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"Affluenza": a legitimate disorder or evidence of inequality in our justice system?
A judge on (2-5-14?) ordered that Ethan Couch -- who drove drunk and caused a crash, killing four people and injuring two -- go to a lock-down residential treatment facility.
Last June... Hollie Boyles, and daughter, Shelby, left their home to help Breanna Mitchell, whose SUV had broken down. Brian Jennings, a youth pastor, was driving past and also stopped to help.All four were killed when the teen's pickup plowed into the pedestrians on a road in Burleson, south of Fort Worth. Couch's vehicle also struck a parked car, which then slid into another vehicle headed in the opposite direction.
His story made national headlines after a witness claimed Couch was a victim of "affluenza" -- the product of wealthy, privileged parents who never set limits for the boy.Two people riding in the bed of the teen's pickup were tossed in the crash and severely injured. One is no longer able to move or talk because of a brain injury, while the other suffered internal injuries and broken bones.According to prosecutors, three hours after the crash, tests showed Couch had a blood alcohol content of 0.24, three times the legal limit.
Prosecutors had asked for the maximum of 20 years behind bars. Though the judge and defense attorney state that the defense of "affluenza" had no part in the sentencing many see this as evidence of inequality in the justice system.
The judge ordered that Couch's parents pay for the treatment facility, which was not identified. It was also unclear how long Couch might stay there."This has been a very frustrating experience for me," said prosecutor Richard Alpert. "I'm used to a system where the victims have a voice and their needs are strongly considered. The way the system down here is currently handled, the way the law is, almost all the focus is on the offender."