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I wish this was a snark.  But this is so shocking it makes me ill.

16-year old Ethan Couch was driving drunk at THREE times the legal limit and had Valium in his system.  He plowed into four people going 70 miles per hour in a 40 mile per hour zone, killing them.  Other victims are severely injured; one has severe brain damage.  Even after he killed and maimed those people, he was uncooperative and combative with the emergency services and walked away from the police saying "I'm outta here".

He pleaded guilty, of course.  But Ethan's parents are very wealthy. (We are talking the 1%.)  They hired an attorney that brought on a psychologist to say Couch was "a product of wealth" and was used to getting "whatever he wanted".  Because he was so affluent and accustomed to never having consequences, the attorney argued that he should get therapy as opposed to jail.

This was the argument, mind you, used in the defense:

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 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 .24, said Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson. It is illegal for a minor to drive with any amount of alcohol in his or her system.

Prosecutors tried to get 20 years.   The Defense argued for therapy and probation.

Texas State District Judge Jean Boyd bought the inane "I'm too rich for consequences" defense and actually sided with the Defense and gave him probation:

(Video of the breaking news report.  Includes talk with a victim's family member.)

The kid is not remorseful in the slightest.  I'm sure he always expected to get off.  He always has before. Meanwhile, the victim's families are devastated.

Tell me again how there are NOT two Americas and two sets of rules.  

Look at this lady, this young man, and this poor kid.   Notice a theme?  

Does anyone for a second think if this kid was poor and black he would not be facing death row?

After all, Texas executed this guy even though he was mentally retarded.  Yet that's never been a legitimate defense in Texas.  

But apparently, if you are white and superich, "affluenza" now is.


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2:18 PM PT: The father is owner/president of Cleburne Sheet Metal, the truck the kid was driving was a company truck "entrusted" to this kid by his dad.  What makes this story even worse is that apparently they built a lot of their wealth with taxpayer money/government contracts.  The local representative is Kay Granger.  Let her know NO More Government Contracts for this company! (Zip code is 76135 to leave a message).

6:12 PM PT: Judge Jean didn't concern herself with rehabilitation and well-being when it was a 14-year old black kid who punched a guy who fell down and died.  10 years.   H/t Ivycompton.  

7:33 PM PT: CNN picked up the story and as usual, left a lot out.  Nothing of his action at the scene, or since, or his past history.  As a result there are several comments expressing sympathy for what he must be going through.  At least they covered it finally unlike other outlets.

Thu Dec 12, 2013 at  5:42 AM PT:
Of course Florida was not outdone.  

Thu Dec 12, 2013 at  8:02 AM PT: $450,000 for therapy. Check out his  prison.  

Originally posted to SemDem on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 12:31 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos Classics.

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