Sebastien Bozon/AFP/Getty Images
Prior to his appearance in Switzerland, signs in support of Roman Polanski lined the street near the movie festival in Zurich.
Prior to his appearance in Switzerland, signs in support of Roman Polanski lined the street near the movie festival in Zurich. Sebastien Bozon/AFP/Getty Images
Famed director Roman Polanski awaits extradition to the U.S. more than 30 years after his conviction for having sex with a 13-year-old girl. He fled the country after he plead guilty to the crime, which carried with it the possibility of a long prison sentence.
Polanski lived in France, which does not extradite its citizens. He continued to work in the film industry, and even won an Academy Award for his direction of The Pianist.
In late September, Polanski was due in Switzerland, where he was to receive a lifetime achievement award. There, Swiss authorities arrested him on an international warrant. He remains in custody there, but his lawyers have filed a motion requesting his release. The Swiss Federal Criminal Court is expected to decide on the motion sometime in October.
While some in Hollywood and abroad embrace the director, others call Polanski a fugitive who must now face justice. Host Neal Conan reads from the following opinion pieces, and asks listeners if, between the anger on either end of the spectrum, there is room for nuance.
- Steve Lopez, for The Los Angeles Times, "Polanski's Defenders Lose Sight Of The True Victim"
- Anne Applebaum, for the Washington Post, "The Outrageous Arrest Of Roman Polanski"
- Eugene Robinson, for the Washington Post, "What Polanski Deserves"
- Michael Wolff, for Newser, "Why Nab Roman Polanski Now? Revenge"
- Richard Cohen, for the Washington Post, "Let Polanski Go — But First Let Me At Him"