In affirming the denial of Roman Polanski's motion to dismiss the criminal charges against him last month, the California Supreme Court noted that Section 1173 of the California Penal Code allows for felony sentencing in absentia. The pertinent part of the statute reads (via Lexis.com):
If the conviction is for a felony, the defendant shall be personally present when judgment is pronounced against him or her, unless the defendant, in open court and on the record, or in a notarized writing, requests that judgment be pronounced against him or her in his or her absence, and that he or she be represented by an attorney when judgment is pronounced, and the court approves his or her absence during the pronouncement of judgment...
The Court said "Based on the oral arguments of counsel, this court would not expect any objection to be made if Polanski should request to be sentenced in absentia."
Polanski then moved to be sentenced in absentia. Today, the L.A. prosecutor objected. A hearing is set for next week. I haven't found a copy of the prosecutor's response, but I also haven't seen any California cases that uphold the denial of a defendant's request because of an objection from the prosecutor. While the decision is up to the judge, I think the prosecutor is on shaky ground. Here's why: [More...]
According to news accounts, their reasons are that Polanski has been a fugitive and celebrities shouldn't be treated any differently than anyone else. It's the defendant's constitutional right to be present that is at issue. The statute allows him to waive that right. The law allows the judge to make the call on the defendant's request. The state doesn't have a constitutional right to insist on his presence. There's nothing in the statute that says "except for fugitives." The request can be made by all defendants, rich and poor.
The prosecutors said allowing Polanski to be sentenced in absentia would set a horrible precedent for future defendants. If that's the case, they should lobby the California legislature to change the law to exclude fugitives from being eligible to make the request. Instead, they are attempting to have the law selectively enforced based on a status for which the statute provides no exception, and by their completely unsupported belief that only celebrities and the rich would seek to avail themselves of the statutory allowance.
The statute does not set forth factors for the judge to decide a defendant's request. The prosecutor wants to just make some up. My prediction: The judge will allow Polanski to be sentenced in absentia. If not, I hope he's allowed to appeal the decision immediately, and request a stay of execution of the extradition warrant while it's under consideration. (Although I don't know if he's allowed to do either.)
Polite manners dictate we don't mention the smell emanating from that banker third from the left. Click here for larger image.
PS Happy Birthday, Michelle Obama.
There is a concept in economics known as the "snow-ball effect" on debt. It involves the self-reinforcing effect of debt accumulation arising when the growth of the national economy is less than the interest paid on public debt. In math it[...]
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Tonight's Rescue Rangers are grog, Louisiana1976, dadanation, watercarrier4diogenes, and mem from somerville with jennyjem as editor.
The diaries up for rescue tonight are:
jotter has High Impact Diaries: January 14, 2010.
asimbagirl has Top Comments: Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King, Jr..
Enjoy and please promote your own favorite diaries in this open thread.
We hoped Snyder would decide that he should insist on pulling the mandate out of this bill in exchange for his vote. Now that he's leaving the seat, he'll most certainly be a "yes" vote, so that actually does nothing to "kill the bill" for those paying[...]
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Title: WinterArtist: Vivaldi (composer)
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Terrific sand animation by Ferenc Cakó, set to Vivaldi's "Winter."
What are you listening to this Friday night in January?
Our Friday night music thread is below....
How else can you possibly explain away this ridiculous commentary? It's nothing more than the normal, tired excuses that Wall Street makes. As everyone fully understands, the Wall Street numbers were bloated during the bubble years and they were supposed to start coming down. Pay on Wall Street is often twice what the same person would make in any other industry and sometimes even more.
The results have been abysmal and the only area that has shown positive results on Wall Street has been the areas that traded the US taxpayer money. They stockpiled cheap deals and then made a killing as the market stabilized. At CNBC, that means "Mission Accomplished" on Wall Street so pay them early and often.
Yet the actual metrics in the Journal story raise a key question: What?s all the screaming about? Wall Street?s total compensation simply isn?t out of control. And the pay critics, in their pious, get-tough crackdown, are only ensuring a new round of outrage when some of these banks recover.
First, some key numbers (rounded up) from The Journal?s study:
* Wall Street revenue grew 47 percent, to $450 billion, in 2009 vs 2008.
* Total compensation will rise only 18 percent in ?09 vs ?08.
* In 2008, 40 percent of revenue went to comp. In 2009: only 32 percent.
* Average total comp in 2009: $150,000, up less than $3,000 in two years.
When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way ...This isn't really about being a visionary, even though I am a visionary. I'm not claiming to be an impressive or gifted visionary, just that I have visions. Honest. No bigee.I've been both[...]
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Unlike most "weekend kickoff" editions of the Wrap, there's no Friday light this week. As the political news continues to build as we progress towards a special election that now has everyone's attention, there is no shortage of other political news stories to peruse in the Friday edition of the Wrap...
AR-02: SUSA Poll Has Bad News For Dem, Who Then Calls It Quits
If Democrat Vic Snyder had long planned to announce his retirement today, the timing of a poll released by FDL late last night could not have been worse. The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA on FDL's behalf, found Republican Tim Griffin leading Snyder by seventeen points (56-39). Snyder's retirement leaves a Democratic open seat in a swing district that, if anything, leans ever so slightly to the GOP (McCain carried the district 54-44 in 2008). The good news is that the ancestrally-Democratic lean of the Little Rock-based 2nd district gives Democrats a deep bench to tap for the race. Among the candidates being rumored are Lt. Governor Bill Halter, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola, and state legislators Robbie Wills and Joyce Elliott. One wild card name being mentioned is state senator Bob Johnson, who was last seen contemplating a primary challenge to Senator Blanche Lincoln...to her right.
MA-Sen: Brown Leads In A Late-Breaking ARG Poll
American Research Group (or ARG, as they are affectionately known) has jumped into the Massachusetts Senate polling game, and they find Republican Scott Brown up three on Democrat Martha Coakley. Among the more amazing findings: Brown wins 20% of the Democratic vote while Coakley manages to pick off just 1% of the GOP vote. Meanwhile, in a reversal of previous electoral trends, Brown does better with younger voters than with older voters (although it is worth noting the ARG groups these curiously, putting them in two groups: 18-49 and 50+).
MN-Gov: Democrats In Lead For Gubernatorial Pickup In Minny
When Rasmussen polled the Democratic and GOP primaries in Minnesota this week, it was curious that they did not release general election polling in that race. Someone else has, however, and the numbers point to a Democratic Pickup in the state. The poll, conducted for the St. Paul Pioneer-Press by a pollster called Decision Resources, shows former Democratic Senator Mark Dayton up ten points (41-31) on former GOP Senator Norm Coleman, who has not formally announced his bid. Dayton has a wider edge of sixteen points on GOP state legislator Marty Seifert. The good news for Democrats is that state House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher also leads Coleman, albeit by a lesser margin (33-31).
NY-Sen: Gillibrand Out In Front, According to Marist
With the ever-increasing likelihood that Tennessee transplant Harold Ford Jr. is going to plan a primary challenge to the right of Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Marist elected to poll the race, and their results are telling. Remember that last summer, when it seemed like Manhattan Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney was contemplating a bid, that the two of them were deadlocked in the primary. Gillibrand's relatively low name recognition (the side effect of being an appointee rather than an elected senator) seemed to stunt her polling performances. As we head into 2010, however, the picture is slightly different: Gillibrand enjoys a nineteen-point lead over Ford (43-24) in the Democratic primary. In the general election, Gillibrand has a three-point edge (45-42) over former GOP Governor George Pataki. Pataki is probably the only top-tier Republican left considering the race, although the general consensus is that he will not run, when all is said and done.
CA-Sen: Rasmussen Sees Tightening Race in Boxer Re-Elect Bid
Rasmussen takes its monthly look at the U.S. Senate race in the Golden State, and finds a race that is tightening up, compared to previous months. Three-term Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer continues to hold a lead, but the margins are certainly thinning. Carly Fiorina comes the closest, trailing Boxer by three points (46-43). Senate race newcomer Tom Campbell trails by four points (46-42), while right-wing insurgent candidate Chuck DeVore trails by six points (46-40). Meanwhile, Team Campbell is circulating internal polling giving their man a formidable lead in the GOP primary. The poll shows Campbell leading with 31% of the vote, well ahead of both Fiorina (15%) and DeVore (12%).
NV-Sen (2012): Philandering Senator Ensign is...Leading?
PPP, while also polling about the dire straits that Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid finds himself in, took some time to ask about the prospects for scandal-tarred Republican U.S. Senator John Ensign. His prospects are better than you'd think. In a shocker, Ensign holds leads over all three prospective Democratic challengers: he leads Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman (43-41), Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (49-40), and Ross Miller (47-36). What could explain this? PPP's Tom Jensen explains it, at least in part: it seems that Republican voters, for all their prattling about moral values, seem to have forgiveness in their hearts for straying Republicans. Both David Vitter and John Ensign polled extremely well with Republican voters, despite their very public personal failings.
IN OTHER NEWS....
Eric Bolling presented a chart titled "Obama's Checkbook" which purported to show the Obama administration's "new spending," but in fact included a variety of spending that was actually initiated during the Bush administration. Bolling also claimed that Obama has generated "$0" in revenue, despite citing the "new spending" that would occur if health care reform and cap and trade legislation were to pass, even though those programs actually increase revenues and are deficit reductive, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
From the January 15 broadcast of Fox News' Glenn Beck:
BOLLING: Thefederal government certainly likes to spend your and my taxpayer dollars.Recently -- check itout -- they spent $700billion on TARP, $787 billion on stimulus. Hey, by the way, that stimuluspackage, those are $400,000per job -- jobs they'recreating. $180 billion is either spent or lent to AIG. Don't forget the $115billion -- these are all B's -- billion to Fannie and Freddie. $83 billion tocars. We're not going to see a dime of this. Don't forget the $1 trillion onhealth care, cap and trade, et cetera, et cetera. And this one, this one. Canyou get a close-up -- take a look at this one. $60 billion as of last nightgoing to the unions to buy health care votes.
All right. Here's the other side ofthat. The new revenue. Look at that. Zero. $4 trillion -- we're spending zeronew revenue.
TARPpassed under Bush in October 2008. PresidentBush found that the health care reform bill that passed the House "would yield a net reduction in federal budget deficits of $109 billion over the 2010-2019 period." CBO also found that in the decade after 2019, "the legislation would slightly reduce federal budget deficits ... relative to those projected under current law-with a total effect during that decade that is in a broad range between zero and one-quarter percent of GDP [gross domestic product]."
Bolling claims "$0"in revenue in "Obama's Checkbook" while citing "spending"of deficit-reductive cap-and-trade bill. Bolling mentioned"cap and trade" among the Obama administration's purportedspending while stating that theObama administration has provided no new revenues. Butin a June 26 letter to Rep. HenryWaxman, the CBO wrote that the cap and trade legislation passed by the House,the American Clean Energy and Security Act, would reduce future deficits byroughly $9 billion over ten years:
CBO and theJoint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate that enacting the legislation wouldincrease revenues by $873 billion overthe 2010-2019 period and would increase direct spending by $864billion over that 10-year period. In total, CBO and JCT estimate that enactingthe legislation would reduce future budget deficits by about $4 billion overthe 2010-2014 period and by about $9 billion over the 2010-2019 period (seeenclosed table).