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Old 12-11-2013, 01:45 PM  
gblowfish gblowfish is offline
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Bad Case of Affluenza in Texas

I'm sure his private treatment for $450,000 will cure his penchant for getting drunk and killing peasants...

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A 16-year-old avoided spending time in prison for killing four people in a car accident in June after the judge bought his lawyers' argument that he was the victim of wealth.

CBSDFW reports that Ethan Couch was sentenced to 10 years probation for the drunk driving crash that ended the lives of youth pastor, Brian Jennings; Hollie and Shelby Boyles; and Breanna Mitchell.

Prosecutors asked that Couch serve 20 years in prison. His blood alcohol level was .24, three times the legal limit for an adult.

Psychologist G. Dick Miller testified for the defense that Couch suffered from "affluenza," a condition in which "his family felt that wealth bought privilege and there was no rational link between behavior and consequences," KHOU reported.

Miller said Couch's parents never punished him for his behavior, even when, in a separate incident, cops found him passed out in a car with a naked 14-year-old girl.

As part of his sentence, Couch will be sent to a private counseling center that costs $450,000, which will be paid for by his father.

Money and privilege has helped defendants avoid serious prison time for violent crimes before.

In a particularly clear example, cited by journalist Glenn Greenwald, hedge fund manager Martin Joel Erzinger served just 90 days in jail after driving the car that seriously injured a bicyclist and fled the scene of the accident in 2010.

The district attorney in the case charged Erzlinger with two misdemeanors instead of a felony, noting that "felony convictions have some pretty serious job implications for someone in Mr. Erzinger's profession."
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Old 12-11-2013, 03:09 PM   #16
HonestChieffan HonestChieffan is online now
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This kid is going to be a Senator one of these days.
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Old 12-11-2013, 03:18 PM   #17
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FORT WORTH — A Keller teenager who pleaded guilty to driving drunk and causing collisions that killed four people in June was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years probation.

State District Judge Jean Boyd ordered the 16-year-old to receive therapy at a long-term, in-patient facility. He will stay in Tarrant County juvenile detention until the juvenile probation department prepares a report about possible treatment programs.

If the teen violates the terms of his probation, he could be sent to prison for 10 years.

Prosecutors had asked that the youth be sentenced to 20 years in a state lockup.

Defense attorneys recommended a lengthy probationary term at a rehabilitation facility near Newport Beach, Calif., that can cost more than $450,000 a year. Attorneys said the teen’s parents would pay for the therapy.

The 16-year-old pleaded guilty last week to four counts of intoxication manslaughter and two counts of intoxication assault causing serious bodily injury. Killed were Breanna Mitchell of Lillian, whose car broke down the night of June 15 on Burleson-Retta Road; Hollie and Shelby Boyles, who lived nearby and had come outside to help Mitchell; and Burleson youth minister Brian Jennings, a passer-by who had also stopped to help.

The teen admitted to being drunk when he lost control of his pickup. He had seven passengers in his Ford F-350 pickup, was speeding, had a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit, plus traces of Valium in his system, according to earlier testimony.

The teen elected to have Boyd sentence him.

The Star-Telegram usually does not identify juvenile defendants.

Two teens riding in the bed of the teen’s pickup were critically injured. Solimon Mohmand had numerous broken bones and internal injuries. Sergio Molina remains paralyzed and communicates by blinking his eyes, according to testimony last week.

Scott Brown, an attorney who represented the teen with Reagan Wynn, said the teen could have been freed in two years if Boyd had sentenced him to 20 years.

“She fashioned a sentence that could have him under the thumb of the justice system for the next 10 years,” Brown said.

Richard Alpert, a Tarrant County assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case with Riley Shaw, said they were very disappointed with the verdict.

In his closing statement, Alpert said that if the teen continues to be insulated by his family’s wealth, as had happened before, he would be involved in another tragedy in the future.

“There can be no doubt that he will be in another courthouse one day blaming the lenient treatment he received here,” Alpert said.

In delivering the sentence, Boyd told the victims’ families in the packed courtroom that there was nothing she could do that would lessen their pain. And she told the teen that he, not his parents, is responsible for his actions.

Boyd said that she is familiar with programs available in the Texas juvenile justice system and is aware that he might not get the kind of intensive therapy in a state-run program that he could receive at the California facility suggested by his attorneys. Boyd said she had sentenced other teens to state programs but they never actually got into those programs.

Families’ reactions

Eric Boyles, who lost his wife and a daughter in the collision, said there was a lot of disappointment in the room where the victims’ families gathered after Boyd announced the sentence.

“Money always seems to keep [the teen] out of trouble,” Boyles said. “Ultimately today, I felt that money did prevail. If [he] had been any other youth, I feel like the circumstances would have been different.”

Marla Mitchell, whose daughter was killed, said: “He’s not free. None of us knows what God’s plan is. He has not escaped judgment. That is in the hands of a higher power.”

Shaunna Jennings, whose her husband was killed, said her family had forgiven the teen, but that did not mean he should not be punished.

“You lived a life of privilege and entitlement, and my prayer is that it does not get you out of this,” Jennings said. “My fear is that it will get you out of this.”

Emotional age of 12

Earlier Tuesday, a psychologist testified that the teen essentially raised himself.

His parents had a volatile and co-dependent relationship, and had a contentious divorce, said Gary Miller, who began evaluating the teen on the day he was released from a hospital after the wreck.

The parents argued often, which the teen witnessed, Miller said.

The teen’s father “does not have relationships, he takes hostages,” Miller said. Miller described the mother as a desperate woman who used her son as a tool to get her husband to act the way she wanted.

The mother gave the teen things, Miller said. “Her mantra was that if it feels good, do it,” Miller said.

The teen’s intellectual age was 18, but his emotional age was 12, Miller told Boyd.

“The teen never learned to say that you’re sorry if you hurt someone,” Miller said. “If you hurt someone, you sent him money.”

Miller said if the teen can get the help that he needs, perhaps he can become a contributing member of society and make amends for the pain he caused so many families.

“This kid has been in a system that’s sick,” Miller said. “If he goes to jail, that’s just another sick system.”

As a child, he had to make adult decisions, Miller said. He had a motorcycle when he was 4 or 5 and was driving large pickups at 13, Miller said. The teen was a high school graduate at 16, but could not say where he went to school, where he went to church and had no friends, Miller said.

His parents never taught him the things that good parents teach children, Miller said.

“He never learned that sometimes you don’t get your way,” Miller said. “He had the cars and he had the money. He had freedoms that no young man would be able to handle.”

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/12...#storylink=cpy
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Old 12-11-2013, 03:29 PM   #18
Cave Johnson Cave Johnson is offline
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In terms of witness credibility, bloodhound that "testified" in a TX arson case > G. Dick Miller.
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Old 12-11-2013, 03:31 PM   #19
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The Texas justice is hugely biased against those without money.
LOL

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Life is hugely biased against those without money.
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yeah i may be a retard but I'll be the one banging your girlfriend when you're out with your friends.
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Old 12-11-2013, 03:41 PM   #20
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This verdict pisses me off though. My wife is interning at the mental health portion of the juvenile justice program, and there are kids who have much less culpability for some of the things they're caught up in and have gotten much longer sentences (they were neither rich nor white).

One instance in particular, there was a kid that was part of a robbery (he was 12-13 at the time). It was a pretty violent takeover type robbery of a halloween party (it was news down here). The kid was coerced to go by an older cousin and his friend. The kid stayed in the car during the robbery. That kid received a 15 year sentence despite showing remorse, doing everything that was asked of him between his trial and arrest (school wise, counseling and behavior in juvenile detention), and testifying against the other individuals.

I could list a half dozen other instances that have doomed those kids to being lifetime criminals instead of being rehabilitated when they were young enough to be rehabilitated. The Texas justice is hugely biased against those without money.
It ain't just Texas. It is how much justice can you afford no matter what state you live in~
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Last edited by RedNeckRaider; 12-11-2013 at 05:25 PM..
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Old 12-11-2013, 03:49 PM   #21
KC native KC native is offline
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LOL

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I stand corrected
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Old 12-11-2013, 03:53 PM   #22
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I think I'd just pay some homeless dude to off the kid when he gets out of treatment if it was my family he killed
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Old 12-11-2013, 03:55 PM   #23
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In terms of witness credibility, bloodhound that "testified" in a TX arson case > G. Dick Miller.
The family had to have shopped for a psychologist who would say what they wanted because that guy doesn't work for the juvenile detention center.
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Old 12-11-2013, 04:04 PM   #24
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So the judge thought the answer to a defense of coddled, privileged child, was to coddle and privilege the kid?
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Old 12-11-2013, 04:05 PM   #25
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The family had to have shopped for a psychologist who would say what they wanted because that guy doesn't work for the juvenile detention center.
Juvie is where Id go look for a top notch shrink. Not.
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Old 12-11-2013, 04:08 PM   #26
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Juvie is where Id go look for a top notch shrink. Not.
The guy who runs it is a great psychologist. The lady underneath him, not so much.

Those people also have private practices in addition to their JJ responsibilities.

Color me not surprised that you don't anything about psychologists either.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:07 PM   #27
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The swimming lessons will payoff in the long run.
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Old 12-11-2013, 08:12 PM   #28
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the law only works for the extremely wealthy. It's always been like this. Billionaires can literally hang people on their front porch if they so choose and get away with it easy.
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Old 12-11-2013, 08:13 PM   #29
Mr. Flopnuts Mr. Flopnuts is offline
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the law only works for the extremely wealthy. It's always been like this. Billionaires can literally hang people on their front porch if they so choose and get away with it easy.
They can smoke weed and get away with it too! Meanwhile you and I go to prison for 300 years.
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Old 12-11-2013, 08:16 PM   #30
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The guy who runs it is a great psychologist. The lady underneath him, not so much.

Those people also have private practices in addition to their JJ responsibilities.

Color me not surprised that you don't anything about psychologists either.
Weasel zippers has no about.com psychology page.
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