“I can’t possibly be guilty of a crime, I have far too much money.” Most things, money can buy; and for everything else, there’s more money. And so the teenager who was drunk way above limit and driving recklessly in his pick-up truck, killed four people.
No surprise here. What was shocking was that this teenager got off without jail time at all; he was given 10 years probation. His Defense Team put up a brilliant argument of being too rich to make sensible decisions which was sound logic in the world of the rich and affluent; if you are too rich, you could get off with the ‘affluence defense’. Now the ‘affluenza defense’ has become a frenzied word in the world of courts, lawyers and judges and of course those inimitable millions of dollars. Too rich to be punished for a crime; too rich to be held accountable; too rich for his own good!
BBC reports: Ethan Couch was sentenced to serve in a high-priced California drug rehabilitation centre paid for by the parents, with no jail time and 10 years of probation. Ethan’s lawyers successfully argued he had a diminished sense of responsibility due to his wealth, pampered childhood, and absentee parenting! The wrong message has been sent in this case about wealth, power and the penalty for killing others while recklessly driving in an intoxicated state. The judge has sentenced Ethan to a rehabilitation facility, one that his rich parents will be paying for, approximately $450,000-a-year! Ethan’s parents certainly had the money to pay for his Defense Team which mounted one of the most but obviously believable defense theory, too much money clouds the brain! Nonetheless, this was truly a bizarre case in which courts took full account of the mitigating circumstances, four-people-dead and one-not-guilty-teenager because he was too affluent to know what he was doing.
The Judge as well the Texas juvenile justice system “is built not on punishment but on taking account of an offender’s age, offering a chance at rehabilitation and a productive life.” More so, “This case is tragic for all involved. What seemed to make it worse for some was that the teen’s parents are wealthy, and he’s led a privileged life.” Fort Worth Telegram concludes that the judge in this case, Jean Boyd, decided that justice was best served by sending Ethan to drug abuse treatment and extended probation. Surely, the courts forgot that this was not a case of parenting and wayward teenagers. Four lives were lost because of reckless behavior and the perpetrator gets off? And so, ended another drama in the life of an affluent teenager, who was bored to death and lived his life without thinking because he was so affluent. His parents certainly didn’t serve him well by giving him all they could because in the end the son received nothing of value from them; instead took four precious lives of innocent people.