Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Roman Polanski

The Sentencing

Judge Lawrence Rittenband
Judge Lawrence Rittenband

The media was having a heyday. Rittenbrad was drawing out the sentencing, and it seemed that Polanski would be walking away from any serious time. It then leaked that Rittenband was considering a serious penalty of time in jail — he had casually made a comment to someone at the country club.

Rittenband then called the attorneys for both parties back to the chambers, and explained that he was going to toughen the sentence. He wanted Polanski to make up the rest of the 90 days at Chino; to make sure that the sentence looked robust enough for the press. Then, evidently believing that Polanski's moral breach justified sending him out of the country, he indicated that he wanted Polanski to volunteer to be deported. But there was a catch — Rittenbrad had no power to compel Polanski to do so.

The day before sentencing, Dalton told Polanski that he thought that the sentencing could likely be overturned on appeal — although it would take time, time during which Polanski could be in custody. Dalton told Polanski that Rittenband had mentioned deportation. Polanski asked if they could trust the judge to honor the original plea deal, and Dalton told him no.

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