Ethan Couch was sentenced to 10 years probation and treatment after drinking and causing an accident that killed four people. His lawyers said Couch suffered from "affluenza," a condition that resulted from having grown up with rich parents and not ever having had limits set for him.
Is there a place for "affluenza" to be a legitimate defense? Was this it? Even if "affluenza" was to blame, was the judge's sentence appropriate? Or, did his sentence allow him to shift the blame for his bad behavior to someone else, and cause further damage?
(To see the latest in Ethan's case: http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Police … B_DFWBrand )
It doesn't make sense to me. If you were raised by parents who did set limits but you drove drunk and killed people you would go to jail but if you were raised by parents who didn't set limits you'd get probation? How is that even fair? I'm sure too that most people who suffer from "affluenza" will never kill anyone.
You bring up good points. Isn't lightening the sentence just continuing the problem? "Oh, you've never had a consequence before, so you don't know right and wrong. It'd be mean to give you a consequence...."
It also makes me question what the purpose of the legal system is. This sentence won't rehabilitate this individual. This sentence doesn't bring closure to the families of the victim. This sentence doesn't keep the perpetrator off the streets....what does it do?
Affluenza? that is not a defense, but an excuse.
The sentence is appropriate, we have to crack down on drunk drivers. Driving under the influence is premeditation in the commission of vehicle homicide in my opinion.
Just to make sure I understand, you think only 10 years probation is sufficient for this situation? And therefore, 10 years probation is sufficient for 4 counts of premeditated vehicular homicide?
This is a first time offense and it magnitude would make one desire that the penalty by greater. The system accomodates this sort of offense with lower sentencing because it is not considered premeditated, like deliberately shooting someone.
I am not saying that this is good or bad, but that how it has been done. I have to take into consideration the fact that the perp was a minor at the time the crime was committed.
I could be wrong, without detail study of the nature of similar cases like it.
So, what do you think that the sentence should be? Should he be forced to have done time in juvie and after reaching the age of majority continue his sentence there? How many years in the klink do you think are appropriate?
The only good that can come from this at this point is that he will be found and sent back to jail....hopefully? But what is even better is that I understand his mother is on the run with him. Now she can join him in aiding and abetting a wanted fugitive.
"Nowhere in this process did Ethan ever say to the families, to the court, 'I'm so sorry for what happened,'" said Boyles. "Nowhere did Ethan express any remorse or anything."
That, to me, is why the answer is no. The sentence was not appropriate. Many times, when a person causes harm to another they will punish themselves worse by their own guilt than any punishment the courts could ever impose. Here we have a case where a rich kid kills others and the defense is, poor him it's not his fault because he led a privileged life? I think the court simply allowed him to believe his lack of consideration was justified. I think his subsequent actions are evidence of how inappropriate the sentence was.
Texas is a strange state. They'll execute anyone for any infraction then they acquit a rich guy who kills someone and stuffs them into a suitcase and pat a teen on the hand telling him it isn't his fault he killed four people because he's rich. I suppose it pays to be rich in Texas.
Leaves one to question what the point of the judicial system is, doesn't it? The kid didn't learn, the families didn't get either an apology or justice, the kid was still on the streets where he could hurt someone else...what was accomplished in this case? I think you're exactly right, Live to Learn. You make a good point.
Whether it's a legal defense or not , its a true plague in America , Be proud though , you hit on something here ! If I were to have tried to invent a viable defense for a crime , this would be todays perfection .
I agree it's a problem. It's interesting to see how we define delinquency. We don't want to punish people for biological, mental and social factors beyond their control, but there has to be a line somewhere between not punishing people for outside factors and not taking care of delinquency at all!
I can't believe you guys, there have been serial killers and loathsome murderers that have been executed and most certainly many have had difficult childhood experience. They all went to the gallows, abusive parents or no. Why are we even entertaining this idea? I am not giving any consideration to the plight of this person just because he was pampered too much growing up and gagged on his silver spoon!!!
Credence2, I didn't say I agreed with the judge's choice. I think that there may have been a parenting issue here, I don't, however, think that that parenting issue gives this kid the right to kill 4 people and not have consequences.
Understood, KB, but there is never a parenting issue to consider if the perpetrator is at the age of majority at time the crime is committed. I just don't see it as a consideration in prosecution or sentencing at any level.
I am sorry, was this fellow only 16? If thats the case, the circumstances change, as a minor, he is entitled to some leniency. I don't know how that would be measured or what is should be. His parents are accessories to the crime and should be made to pay some sort of damages to the aggrieved families involved. Parents must assume responsibility for their minor children.
He was only 16 at the time of the accident. Now that he's violated his probation he's 18, which is why some are calling for this case to be moved to adult court.
Should a 16 year old be able to put his mistake on his parents? And, if they can be held responsible enough for his actions for him to get out of a jail sentence, then should they be facing legal charges as well?
Yes, since he has violated the terms of his probation, I believe now that he is 18 that his case should go to an adult court. He had a chance to stay clean while he was in the less severe juvenile system, but he blew it.
No, the 16 year old is not completely absolved of responsibility for his actions and should be punished independently. Yes, as I said before the parents are accessories. The issuance of minor driver's licenses presumes parental responsiblity and subsequent liability for the action of the teen driver.
This whole thing seems so indicative of what is wrong in America today. Too much money is cause for us to coddle defendants and attempt to convince ourselves they haven't done anything wrong; too little money is cause for us to shove people in prison and think suspected criminals who are poor have no reason for us to be concerned if they die in the hands of the police.
Money. It certainly turns our heads. Or, maybe it's just a case of too many lawyers grubbing for money.
Money is one way we are all equal in this society. If you have it does not matter if you are black or white. Look at O.J. as an example of enough money to beat a historically heinous crime of black on white crime. He was able to beat a stereotypical death warrant with it.
I can remember this case back when it was a big news story. It was a ridiculous defense-but it worked. Shows the climate in our society where having money and being excused for the death of 4 people by poor parenting is an acceptable norm. Wow he screwed up yet again (although murdering 4 people goes beyond screwing up in my estimation) and a video leaked and once again it is a big story and taxpayers will foot the bill for searching for him. I'm so surprised! This little wack-job should have been imprisoned-I wonder what the woman's defense will be who recently killed a woman in Vegas and injured 35-(three seriously?) Will it be "Non-Affluenza?" Give me a break!
You bring up an interesting point with "non-affluenza." "I wanted it and I didn't have it" would suddenly be an acceptable defense for theft. And at that point....we'd have a free for all.
One of the purposes of the US justice system is to correct problems and rehabilitate people. CLEARLY that wasn't accomplished. Even if affluenza was acceptable, shouldn't there have been mandatory counseling, coursework, LOADS of community service, etc? And, if affluenza is the problem....doesn't that mean the mom is guilty?
There were LOTS of loop holes in this ruling and defense, imho!
It is the epitome of the "it's not my fault" generations we are raising. Shame on us for this travesty.
Well since he disappeared with his mother to Mexico, he has shown his true colors.
The Mexican authorities are sending them back to the states and I hope some new judge will do the right thing!
Both need to spend some time paying for the death of four innocent lives and not using their money and influence to avoid punishment.
I'm glad extradition is happening! Running to Mexico did prove the previous defense attorney's point that the mother has no moral compass, sense of justice, or ability to live with the consequences of her actions. And, it's probably pretty hard for someone with no moral compass to teach someone else how to use one. However, I completely agree with you that that doesn't excuse the fact that 4 people died. Death has consequences, whether we're accustomed to facing them or not!
But....since the kid has had no opportunities to learn accountability, lets absolve him of any consequences for this choice too! Good job, judge and jury. Way to perpetuate the problem!
Based on what I read about the parents, they really weren't that rich. Affluenza was the silly invention of their lawyer to get their son freed.
by G. Diane Nelson Trotter 4 years ago
Is poor parenting the reason children don't value education?Are the growing number of absentee parents and uneducated parents the reasons most children in urban schools do not value education?
by Jinet Marte 8 years ago
What is going on in this young people's minds that pushes them to perform such deadly acts of violence? School and mass shootings have become some deadly sort of grim "tradition" in this world. Alarming disposition of today's youth to just decimate other young and adult people. What's...
by Grace Marguerite Williams 4 years ago
Why do parents of large to very large families tend to delegate the raising of the youngerchildren to the oldest sibling? Many parents from large to very large families (6 or more children) state that they have little or no part in raising their children, they purport that they...
by Susan Reid 12 years ago
I've had CNN on for an hour this morning. In that time they've spent Her jail sentence is 90 days, but predictions are she will serve only 23 of those days. Then she still has 90 days of "program" (aka rehab). Do you think this sentence is appropriate for her?
by chaoticpsyche 9 years ago
Every day I see some of the most stupidest people having children. Usually, at least it seems to me, those with less intelligence keep having child after child, often when they cannot afford them. I sometimes think it would be better for all if there was an IQ requirement for having children. I...
by Grace Marguerite Williams 9 years ago
Do YOU consider children being forced to assume parenting duties to be abusive?Childhood should be a time unencumbered with adult responsibilities.Childhood is a time to fully explore one's environment and to be spontaneous.It is also a time to be as free from responsibilities as possible. In...
Copyright © 2022 Maven Media Brands, LLC and respective content providers on this website. HubPages® is a registered trademark of Maven Coalition, Inc. Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. Maven Media Brands, LLC and respective content providers to this website may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.
|HubPages Device ID||This is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.|
|Login||This is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.|
|HubPages Traffic Pixel||This is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.|
|Remarketing Pixels||We may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.|
|Conversion Tracking Pixels||We may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.|