Monday, November 09, 2015

Too Rich to Go to Jail

You've probably heard this story on the news. There is a 16-year-old in Texas who got away with killing four people because he was a spoiled brat. This is the kid...



These are the people he killed while driving drunk.



That doesn't even include the nine people he injured, including this permanently disabled teen.



The defense claimed the spoiled brat, named Ethan, suffers from a condition called "affluenza" as a result of having super-wealthy parents who never punished him and, therefore, never taught him the difference between right and wrong.



The worst part of all? The judge bought it. The brat will never serve a day behind bars. He was sentenced to ten years' probation and rehab. Everyone sued and the parents paid...money doesn't really bother them. They have plenty of it. The argument for Ethan's sentence seems to be that with rehabilitation, he'll be able to become a functioning member of society. Just like his parents?



People have worried about the upcoming generation of kids whose parents didn't discipline them. But now they're getting away with killing people. I think that takes these concerns to an all new level.



Do you think Ethan Couch can be rehabilitated?

57 comments:

  1. He might be, but that will never take the place of the sentence he should've served for killing those people.
    Morals, values, and decency are just going down the tube, aren't they?

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    1. I know, right? He's now working for his dad's business. Everyone pretty much hates both him and his parents. They say being tried in the court of public opinion is the worst kind of justice...they pretty much hide out in that gigantic mansion of theirs, so maybe they have their prison. The judge had to retire in public shame for not punishing the guy...makes you wonder if she wasn't somehow financially motivated to let him off...

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  2. Crazy, but I never heard anything about this!

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    1. I hadn't either, until it was on 20/20. One of the families dropped their lawsuit because they said getting national exposure for the story on 20/20 was enough...it let people know what this kid had gotten away with and how despicable his parents were. So I figured I'd do my part and let a few more people know about them!

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  3. I've seen all of this on the news several times. It sickens and saddens me!!! I pray the boy does repent and spend the rest of his life helping others!!! But I think I'm dreaming, like always!!! And my heart breaks for his victims and their families!!!!!

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    1. I don't think so. He didn't look like he even really realized what he'd done. He's gone to work for his dad's company, so I'm sure he'll just spend the rest of his life using money to get away with whatever he wants. His parents gave him a truck and let him start freely driving it at 13!!!

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  4. that is why I always say, both as a teacher and not, that parents should be legally responsible and punishable for everything their kids do till they're at least 50 years old :) I mean, sorry, but if you raised a psycho or a killer or a rapist, who's to blame than you yourself? Straight to jail for parents!
    We currently have a criminal competing in our Big Brother even though he is waiting to be sent to serve a jail sentence. Im' glad I don't have a telly

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    1. They screen our Big Brother houseguests now...several of the ones this past season had criminal records (mostly DUIs, drug possession, etc.). They won't let those who have histories of violence on the show, though, after that guy in Season 2 held a knife to a girl's throat.

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  5. I heard about this and it makes me sick that people with money don't have to pay for their crimes the way everyone else does. I think those people should sue the judge, too, for handing down an improper and astoundingly unfair sentence. Maybe if the judge gets sued, too, the next one will think twice about caving to such a load of crap. The laws are for everyone and ignorance is no excuse.

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    1. The judge chose not to seek re-election and it's said it was because of this. I wonder if the judge wasn't somehow bribed. I can't imagine she wouldn't think this kid needed to be punished. You can tell by the way he was raised that he isn't going to change because he spends a few months in rehab.

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  6. This case astounded me when they came up with the "affluenza" plea and won. I am surprised more lawyers haven't come up with "lack of affluence" as an excuse for kids from the "projects" to commit murder and mayhem. I still think that judge should have been challenged.

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    1. Good point! It should work both ways, right? I assume they can't try him again because of double jeopardy laws, but can the victims appeal the ruling?

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  7. I think he should have gotten a stiffer sentence indeed. I fear this didn't teach him anything and what will stop him from getting behind a wheel again after he has had too much to drink.Sad in so many ways.

    betty

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    1. Part of his probation is that he can't drive...20/20 was at his house and he was in the passenger seat when they left the house, but I would guess once the frenzy dies down, he'll be driving.

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  8. Goodness, that's terrible. I really do think that parents have a lot to answer for, they've bailed him out again and yet if it was this boy who had been killed by a drunk driver, his parents would be the first to be kicking up a fuss, and rightly so. Why can't they see that they're not doing him any favours.

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    1. Good point! And at the scene, one of the other kids said the brat woke up saying, "I can get you out of this. Don't worry," thinking (I guess) that the guy he was talking to was responsible for all the wreckage. When the brat's school told his dad that the brat couldn't drive to school anymore (because he was 13), the dad said, "I'll buy this school" and ended up pulling him out of the school and homeschooling him. So that entitlement has already been passed on to the next generation.

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  9. That's awful. I think both the teen and parents need to serve some time, or do 20 years hard community service.

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    1. They asked the police why they didn't charge the parents and the police said if there had been something to charge him with, they would have.

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  10. Terrible what has happened, an injustice.

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    1. Definitely. Justice was completely forgotten here, sadly.

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  11. Probation? Seriously for killing 4 people and permanently disabling another? Wow how outrageous.

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    1. When the story started, I thought they were just going to make fun of the attorney who said "affluenza." It never occurred to me that the judge might have actually BOUGHT it.

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  12. I've read this before and I thought really? I think he should have been tried as an adult. That's whats wrong with kids in this , they have no consequences for their actions. The parents should have to pay also.

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    1. I agree. I think vehicular manslaughters are treated differently, especially if they're related to drunk driving. The argument in so many cases now is that if a person can be rehabilitated instead of going to jail, he/she should. He just lucked out, I guess, in getting a judge that was an idiot.

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  13. This is a terrible injustice.

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  14. A disgusting and disheartening travesty. The brat might be 'teachable' but rehab implies he veered off a track he was never on to begin with. Assuming his parents do know wrong from right, they should be serving time right along with the monster they unleashed upon society.

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  15. I think he could be rehabilitated faster if he faced some serious punishment. His sentence gave him the same crap teaching his parents gave him...lesson is "I can do what I want without consequences." I think he should do several years, and based on the defense they used, the parents should do several years as well.

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  16. First, I have to say that I don't think this is really representative of "kids today." Certainly there have been spoiled brats throughout history and there always will be. But most kids I've known (and I have a 21-year-old daughter, so I know my share of this generation!) are empathetic, decent people. I don't think this is going to become a widespread issue.

    As for this story, it's disgusting. If he's misbehaving because he's never been punished, shouldn't the response be to punish him??? Sounds like a family of sociopaths.

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  17. Not a case we have heard of here but then we rarely do unless it involves guns and schools.

    Certainly a worrying trend but thankfully I feel far from the normal. There are those that would argue that never mind locking up the 'child', the parents are largely to blame and thus should also find themselves before a judge.

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  18. Rehabilitated from what? He's convinced he didn't do anything wrong. Yes society is being flushed down the toilet and a bunch of idiots who don't have a clue. This is just one example of parents not parenting. We see this thing all the time. It's a shame.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  19. I'll never be rich enough to get away with murder, that's for sure. If the people he killed were rich, it would be different. We're expendable down here.
    I know prison makes hardened criminals worse a lot of times but he's a spoiled kid, prison might have actually helped.

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  20. holy crap, I did not know about this! what a little douche. Affluenza? lol oookayy...seriously cannot believe this. Well, Karma will get him !

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  21. I wondered what would have been the sentence if the parents of the teenager were not that rich.

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  22. I haven't heard of this news story, but it makes me feel sick to read - I can't believe that a judge actually bought that crap. It makes me so mad - I can't help wondering what his sentence would've been if he'd come from a different background or race. No matter what his background is, he committed the crime so he should be punished accordingly for it.

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  23. Wow, that's really scary. I hadn't heard of that.

    Since he's just learned that he can buy his way out of murder, I'd guess rehabilitation won't go very far.

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  24. This is crazy.
    But man...I hate these DD stories. Nowadays, teenagers are suffering with addiction problems. And the rich kids are the worst (open bars/drugs in home at early age). It's like no one wins. Everyone suffers. Did they do that kid a favor? No. Does he need to be in jail forever? Probably not. What he needs are good parents and some help. Just sad.

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  25. That is just disgusting! The parents should not be able to pay the people off-although at least the people did get some money but that is not the point. The parents need to be disciplined and that brat? He needs his ass whooped!! He will never learn as long as mommy and daddy do what they are doing and are not teaching their kid...in fact I would argue that they are inflicting harm on the child and take him away. Since that kid is not doing any time (which is criminal), I would send him to boot camp. I would make him work hard from 6 am to 8pm. I would have him on a farm bailing hay or working at a sawmill...something if he couldn't get put in prison. I just don't have any words and I feel horrible for the people he has hurt-that means the families left to pick up ther pieces after what he did. I can't get over it

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  26. I don't think justice was served. Everyone has a moral sense of right and wrong, even when they are not trained to use it. Additionally, parents are not the only instructors a child receives instruction from. Peers, teachers and society in general does wonders for informing people what right and wrong really is. It's a sad story, even sadder to realize with enough money, one can get away with murder.

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  27. You mean the judge got a big bribe.

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  28. I'd be happy if probation and rehab does it for him since its a done deal, but realistically I don't see it happening. I'm angry at this judge and this lawyer, the parents and the kid. That whole village thing sorta broke down here.

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  29. Hopefully he can be rehabilitated, but in a way justice would be done if he parents after the law suits were left without the resources to hire his rehabilitation

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  30. I'm familiar with this story and it's totally disgusting. There are a number of similar stories that I've heard. The justice system has gone awry.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  31. The only way this kid will really learn is to live in deprivation of excess and live in poverty. He' need to be made aware of the hurt and the lives he has ruined and the lives he cut short. He lives in a fantasy world. When he needs something he needs to work for it. That may make him feel like he's worth something. A trip to the third world might open up his eyes a little. If he can do so much harm so young, just think how much more harm he can do when he gets older. The parents should be in jail to give them time to rethink the way they raised their kid. Hopefully, he's their only kid.

    Hugs,
    JB


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  32. He'll either grow up or he won't.

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  33. This is terribly sad. It is hard to say. Some people can be rehabilitated and some cannot. It all depends on their attitude and willingness to change for the better.

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  34. Hi Stephanie. I used this story to teach my high school class about this new scourge dubbed 'affluenza'. Strangely, our web searches brought up George W Bush who said he suffered from 'affluenza' as he was allowed to do whatever he liked as a child--drive his mates around, much like this young lout, and skip school whenever he wanted. Hmm. Might explain a lot. I can't see these indulged youngsters being rehabilitated as they lack a moral compass. :-)

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  35. Very sad indeed, I feel like on many accounts. Another of many situations and souls to be praying continuously for. Thank you for sharing.

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  36. I hadn't heard about this before. It's completely insane. Makes me think that judge was paid off by the parents.

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  37. I hate to be negative, but children/teens learn from their parents. If they know mommy and daddy will always bail them out of trouble, why change. It's possible, I suppose, if they have friends and others to help them. It is a sad situation.

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  38. Wow. Just wow. :( I am so saddened (and definitely angry) over this. I don't understand. As for rehabilitation, I don't see it coming for years, decades, or even his lifetime, because he likely doesn't feel any remorse. A better person would have asked the judge to place him in jail for his crime.

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  39. Just stopped by to say hey.

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  40. It's enough to make you sick Stephanie. Once again he's been taught there are no consequences....it was time for the Judge to be the parent that mommy and daddy never were! And he blew it too!

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  41. No. How can he be rehabilitated when he just got off easy, as he has his whole life? And if its a thing, affluenza a real reason, that its because of the parent's upbringing... then incarcerate the parents. This gets a big WTF from me. It makes me angry and sad. :(

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  42. Oh I remember this. That lawyer of his must be a great storyteller to make something as "affluenza" plausible enough for a judge to believe in it. And no I don't think he can be rehabilitated. He showed no remorse for the deaths of the four people he killed and the injuries of others. The fact that he should've gone to jail but didn't, because of money, can only mean that no matter what he does, he can solve it with money. Things like morals, human decency, compassion and consequences has not been or will ever be in his vocabulary.

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  43. I seriously doubt he can be rehabilitated. Too little too late! I agree with some others that he should have been tried as an adult. And of course in a perfect world we could punish his parents, too!

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  44. I heard this story and I think it's a terrible injustice. Call me cynical but I suspect that 'money' was involved, maybe changed between a few hands...

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