What if , albeit not prison, life events, related to this incident, have occurred to him that have caused him exactly the right amount of punishment?
What if, the changed public opinion of him as caused him enough mental anguish and regret?
What's being overlooked is the fact that Polanski fled the country, before being sentenced, and he has been a fugitive from justice for the past 33 years. So, in addition to the original crime of rape, Polanski committed the additional crime of fleeing the country to avoid sentencing. He's had 33 years to return to the U.S. and get his legal problems straightened out, and a team of top notch highly paid lawyers to help him do that. So, why hasn't he done that? Maybe because he really doesn't want to take responsibility for what he did in 1977. It's easier to just continue his luxurious lifestyle, enjoy his acclaimed status and celebrity, go on with his work and collect his awards, and forget about that nasty little rape incident that tends to cramp his travel plans. If this is "punishment", a lot of people would be willing to trade places with Polanski.
"Mental anguish and regret" does not substitute for fulfilling the legal sentence imposed for a crime. Jails and prisons are filled with people who are sorry they got themselves there. Should we let them all go free because they have suffered emotionally as a result of their crimes? And where is there evidence of Polanski's true remorse for what he did to his 13 year old victim? Poor Roman thinks he's the victim because he thinks he was screwed by the legal system. Forget what he did to get himself involved with that legal system, raping, sodomizing and drugging a child, because he's the real victim, and look how he's suffered. The poor guy couldn't even come to L.A. to pick up his Oscar in person. Oh, the horrible mental anguish he's suffered. Ya gotta feel for the guy.
Because his plea deal was never finalized, he still stands charged with the original crimes of raping and drugging a 13 year old and performing oral sex and sodomy with her, all felonies, and all considerably more serious, in terms of length of punishment, than a single charge of statutory rape. He had been promised a sweetheart deal if he entered a guilty plea for statutory rape--a mere 40 odd days in jail, time he had already served while undergoing psychiatric evaluation. Think of that, a month and a half in jail for drugging and raping a child. Not statutory rape, based only on the age of the girl, but actual rape of a non-consenting female child. He never expected to receive much "punishment" for his crime, nor was he prepared to receive more punishment for it--that's why he skipped the country.
The issue of whether the judge in Polanski's case was about to renege on the plea bargain agreement, and impose a sentence longer than time served, should be investigated. After 33 years, with several of the principals in the case either dead, or elderly or infirm, that becomes a difficult task, but it should be done. And Polanski should return to the U.S. and work out a new sentencing agreement with the current D.A.
At this point, everyone wants to see this case concluded. If Polanski was indeed going to receive time served 33 years ago, let them give him time served now. If he was going to receive an additional 45 days 33 years ago, let him do his 45 days in jail now and get it over. If Polanski really has any sense of responsibility about the crime he committed, he should be willing to do 45 days in a private jail cell. He'd still be getting off easy, very easy, considering what he did. For Pete's sake, even Paris Hilton got a 45 day sentence, for violating her probation. And, like Paris, Polanski could probably get out of jail after a few days, and spend the rest of the sentence under house arrest at some palatial villa in L.A.. But at least he would have shown some sense of responsibility for his crime, and the case would finally be legally over.