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Opening Arguments

Big hearts

Roman Polanski, who drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl, in a letter to the "French intellectual" Bernard-Henri Lévy, is expressing his "overwhelming" graditude for all the messages of sympathy he has received "from across the world":

"I would like every one of them to know how heartening it is, when one is locked up in a cell, to hear this murmur of human voices and of solidarity in the morning post," he wrote in the letter. "In the darkest moments, each of their notes has been a source of comfort and hope, and they continue to be so in my current situation."

And how dark his current situation really is. He only got away with drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl for 32 years, hardly fair for someone of his artistic achievement, and he had to endure the Christmas season on house arrest in the dingy prison of his Alpine chalet in the ski resort of Gstaad. No wonder Lévy says that the arrest, detention and "climate of popular justice" are a disgrace that someone who did nothing more than drug and rape a 13-year-old girl should have to endure. How else could a French intellectual respond? No wonder his arrest "sparked horror among the artistic elite." If a "genius director" cannot be forgiven drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl who means nothing in the grand scheme of things -- what's she done with her life, after all? -- what has the world come to?