Apparently being a spoiled brat is now a defense, or mitigating factor, in vehicular manslaughter cases.
In Burleson, Texas, a 16-year-old boy and his friends stole alcohol from Walmart, drank it and went looking for more.
At the same time, a woman’s SUV broke down on a dirt road and two friends went to help her. A youth pastor also drove by and stopped to offer her assistance.
Ethan Couch in search of more alcohol, high on valium and with a blood alcohol level of more than three times the legal adult driving limit drove his truck into them at almost 70 mph. All four died as a result.
The crash left two teenagers–thrown from Couch’s truck–paralyzed, and a total of 11 victims were involved, including the driver and passengers of an oncoming vehicle.
Couch could have faced up to 20 years in jail, instead he will spend the next 10 years on probation after his legal counsel effectively argued that Couch’s actions were a result of having “freedoms no young person should have,” and being taught that if he hurts someone, he sends them money instead of an apology.
His lawyers argued he was a victim of affluenza, which is a rich-kid “syndrome” that children of wealthy parents suffer because they grow up with privileges that causes them to have a sense of entitlement, be irresponsible, make excuses for poor behavior and experiment with drugs and alcohol.
Essentially, the defense is “It’s not my fault my parents gave me everything I wanted growing up and I never learned right from wrong or how to take responsibility for my own actions. Don’t blame me. Blame my parents.”
The judge apparently bought this argument and sentenced Couch to 10 years probation instead of jail time.
He will undergo mandatory therapy in southern California at the expense of $450,000 to his parents.
Because nothing teaches a spoiled rich kid to take responsibility for his own actions like giving him additional special treatment.