Over the past few days I’ve been watching the Roman Polanski story unfold. As much as I’ve been repulsed by Polanski’s 1977 rape of a 13-year-old girl, I’ve been absolutely flabbergasted and offended by the list of Hollywood elites and celebrities who have recently signed a petition demanding his release. Posting their names publicly in support of Polanski speaks loudly regarding their own lack of personal ethics and morality. Regardless of their friendships or professional affiliation with Polanski, by supporting him this way they are saying to the world that some of us are above the law. That some of us, due to artistic talent or past tragedy in life, or whatever, ought to somehow get a pass when it comes to the serious crime of raping a young girl.
Yesterday, for the first time, I read through the transcript testimony that Polanski’s victim gave shortly after he committed his crime. It is graphic and sickening. Although it is disturbing, I’d recommend reading through it should you have even an inkling of feeling of support for this man. Some of the relevant details can be found in this op/ed piece written by Steve Lopez over at the Los Angeles Times.
I’m just a small time blogger and have nowhere near the voice of Hollywood A Listers like Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and others. But it’s hard for me to just sit by and not react to the brazen, public ethical and moral failure that their signatures on their petition represent. So I’ve decided to create my own petition that people can sign. My petition is one in support of the extradition and criminal prosecution of Polanski. If you’d like to sign it feel free to indicate so by signing your name as such in the comments here at my blog or on FriendFeed and I’ll append them to the petition itself. If you’d like to include a link to your blog or to an organization that you represent or are affiliated with as well feel free to add that too.
Petitions carry no real legal significance of course, but they can matter in terms of public opinion in cases like this. And even if I’m the only one who signs this, as a father of two young girls myself, I’ll at least have added my voice in some small way to the repudiation or Polanski and his supporters.
PETITION SUPPORTING THE EXTRADITION OF ROMAN POLANSKI
Recently we have learned of the arrest of Director Roman Polanski on a 1978 warrant stemming from his fleeing a sentencing hearing related to a rape he committed of a 13-year old girl in 1977. We are outraged that Polanski has been able to escape justice this long for his crimes and that has been allowed to live as a free man abroad for over three decades. Regardless of one’s artistic achievements, regardless of one’s life tragedies, regardless if someone felt that they could travel legally in a neutral country, regardless of whether or not someone is being honored with a lifetime achievement award at a film festival, the crime of raping a child deserves punishment and the perpetrator of such an act should be brought to justice.
Money or powerful celebrity friends or political influence or artistic accomplishment should not have a bearing on one’s culpability for one’s crimes. All should be considered equal in the light of the law and Polanski should be afforded no special consideration given his status as a celebrity and artist.
As such, the undersigned fully support the extradition of Roman Polanski to the United States where he can finally be properly sentenced for his crimes.
Anna K Anderson
Gregory A. Butler
M.C. Peggy Challen
Dr. Thomas E. Davis
Dr. Carolyn Erickson
Sonia T Jonas
Reta Le Quesne
Peter F. Madsen
Christopher Adam O’Toole