On June 15, a 16 year old Texas man, or boy, depending on how sensitive you are to the travails of growing up wealthy, plowed his speeding pick up truck into four human beings, smashing them to death. This week Ethan Couch was sentenced to 0 years of prison for the crime. Nine other people were injured in the crash.
The judge, instead, opted for ten years probation.
Part of his defense, as supported by psychologist Dr. G. Dick Miller, was that Couch was too coddled to be held responsible for his actions. Also he was white. He didn’t say that part but it was sort of implied, right?
Miller said Couch’s parents gave him “freedoms no young person should have.” He called Couch a product of “affluenza,” where his family felt that wealth bought privilege and there was no rational link between behavior and consequences.
He said Couch got whatever he wanted. As an example, Miller said Couch’s parents gave no punishment after police ticketed the then-15-year-old when he was found in a parked pickup with a passed out, undressed, 14-year-old girl.
Miller also pointed out that Couch was allowed to drive at age 13. He said the teen was emotionally flat and needed years of therapy.
At the time of the fatal wreck, Couch had a blood alcohol content of 0.24, said Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson, three times the legal limit of .08 for an adult. WFAA Texas
It’s a pretty shocking, outrageous, and horrifying story, right? Unless you considered the millions of others times throughout the history of the world in which the well-off were held to different standards than the rest of us under the criminal justice system. Let this be a lesson to kids out there everywhere: Drunk driving is bad. But not as bad if your parents are pushovers. (h/t and image via)