What she doesn't say:
Applebaum failed to mention that her husband is a Polish foreign minister who is lobbying for Polanski’s case to be dismissed....Incredible! We're talking about a Washington Post columnist here, who used the corporate pages to write a piece decrying "The Outrageous Arrest of Roman Polanski."
But is that any more absurd than saying he's suffered enough because of all the burdens on his career? Think what this means, generalizing the opinion into an abstract rule. It means that those with high professional standing do not need the usual criminal punishments given to individuals who have very little in this world. Ordinary people must be punished in prison, but big shots are already punished heavily by the mere revelation of their crimes and therefore should be relieved of much or all of the usual prison sentence. Care to sign on to that rule?
IN THE COMMENTS: Mortimer Brezny says:
I used to agree with Ann that punishment ought to be equal. But then I realized that sympathy is unequal. If you are poor, you are pitied. If you are rich, you are not. No matter if you were born poor and worked diligently over years to build a business that provides you with your present level of wealth. No matter if you were born rich and worked hard to sustain and grow the wealth with which you started. This imbalance, of course, leads to an unfair resentment and hatred of the rich. The poor can get away with all sorts of horrors against the rich and the successful, the talented and the intelligent, and when the favored sons strike back, they are chastened. That is wrong. Equal means equal. If the rich are to be despised and the poor are able to strike them on a daily basis in innumerable ways, then the rich ought to be able to strike back. And the punishments should reflect the toll of the daily indignities. I say punish the poor even worse. Make them suffer for their petty hatred of the rich, for their nasty, impish wrongful jabs at the rich on a everyday basis.
And let us not forget about contribution. Ayn Rand may have been a loon, but the truth of the matter is some create wealth and some do not. Those who create wealth -- of whatever kind; art, business, science, political wisdom -- are rare and deserve our protection and admiration. Those who destroy wealth, those who pilfer from the coffers of others, they deserve nothing but our contempt.