My experience in numerous high-profile criminal trials is that defense attorney’s rarely want to be seen as trying their cases in the press. But if a case is ALREADY being tried in the press by the prosecution, I think the defense owes it to their client to fight back. In Polanski’s case, they’re doing a great job, both legally and on the PR front.
From AP 50 minutes ago: “Roman Polanski’s attorneys have filed an appeal asking that a special counsel investigate alleged judicial misconduct in the director’s 32-year-old sex case.”
I think Polanski’s lawyers are doing a great job.
With every new filing Polanski’s legal team does two things for their client: First, they vastly reduce the chance that the Swiss will actually extradite him, given the allegations of serious judicial misconduct in the original case and the ongoing failure of the LA District Attorney’s office to properly address said misconduct head-on. More importantly, though, with their continual and layered rollout of each new piece of evidence showing improper conduct by the judge, they have turned the media spectacle into a trial by public opinion not of Polanski but of the long-dead judge.
Even better, they’ve done this not through Polanski’s statements but by citing objections and concerns raised by the original prosecutor, Roger Gunson. Gunson, who is still alive, gave secret testimony in the case this year, and he’s been an outspoken critic of the judge’s conduct in the original case. This puts current Los Angeles DA Steve Cooley in the awkward position of siding with a dead and pretty well disgraced former judge against a well-respected former prosecutor from Cooley’s own office.