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Affluenza Helps Get Teen 10Years Probation For Killing 4 While Intoxicated


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I wonder what the sentence would be if any of is had done this...

updated 10:53 PM EST 12.11.13

Teen gets probation for deadly DWI crash

By Dana Ford, CNN


Teen avoids jail with 'affluenza' defense

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(CNN) - To families of the victims, Ethan Couch was a killer on the road, a drunken teenage driver who caused a crash that left four people dead.

To the defense, the youth is himself a victim -- of "affuenza," according to one psychologist -- the product of wealthy, privileged parents who never set limits for the boy.

To a judge, who sentenced Couch to 10 years' probation but no jail time, he's a defendant in need of treatment.

The decision disappointed prosecutors and stunned victims' family members, who say they feel that Couch got off too easy. Prosecutors had asked for the maximum of 20 years behind bars.

"Let's face it ... There needs to be some justice here," Eric Boyles, who lost his wife and daughter, told CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 on Wednesday night.

"For 25 weeks, I've been going through a healing process. And so when the verdict came out, I mean, my immediate reaction is -- I'm back to Week 1. We have accomplished nothing here. My healing process is out the window," he said.

Lawyers for Couch, 16, had argued that the teen's parents should share a part of the blame for the crash because they never set limits for the boy and gave him everything he wanted.

According to CNN affiliate WFAA, a psychologist called by the defense described Couch as a product of "affluenza."

He reportedly testified that the teen's family felt wealth bought privilege, and that Couch's life could be turned around with one to two years of treatment and no contact with his parents.

Couch was sentenced by a juvenile court judge on Tuesday. If he violates the terms of his probation, he could face up to 10 years of incarceration, according to a statement from the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney's Office.

Judge Jean Boyd told the court she would not release Couch to his parents, but would work to find the teen a long-term treatment facility.

"There are absolutely no consequences for what occurred that day," said Boyles. "The primary message has to absolutely be that money and privilege can't buy justice in this country."

His wife, Hollie Boyles, and daughter, Shelby, left their home to help Breanna Mitchell, whose SUV had broken down. Brian Jennings, a youth pastor, was driving past and also stopped to help.

All four were killed when the teen's pickup plowed into the pedestrians. Couch's vehicle also struck a parked car, which then slid into another vehicle driving in the opposite direction.

Two people riding in the bed of the teen's pickup were tossed in the crash and severely injured.

One is no longer able to move or talk because of a brain injury, while the other suffered internal injuries and broken bones.

"There is nothing the judge could have done to lessen the suffering for any of those families," said defense attorney Scott Brown, CNN affiliate KTVT reported.

"(The judge) fashioned a sentence that is going to keep Ethan under the thumb of the justice system for the next 10 years," he said. "And if Ethan doesn't do what he's supposed to do, if he has one misstep at all, then this judge, or an adult judge when he's transferred, can then incarcerate him."

Earlier on the night of the accident, June 15, Couch and some friends had stolen beer from a local Wal-Mart. Three hours after the crash, tests showed he had a blood alcohol content of 0.24, three times the legal limit, according to the district attorney's office.

"We are disappointed by the punishment assessed but have no power under the law to change or overturn it," said Assistant District Attorney Richard Alpert. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and we regret that this outcome has added to the pain and suffering they have endured."

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Life in prison. People need to know if they get so drunk that they could crash and kill people, they do life. Then maybe, just maybe, people wouldn't get that drunk.

People aren't killing people @.08 wink.png

Yea, that type of thought process sure works in the drug war.

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I'm absolutely shocked that a rich white kid is getting off easy. SHOCKED.

Your comment would have worked if you had not added the word white. If one were to look they would probably find that people, regardless of color, in the same class fair about the same in the judicial system. I simply repeat part of one of my post from another thread here below.

As simple as can be, the system is not racially biased as much as it is biased by class. By that I mean, I would have trouble in the system because I would probably have to have a court appointed attorney...There is a reason wealthy people, whether black, white, brown, or purple, get off, they have better attorneys.

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Is there a "black" class? Just curious cause I'm pretty sure there's a larger number of that "class" incarcerated than the others.

"Not racially biased."


I mean wealth class.

The flaw here is the victims were also white. I thought one of the argument in race bias claims is that whites convict whites only when they kill other whites.

Race, however, is nowhere near this case at all, but someone just had to somehow make it about race, so I addressed it. If one wants to argue that wealthy people are less likely to be convicted of a crime, then I am with you one hundred percent, but drag race into this, and I will argue against it.

Edited by AREA51
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Yea, that type of thought process sure works in the drug war.

Apples and oranges. Drunk driving is a scourge in our society which injures and kills thousands. It destroys lives and families, and it frankly is not demonized as much as it should be.

Someone possessing less than an ounce of pot in their own home is an entirely different story.

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Punishing people harshly for doing drugs = apple

Punishing people harshly for drunk driving = apple

Both of which make no difference. People will do what they want to regardless of how many shame fingers we wag.

There is a much greater chance of harming others when driving drunk than getting high in your parents basement. The former is driving a two ton missile on wheels while impaired, and the latter might eat the last of the bagel bites.

Apples, and oranges.

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Go back to jerking off Deisel. Prohibiting anything doesn't stop the behavior. I unlike some here don't give a damnn if you agree. Move on.

No need to get your jimmies rustled, friend. I don't think drunk drivers should get mandatory life sentences and agree the drug war is a total failure and sham. However, I'm not backing down from my position that drunk drivers need to be punished.

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Then read the post I responded to. Life sentences for drunk driving? Yea. Good luck.

No Jimmies rustled. It's just my choosing not to round and round with random people over the same old crap only to end up in the same place tomorrow.

You told me to go jerk off another dude. There was a rustling, however minor.

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So, you believe all black kids grow up dirt poor in a crime infested area with a single mother who's never home?

Now, I'm sure someone will spin that away and call me a racist.

actually you are making yourself look like a racist.

my original post specified POOR black juvenile. If I believed that all black juveniles were poor, I would have just said black juveniles because otherwise it would be redundant.

furthermore, you are the one who jumped to a conclusion about the intent of my post. my post was completely sincere with no hidden message. I was not making an assumption about the judge, I was expressing a desire to know about the history of his decisions so that I could form an opinion

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I had zero idea before this thread you had any problem with me. I was just trying to see what the deal was.

I don't have a problem with anyone here. I come for light discussion about less trivial crap and don't care to be involved in semantic debates, ideological debates or petty debates.

No where do I state that drunk drivers shouldn't be punished. My only point was stiff punishment isn't the proven go-to method for anything. Life sentences for drunk driving are as stupid as habitual sentences for stuff like weed. Twisting it and turning it into a semantic debate and misrepresenting my position as if I'm saying they shouldn't be punished at all isn't something I'm going to spend 10 pages arguing about it like Deisel and Tahuckafucaman topics where people are arguing for the sake of arguing.

Edited by MDFMK
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