A Modicum of Widsom

When Roman Polanski, the director who admitted to the statutory rape of a 13 years old 32 years ago, filed for his case to be dismissed on the ground of judicial misconduct (for which there exists at least some evidence), the Second District Court of Appeals suggested that he request to be sentenced in absentia. Legal experts say that the court is pointing to a way for the case to be resolved without Polanski having to serve another day in jail. The 3 members court in a 70 pages ruling said, “We exhort all participants in this extended drama to place the integrity of the criminal justice system above the desire to punish any one individual, whether for his offense or for his fight.” There are those who will want Polanski punished no matter what, just as there are those who tend to want a given accused or convict punished regardless. Yet, if the justices’ argument holds any importance, those objections can be countermanded, for rare is the instance where the integrity of the criminal justice system does not trump the individual. Those who may not like the result when that principle is exercised may want to remember that the rule of law is more important than the individual because the rule of law is one of the things that gives our culture a modicum of wisdom.