It took 33 years and lots of international legal wrangling, but the end of the child-rape case against Roman Polanski proved again that laws need not apply to the rich and powerful. "What the Swiss have decided is that despite admitting his crimes and fleeing from U.S. justice, Polanski will never have to be punished," wrote Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson. "It's relevant that Polanski has never shown remorse. He claimed in a 1979 interview that he was being hounded because 'everyone wants to (have sex with) young girls.' It's irrelevant that the victim, now a middle-aged woman, has no interest in pursuing the case and reliving a traumatic episode. What matters is what Polanski admitted doing to her 33 years ago — and the fact that Polanski decided to run away rather than face the music."But Robinson's colleague Richard Cohen thinks the Swiss got it right in refusing to extradite the film director. "The only argument in favor of Polanski's continued freedom is that he is the victim of judicial misconduct," Cohen wrote. "He had good reason to believe that the trial judge in his case was going to break the plea agreement and throw the book at him. . . . He ran from the prospect of a judge who was going to make his reputation at Polanski's expense and send him to jail for a very long time. I would have done the same."
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