Patterico's Pontifications


Steven Mikulan Errs on Characterization of Polanski Plea Agreement

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:38 pm

Steven Mikulan:

This Friday the 13th won’t be just another day in a Swiss jail for Roman Polanski. By then the director will have sat behind bars, awaiting extradition to Los Angeles, for 48 full days — a significant figure for legal numerologists.

Not only is it a longer period of incarceration than Polanski spent in Chino State Prison for psychiatric observation in 1978, but, when added to those 42 days in Chino, it adds up to the magic number of 90.

That’s his proposed sentence reached under the plea deal 32 years ago.

Wrong. As I have explained previously: “At the time of his plea, he was made no promises whatsoever regarding the length of his sentence.”

I don’t know this because I have some secret knowledge as the result of working in the D.A.’s office — I have no such knowledge. Nor do I purport to speak for my office — my Polanski posts are most definitely made in my private capacity.

I say it because the publicly available evidence is overwhelming, as I have shown before.

Yes, at some point after the plea, the judge indicated an intent to (effectively) sentence him to 90 days in prison. But the judge’s off the record indication came after the plea. It was not part of the plea, and the 90-day sentence was not “his proposed sentence reached under the plea deal 32 years ago.”

I’m going to correct this error every time I see it.

12 Responses to “Steven Mikulan Errs on Characterization of Polanski Plea Agreement”

  1. To his credit, the writer includes this:

    For one thing, [USC law professor Jean Rosenbluth] points out, Polanski fled the country in 1978 before the deal he’d struck with prosecutors was formalized as a sentence. [emphasis added] For another, there are possible penalties arising from his flight.

    That doesn’t wholly excuse his recycling of the tired canard that Polanski had a deal to only get 90 days, but it does make him slightly better than a lot of other bloggers and commenters who have addressed this case.

    JVW (d32e06)

  2. Patterico, don’t be so defensive. You weren’t even born when that plea was taken.

    Alta Bob (e8af2b)

  3. I’m going to correct this error every time I see it.

    your own lifetime employment act, eh?

    i hope they toss the scumbag in general population and throw away the key…. unless he’d rather go to ASH.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  4. Alta Bob, don’t be such an arrogant twit. Your input is about as useful as teets on a bull.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  5. Huh?

    Alta Bob (e8af2b)

  6. Even if it were true that there had been an agreement back then to make his sentence 90 days, surely the fact that he became a fugitive would cancel the deal.

    Steven Den Beste (99cfa1)

  7. Let me put it more clearly for you, Alta Bob. I suggest you rent a brain and buy a clue.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  8. Even if we presume now — contrary to fact — that 90 days (with credit for time served) was the most Polanski could have been sentenced to, that completely ignores the new and independent felony he committed when he fled the jurisdiction — a crime called “escape” in most states, although I’m not sure exactly what it’s called or where it’s located in California’s opaque-to-me penal code. In most states, statutes of limitations are suspended while the potential defendant is a fugitive.

    I’m curious: Was Polanski ever indicted (or a criminal complaint filed) for escape? If he wasn’t, isn’t it likely that he still will be? And what range of penalties would be available now for a conviction of that crime (as California law read when he committed it)?

    Beldar (bc2307)

  9. The implication that Polanski has already served his time, and therefore should stop being “persecuted” after serving the time already, is pure bullshit.

    Icy Texan (84ddf3)

  10. I, too, would like to see a discussion of what penalties are likely or possible for Polanski’s crime of flight.

    jim2 (001a78)

  11. Recently I saw a stepfather sentenced to 5 years for molesting his step daugheter for actions that occured in the 1990s. All things considered, I hope Roman get more when he finally returns to the US. ^..^(____)~~~

    Cheshire Cat (14abf8)

  12. The thing is, he’s in jail, even though it’s Switzerland, and the extradition proceeding could stretch out for years if he keeps fighting it.

    Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck! Boowhahah! Did he direct Catch 22 by any chance? Snicker!

    nk (df76d4)

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