from justice means that he should not have been arrested? Or is it the fact that he was famous? Or is it the fact that he was an artist? Or is it (as it seems to be) all three?

I must be a little intellectually challenged, because I just cannot understand this.

But what I find even more difficult to understand is how all these celebrities have the gall to put their name to a petition that basically says that child molesting is actually a fairly minor matter. And why isn’t the rest of the film industry working hard to distance itself from these perverse people?

The most obvious conclusion that one can draw is that those who work in the film industry, must, as a group, rank even lower than politicians.


Longrider said...

The most obvious conclusion that one can draw is that those who work in the film industry, must, as a group, rank even lower that politicians.

Yes, they probably do.

Perhaps the worst of this case is the plea bargain. If the allegations are true - and he doesn't seem to be contradicting them - then he is not guilty of statutory rape, a euphemism for sex with an under-age girl, he is actually guilty of a violent crime - rape - or as Whoopie Goldberg seems to be calling it; "rape-rape".

That is what he should have stood trial for, not the lesser charge. The plea bargain goes against the very principle of justice and demonstrates how deeply corrupt the US justice system is.

Anonymous said...

If you are a friend of the king then murder is not a crime, but if you are his enemy then picking your nose is.


Renegade Parent said...

"Even in a libertarian society, what Polanski did would be regarded as a serious crime."

Perhaps moreso.

I don't know the details of the case but (natural libertarian sympathy with the difficulties of absolute age-restrictions aside) taking advantage of a vulnerable person and forcibly having sex with them would likely be viewed with far less equivocation and punished accordingly in such a society.

measured said...

You are right. I see there are not many actors on that list. A transcript of the victim's testimony is on The crime, coupled with the fact that she has endured years of intrusive media attention, means you are right that Polanski should be made to face the music.