Women of Switzerland, lock up your daughters. Roman Polanski has been granted bail, after a court approved his bail offer of $4.5 million. (For now, he’s still in jail; his release date has not been set.)
Once released, Polanski will be under house arrest. So, good parents of Switzerland, maybe there’s no need to lock up your daughters. Just don’t let them anywhere near Polanski’s ski chalet in Gstaad.
Getting released on bail is a nice result for Polanski, since it was widely expected that he’d remain stuck in the pokey. Perhaps he was represented by the Zurich office of Lindeman, Alvarado, & Frye? (Gavel bang: commenter #16.)
We suspect that ATL readers are displeased by this development. In a reader poll from September, almost three quarters of you expressed support for continuing to pursue and prosecute Polanski.
How does writer-turned-kinda-lawyer Elizabeth Wurtzel feel about all of this?
We don’t know what La Wurtzel thinks of the bail development. But she has complained in the past about what she calls the “genius exception for rape.” From Double X:
[I]f we excuse Polanski from punishment, aren’t we really saying that his life is more valuable than the life of a 13-year-old girl’s just because he happened to direct Rosemary’s Baby? Taking that to its logical extreme, we have to assume that Bob Dylan can never go to jail, even if he rapes a teenager or two, and that Picasso could not have served time for whatever felonies he might have committed in his brazen lifetime, and–well, I could go on. Where would we draw the line? Does Leonard Cohen qualify? Neil Diamond?
Most definitely. The man behind “Sweet Caroline” can do no wrong.
In fairness, comparing apples to apples, as they say, the life of a great director is probably more valuable than that of a 13-year-old girl–young ladies that age are really irritating. But if we follow this modest proposal to its logical conclusion and valorize some life over other life, then we are creating a society that was last tried out on a large and (highly) organized scale by the Nazis, who are the bogeymen in Polanski’s closet. After all, to say that Aryans are better than everyone else is not much different than saying talented people are better than everyone else. And if we make this ruling for Roman Polanski, we pretty much have to do it for everybody.
Because it all comes down to the Nazis in the end, doesn’t it?
Polanski wins bail in Switzerland, stays in jail [Associated Press]
Roman Polanski Wins Bail [WSJ Law Blog]
A Genius Exception for Rape [Double X / Slate]