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California Rejects Polanski Appeal

Published December 21, 2009 in Movie News
By Ryan Parsons | Image property of respective holders, Variety
Roman Polanski Roman Polanski
It looks like Roman Polanski will still have his day in court. Though the director requested to dismiss the case to the California Court of Appeal, the notion was rejected.

Roman Polanski Appeal Rejected

The court of appeal board, which consists of three people, released a 70-page opinion along with a 3-0 ruling against Polanski's request. The dismissal would have allowed Polanski to remain in Europe, where he currently is, and avoid extradition to the United States.

Polanski's lawyers had argued for a dismissal after Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza refused to consider the charges of misconduct unless Polanski was present.

"We conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in applying the fugitive disentitlement doctrine and refusing to consider dismissing the action," Justice Laurie D. Zelon wrote with the concurrence of Presiding Justice Dennis M. Perluss and Justice Fred Woods.

If you're wondering why all the hoopla, then you obviously haven't seen the documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, which raised new questions about the conduct and fairness of the L.A. Superior Court judge who originally presided over the case, Laurence Rittenband. It's now impossible to question Ribbenband, considering that he died in 1993.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's office issued a two-sentence statement Monday that did not address the specific criticisms leveled at the office. "The ruling today by the Court of Appeals is another step in the resolution of the Polanski sentencing," spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said. "We await a decision by the Swiss courts on his extradition to Los Angeles so all issues can be resolved by the Superior Court."

Now, we must ask ourselves, do we care?

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Ryan Parsons
Sources: Image property of respective holders, Variety

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