Is the Affluenza Defense Real?

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  1. profile image0
    Sooner28posted 4 years ago

    I'm going to try and sum up the defense's argument, step by step. 

    I'm doing this more to expand discussion, and if there is a more plausible interpretation of the defense's argument, I'd be open to changing my interpretation.

    So, the conclusion for the defense is: Ethan Couch is not responsible for his actions.

    Reason 1: His parents were absurdly permissive.

    Reason 2: Absurdly permissive parenting teaches children their actions have no consequences.

    Reason 3: When people believe their actions have no consequences, they will act irresponsibly.

    Reason 4: The way children are raised is a determinant for their behavior (I'm not sure the defense necessarily assumes this one).

    Reason 5: Ethan acted irresponsibly.

    Conclusion 1: Ethan couldn't help behaving irresponsibly (Reasons 1-5).

    Reason 1a: When people can't act otherwise than they do, they aren't responsible for their behavior.

    Conclusion 2: Ethan isn't responsible for his actions (Conclusion 1 and Reason 1a).

    What say you?  Reason 1 is true.  Reason 2 seems true.  Reason 3 is true.  Reason 4 is a bit of a stickler.  I think 4 is probably the only plausible denial there is here.

    1. Silverspeeder profile image62
      Silverspeederposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Not to sure about legal semantics but surely the overriding position of the courts should be the protection of the public, therefor if Ethan Couch is not responsible for his actions then by default he is a danger to the public and should be removed from society to protect it and Ethan himself?

      1. profile image0
        Sooner28posted 4 years agoin reply to this

        Well, he's required to go to "rehab".  There's no choice in the matter on that.  So in a sense that would be "removing" him from the public.

    2. profile image0
      HowardBThinameposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      I think the defense attorney was being creative, but that does not mean that the judge's ruling was out of line. It's very common for DUI first offenders, yes, even if someone dies as a result of their drunkenness, to get off on probation.

      So really, the question isn't whether Affluenza is a "defense," as much as it is - did Ethan receive an appropriate sentence.

      Yes, he probably did. He got the same sentence, harsher actually, than some others who are first-time DUI offenders involved in crashes where someone dies.

      http://www.kwch.com/news/local-news/mom … index.html

      1. John Holden profile image59
        John Holdenposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        I'm inclined to agree with you on this one Howard.

        A more salient question would be "is sentencing for deaths caused by DUI appropriate?"

        1. profile image0
          HowardBThinameposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          I think you've nailed the real issue here, John.

      2. profile image0
        Sooner28posted 4 years agoin reply to this

        I agree also.  I feel like I'm in some weird universe where it seems like EVERYONE agrees with how bad this ruling was, and I'm the only one who thinks there actually were "mitigating" circumstances.  Then I see a few others!

    3. rhamson profile image75
      rhamsonposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Reason 1: His parents were absurdly permissive.
      Reason 2: Absurdly permissive parenting teaches children their actions have no consequences.

      Because of these two reasons as to why Ethan was allowed to walk away from any jail time maybe we should hold the parents accountable for some jail time. They are responsible for this mess of a child getting into this predicament by their own admission.

      Paying for an extravagant rehab seems less than adequate a punishment for these absent parents.

      1. profile image0
        Sooner28posted 4 years agoin reply to this

        I think that's a fair point.

  2. Zelkiiro profile image94
    Zelkiiroposted 4 years ago

    Involuntary manslaughter is still manslaughter. And he got a 4-for-1 deal, with 11 bystanders partaking as well.

    The fact that he's not being strung up by his scrotum in an iron maiden is...certainly a fact. But he really should've gotten some harsh jail time.

    1. Silverspeeder profile image62
      Silverspeederposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Agreed.

      And what has he really learnt? Money buys everything!

 
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