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Jacob Warren

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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."
http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/05/us/texas-affluenza-teen/?c=&page=1
http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/4729821/
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affluenza
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethan_Couch

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    Apr 17 2014: Was this young man given sufficient punishment for his deeds? That is one for the lawyers. Was his upbringing by his wealthy parents a factor in the circumstances of this tragedy? Sure. I am not sure why they were not held for contributing to this situation.
    It has been accepted by child advocates for years that children that grow without discipline, love and attention can evolve into unemotional narcisstic sociopaths.
    • Apr 17 2014: Was his punishment sufficient? Why is it one for the lawyers, does the rest of society have no input?

      Even if the parents were made to pay the full $21000+, why probation instead o jailtime? The boy had just finished his alcohol awareness course and community service for his last offense when he decided to steal the beer (caught on camera), but maybe he didn't know that was wrong either, and killed 4 people and injured 2.
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        Apr 17 2014: So, what is sufficient punishment? What he received, the death penalty? Something in between? He is not mentally aware of his actions according to the judicial findings.
        And it is probably a good thing that I am not a judge. I am one who sees the old testament rule of an eye for an eye. As a judge, I would probably support finding an island in some part of the far Pacific and those criminals not judged for the death penalty would be exiled to that island forever.
        Sort of like what England did to what is now Australia. But I am not a judge.... .
        • Apr 17 2014: The prosecution asked forthe maximum sentence of 20 yrs, as an observer I would be satisfied with that, as he seemed to me to be criminally negligent. If it was my wife and child that died, I think I would be happy with the probation. That way he could die with my hands around his throat.
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      Apr 17 2014: Hi Mike, If "Affluenza" is a valid defense then we should see "Ain'tgotta" pop up soon. As a engineer at GD Ft Worth we lived among Lawyers and doctors ... they had latch key kids that were a result of a long nights drinking and a error ... they continued to work 16 hour days ... were vaguely aware of some little people who came into view once and a while ... most likely came with the house.

      Yeah they were lousy parents. But on the other hand the "Ain'tgottas" must realize that their kid is wearing $150 sneakers and Under Armor sports gear with a pocket full of money.

      So the question is how do we undo the mess that Dr Spock brought upon us. The US had a "Australia" at one time it was called Geogia .... Having given this deep and considerable thought over the last ten minutes ... here is my solution.

      Upon arrest of the child .. round up mommy and daddy ... place them all in the cell after a booking and strip search ... that will help them to know where their children are ... maybe a three strike law ... after the third time you have a family get together in jail you get charged with "unfit" and serve time ... this would spawn some great talk around the office and country club.

      Question: Why is there no minimum and maximum for these crimes. MINIMUM EXAMPLES: DUI 30 days scaled up for additional offenses ... DUI involving a death one year per person ... open records for minors ... all offenses are part of the proceeding ... four DUI's as a kid and two as a adult means you have six DUI's.

      I never bought into the "He didn't know better". Right from wrong is understood ... true consequences may not be appreciated. Bubba can help Richie Rich understand that while they room together as new BFF.

      The libral / socialists do not understand that true socialist countries have very harsh laws to keep order. Bleeding hearts need to wake up ... they are part of the problem.

      Be well. Bob.
      • Apr 17 2014: Speaking of Australia, brenden maloney sent this to me

        http://www.standard.net.au/story/2219242/i-just-dont-care-texting-p-plate-driver-hits-cyclist/

        Poor Kimberley Davis.
        The 21-year-old Australian woman was livid when she slammed into a bicyclist while texting late last year, putting dents in her car. The victim suffered a spinal fracture and would spend the next three months in a hospital, but Davis wasn't having any of it, The Standard reports.
        "I just don’t care because I’ve already been through a lot of bullshit and my car is, like, pretty expensive and now I have to fix it," she told a responding officer two days after the Sept. 20 collision. "I’m kind of pissed off that the cyclist has hit the side of my car. I don’t agree that people texting and driving could hit a cyclist. I wasn’t on my phone when I hit the cyclist."
        Davis, of Port Fairy, pleaded guilty on Monday to dangerous driving and was fined $4,500. Police say she used her phone behind the wheel 44 times before running down the cyclist. She called emergency responders but parked more than 300 feet away from the victim and refused to offer him help.
        Davis couldn't contain her sadness after the loss of her license, and she made her woes known on Facebook.

        This is the type of BS that makes me such a misanthrope.
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        Apr 17 2014: Bob Misan....

        I don't often agree with.... what's her name.... Stanton?.... the lady that did eugenics. Now I thought that she was cruel because if it was under her rule, I wouldn't be here.... OK, that's another conversation.
        But, maybe she had a point.... not about sterilizing the poor and minorities, but maybe we should think about the DINKs. These are the ones that come up with stray offspring who grow up to be kid who drinks too much and runs over people, the kid who gets Mommy's gun and shoots up schools.
        I have no numbers, but I often wonder about working parents who have detached children and they don't notice until the kid comes off the rails... Then there are the parents who notice and their kids are put on psychosomatic drugs and then go off the rails...
        Then to be fair, there are parents who recognize something is wrong and can't get needed help because strange kids are not listed in their medical insurance payment plan.
        It seems that it's Murphy's Law at it's best.

        Mike Misanthorpe
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          Apr 17 2014: Mike, Always remember Murphy was an optimist.

          Hay ... you cannot be a misanthrope and a curmudgeion .... guess I am stuck with grummpy ole fart .....

          Thanks for the reply .... Bob.

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