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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."

  • Apr 15 2014: With liberty and justice for all who can pay for it.
    • Apr 16 2014: Bryan, Funny thing, money talks.

      When a judge exceeds common sense, he should have to take the fall himself.
      Whoever this judge is, he is an incompetent fool, and the Governor must arrest
      and charge him with the same crime he obviously forgave.

      There is no law to allow this to happen.

      When that circumstance occurs, it becomes an eye for an eye.
      Then the family or someone they can hire, (mayhap, a private contractor mercenary)
      needs to take care of business. It is the family's responsibility. If that be against the law,
      well, that's life.

      King Herod comes to mind.
  • Apr 15 2014: You are right. Unfortunately we see this in all spheres. Kennedy s get away with murder.But man with 20 grams of crack goes to prison for 10 years.

    Martin Luther'd quote come to mind. It meant that (not exact quote) God will suffer princes no matter how unjustified their cause rather than peasants no matter how justified their cause.

    Human society ( and often other mammals) that some are privileged and others are not. Courts are human institutions and our philosophy of justice and our administration of them leaves lot of room for denying the justice.

    I have no solutions for this than i have for corrupt or unqualified law maker getting elected. Even Obama. When he said first time we are one America my instant response was this guy do not know what he is talking about. When Bush 2 said no more nation building my reaction was same. Guy does not know what he is talking about.

    We are imperfect union masquerading as a perfect nation.

    I am some smart people who has solution will respond to this picture with positive solutions.
    • Apr 15 2014: Kennedys don't just get away with murder. Kennedys get divorces from the Catholic Church, although the Church politely calls it an "annulment'. That is, they miraculously reach back in time and declare the marriage to have never happened in the first place.
    • Apr 16 2014: Raj, well argued.
      I believe coke and crack users and dealers need to be convicted and
      thrown into prison.

      BUT, They have a social disease.
      The time wasted in their lives while they sit in prison is a benefit to everyone
      else on the outside. Of course, I respect your opine that prison is the wrong
      place for them to be.

      BUT, I have so much experience on the other side, the side affected by drug
      addict's wrongs, that I am a bit jaded.

      Sure, 36 hours later, after arrest, when out on bail, these same addicts
      are sober, and of course, great guys and gals, the salt of the earth.

      BUT, They have a social disease. Sitting in a corner an hour will not repair them.

      Raj, Believe it or not, this is a positive solution.
  • Apr 25 2014: If 'Affuenza' is a disease, then the cure is to remove all affulence. If this murdering child was to be stripped of all of his wealth, his parents stripped of all their wealth as they were the 'carriers' of this disease, and they devoted their lives to vows of poverty and social service, then I would agree with the 'Affuenza' defense.

    Otherwise, its just another example of the Rich believing that the Poor are sub-human.
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    Apr 18 2014: Here is what concerns me. Most of these horrendous incidents involving children as the perpetrators seem to have a common thread of inattentive parents, medical support, civil laws.... a list too long.
    My first thought was... people,,,you don't want to pay the piper i.e. have kids... don't do the procreative dance.... then I thought... paying the piper is the last thing on the mind of dancers.
    So, is society doomed to have the incidents occur with broken children exploding and causing mass casualties?
    I think much of this situation is a new cultural shift where the American Dream is a McMansion, with a BMW and children in a prestigious school...
    I lament the loss of the old days... I am old.... where the American Dream was a cottage with a picket fence and Mom was home to see the kids with after school snacks and homework help. Parenting was a team effort and raising responsible adults was the goal.
    Today, my old fashion views would raise hackles by those who would say that women have every right to excel in academics, business and even politics as any man. I would hardily agree, but it's not just about women I think as the old tag line says..."Be all you can be".... man or woman. I would also say that having children are not career points or status symbols, they require a considerable amount of time and effort that should supersede career needs. And that is the problem. If parents don't put in the time and effort, these children will become corrupted, rise up and commit these dangerous and deadly deeds.
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    Apr 15 2014: Interestingly riding in the bed of a pickup is legal in many US states - in some states you simply have to be 12 years old or more to ride there.

    A bit off the topic but it seems it should be illegal. It goes back to the agriculture era in the USA.
    • Apr 15 2014: David,

      Many years ago I was appalled when many friends in Arizona called a pick up truck an Indian station wagon.
    • Apr 16 2014: David and Wayne, Why illegal, Why appalled.

      Perhaps we over-value safety restrictions and colloquial phrases.

      I'm guilty of many rides in the bed of a pickup, growing up in Chandler, Arizona.
      While bumpy and hard, it was convenient to do so. This was back in the day,
      when men had (you know what). And when pickups were valued, not driven
      fast and reckless, like Hollywood movies show.

      The Indian's used to come to town on buck-board wagons, drawn by horses,
      with their squaws and papooses sitting beside them. A raucous bunch to be
      sure. You could hear a pin drop as they passed by my youthful stare.

      Google only showed listings for India's Indians, when I Googled Indians.
      Times change, and Fearsome Indians grow less so, like American men.

      On the Reservation, where I lived in the Carlson House, a BLM mansion
      with tall palm trees and a fountain, I learned about Indians, and later learned
      the terrible atrocities they suffered as they were destroyed as a people.
      I've seen the results, the Navaho's, the alcoholics. The mistreated people.

      David, colloquial phrases are just that. Not intended to demean.
      The Blacks seem to have a real problem with the "N" word, but none with "Honky".
      I find that interesting. I suppose when the welfare checks become real paychecks
      all that nonsense will fade. The Mexicans have taken back America and they are
      the majority now. Ha.. The Orientals (if I can refer to them as such) have the very
      brightest and well behaved of children, and I suppose will be taking charge of our
      US government from the inside, not from China itself. I cannot wait. hahaha

      A bit off topic, forgive me.
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        Apr 16 2014: I guess if we need to wear seat belts (and we can argue their worth) then riding in the back of a pick-up without seat belts seems a contradiction to the law.

        I own a pickup and do let my kids ride in the back when I feel it is safe (never on the highway).
        • Apr 16 2014: I've never had much use for seat belts. Had an accident in '76. T-boned a
          sports car doing a donut in front of me. Across the street from the ER. I said
          I was sorry as they carted him away. The first question from the investigator
          "Sir, were you wearing your seat-belt?" That was just after he gave me a wipe
          for the blood from my scalp wound. I've worn a seat-belt every since.

          Seat-belts are still in their start-up stage. As years pass, the engineering will
          improve naturally.

          Riding in the back of a pickup is fun. In the back of a jeep is fun too. But, one
          day, my daughter, less than 10 at the time, climbed aboard the back bumper of
          my CJ5 Jeep just as it went nose down into a ditch, and I hit the gas. The
          result threw the front end into the air, and my daughter into the ditch, as the
          Jeep tried to climb out of the ditch. My heart stopped, and may have never
          started again. We got away without harm. But I never forgot the feeling.
          My daughter loved the excitement of that day, recalling it to me these 35 years
          later, just the other day. I still feel my fear I felt then. Not a man to cry, I would.
    • Apr 16 2014: The last thing we need is more stinking lousy paternalism. WE HAVE TOO MANY LAWS ALREADY. The promulgation of unlimited, intrusive, paternalistic law breeds contempt for law in general. Explain to me how the pickup truck, which is NOT a symbol of wealth and privilege, needs to be regulated EVEN MORE to reduce the distortion that wealth and privilege put upon our society. Or is this YET ANOTHER distraction to keep the status quo in plce?
      • Apr 16 2014: Gosh, I feel contemptible, and I hope it isn't catching. I must agree with you, Bryan,
        My poor ole '77 1/2 ton Chevy needs to be deregulated even more to reduce any
        possible distortion left by wealth and privilege, as long as you are sure that it cannot be
        a distraction. I was going to give it to the March of Dimes for the tax credit, but if you
        think that it would be too much of a distraction, I won't do that. No sir, I sure wouldn't
        want to keep the status quo in place.
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    Apr 15 2014: Is povertynza a legitimate disorder in our justice system?

    If a person is a victim of public education via a failing school, should get a get out of jail free card?

    Ignorance of the law should never be a legitimate defense, nor should anybody be above any law.
    Sadly the rich and political own the US justice system, US justice is no better than any tyrant ran country's justice system.
    • Apr 15 2014: Of the wealthy, by the wealthy, and for the wealthy.
    • Apr 16 2014: Don, An apt name for a disease afflicting us all.

      The US government has allowed for 25 or 30 years, the Elite 1% and their own
      Ivy League Grads to take over running us all into the ground. I speak of course,
      to arbitrarily pick a starting point, of Summers, Rubin, Dimon, Blankfein, Friedman,
      Corrigan, Speyer, Prince, Weill, Immelt, Steiner, Geithner, and the Big Banks, like
      Citigroup, JPMorganChase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo. Members and
      friends in the "good ole boy's club", or is it "birds of a feather".

      There are no Institutions of Higher Learning that guarantee their Product. None.
      The US government guarantees to lend to qualifying students, the money to get
      an education, but neglects to hold the educators feet to the fire. Funny that.

      Our own government, putting naïve children far into debt, for an education never
      guaranteed to be enough to cause a benefit to the student. Then taking the debt
      and using it to borrow money. A childhood burden without par, but with peril.

      To educate, but how well? Then no jobs. What a ripoff.
  • Apr 15 2014: I would argue it is the stupidity of the judge and the prosecutor. The prosecutor for not doing a rebuttal with his own "expert" witnesses. I think he assumed the judge would just throw this out this defense. Since the prosecution let the defense stand with no expert witnesses against it, the judge ruled.

    By the way, the rule on such an illness is that it must be generally accepted by the medical profession and defended in court. This is definitely not accepted by the medical profession.

    On the other side of the coin, people with money can buy the best defense attorneys and expert witnesses which leads to more acquittals or lessor sentences. Does it make it right? No.
    • Apr 15 2014: It sure seems stupid(heinous, outrageous, disgusting, disappointing, etc) to me.

      I sure hope its not accepted by the medical profession, its definitely not accepted by me.

      That is the very inequality it brings to mind, it makes it seem that justice is not blind, just turning a blind eye.
    • Apr 15 2014: It's not stupidity, it's cognitive bias. The prosecutor and judge were from the same social stratum. They already want to believe that affluenza is real.
      • Apr 16 2014: I would be careful of generalities.
    • Apr 16 2014: The Prosecutor was an idiot. But most are.
      • Apr 16 2014: The prosecutor wanted to believe it in the first place, since the prosecutor also has wealth and privilege.
        • Apr 16 2014: Yes, since the inquisition, persecuting prosecutors have always
          had wealth and privilege. Along with the Rack and Guillotine.

          I watched a couple of nights ago, the 2 candidates for District Attorney
          fawn all over themselves on local cable/desktop. They both told of
          their love for San Luis Obispo county, and how they would remain here
          forever, including the rest of their lives. It had enough syrup to make
          my diabetic body quiver. They change when they win, and hide behind
          those really thick Plexiglas walls. Power and fear, hand in hand.
  • Apr 28 2014: Complacent laws are an injustice.
  • Apr 25 2014: I just watched the cnn.com video.

    Vendetta is necessary. Add the Judge.
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    Apr 25 2014: I expect nothing less in a people that, invariably, choose a person's wealth over their integrity or principles - or lack thereof - in how it values its citizens. Being a celebrity has long been a reason to "overlook personal problems" and "indiscretions". and the often cartoon characters some celebrities portray - such as Governor Schwarzenegger - invariably resonates more with the public than the their real life abilities.

    The people running the "treatment center" will make a ton of money off the guy and that is what really counts isn't it?

    The U.S has had the highest rate of imprisonment in the world for a decade or more and is 7 - seven - times that of China and that rate is climbing every year. The U.S. penal system also seems to be number one when it comes to abuse, rape and slave labour and the locking up of the mentally ill, the poor and non-whites.

    It is all about "those people" folks and prejudices, arrogance and corruption rule.

    In fact, the real malady here is better known by the name "arrogance" not "affluenza".
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    Apr 18 2014: .
    It is injustice in justice system.
    Justice is the rules of symbiosis.
    Symbiosis is our ancestors' successful experiences to survive.
  • Apr 17 2014: There seems to be an endless list of things that excuse us from our responsibilty for our actions. I was poor, I was rich, I didn't have enough toys, I had too many, I saw too many R rated movies, played too many video games, I was paddled as a boy, I had "time out" instead, where does it end and when do we start instilling the idea that we are all responsible for the predictable consequence of our actions instead of choosing from the laundry list of reasons we're not responsible?
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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


        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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    Apr 16 2014: I do think that kids from privileged families (across the world) grow up with an exaggerated air of expectation and over confidence. This can lead to a careless and caviller attitude to life and other people. Perhaps its because kids of wealthy / powerful people are often neglected in all but material ways, they seem to grow up with a lack of empathy for ordinary people. This is no excuse. They need to be put back on the correct road - perhaps after Couch goes through detox, the judge should have sentenced Couch to work for the next 25 years in a public rehabilitation hospital for victims of auto accidents.
  • Apr 16 2014: "The sentence stirred fierce debate, as has the testimony of a defense expert who says Couch's wealthy parents coddled him into a sense of irresponsibility." (From link below)

    So hiring a high priced attorney and getting a slap on the wrist is teaching the kid responsibilty? This seems to reenforce what the kid obviously already thinks, that since his parents are weathly he can do as he pleases.

    • Apr 16 2014: "Responsibility" does not mean the same thing to the rich as it does to the subhumans (non-rich).
      • Apr 16 2014: You're right about that sir! This case is evidence of that. I'm happy to fall into the subhuman group.
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        Apr 17 2014: You're responsible for
        paying with time behind the bars,
        paying with money over the counter or
        paying with money under the counter
        depending on what you have and
        can get away with paying with.

        But, if the folks have money to pay with,
        why are they getting away with paying
        only 5.5% of their kid's treatment costs?

        Some judges seem to get away with
        a lot, as do some attorneys.
  • Apr 15 2014: This is the definition of criminal negligence from the Texas Penal Code:"A person acts with criminal negligence, or is criminally negligent, with respect to circumstances surrounding his conduct or the result of his conduct when he ought to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the actor's standpoint."

    In February 2013, Ethan was cited for "minor in consumption of alcohol" and "minor in possession of alcohol". He pled no contest and was sentenced to probation, a compulsory alcohol awareness class, and 12 hours ofcommunity service.[7]

    Surely he was made aware of the "substantial and unjustifiable risk" of driving drunk in the compulsory alcohol awareness class earlier That Same Year, he should have been charged and convicted of criminally negligent vehicular manslaughter and received the maximum sentence. Instead he had to promise not to drink(which he can't legally do for years anyways) or do drugs, for ten years and was inconvenienced with not driving.
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    Apr 15 2014: "Affluenza" may be a /reason/ contributing to inappropriate behavior, but it is definitely not a legitimate /excuse/ to be used for the purpose of being treated differently by the courts or by society.

    By the way, the deal that was arrived at regarding payment for Ethan Couch's treatment makes his parents liable for paying only about 5.5% of the costs for the treatment. This is ridiculous and only further exacerbates the inequities in this whole case.
    • Apr 15 2014: Yessir, I believe the parents pay about $1100 a month and we the taxpayers pay the remaining $20000 a month, besides the fact that "The facility offers a 90-day treatment program that includes horse riding, mixed martial arts, massage and cookery, a swimming pool, basketball and six acres of land.[11]"
      • Apr 16 2014: I bet if Daddy were to lose his job, and all were to be put on the street,
        this kind of thing would quickly change. Now I know why lions eat their
    • Apr 16 2014: How can the Defendant's attorney live with himself or herself.
      I never could see how they do that. We have a weird sense of Justice.

      What can be done with the Judge? Someone needs to pay for this
      injustice. The Judge created the problem. Let the Judge be Judged.
      An eye for an eye.
      • Apr 16 2014: What's terrible is that $@#! like this happens all the time. I imagine the defendants attorney sleeps just fine, large stacks of cash seem to help folks justify in number of disgraceful actions.

        What I wonder is if the judge is up for reelection any time soon and who does or doesn't contribute to the campaign.
        • Apr 16 2014: Jacob,
          don't Judges have to disclose funds for campaigns?

          I would think any supporter of this kind of judge needs to
          be made aware of what he is supporting.

          Or, maybe the prep can drive by and wave...
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        Apr 16 2014: Frank,

        The attorney is just doing his/her job.

        It's all a mind game; no heart involved.

        A heartless mind game.

        And the mind is easily swayed by money.
        • Apr 16 2014: Carl, thumbs up.
          I cannot agree to allow the attorney that excuse.

          From my prospective, the justice system wants it's "cake and to eat it too".

          A sour thing. Judges are never fair. They are biased from the word "Go".
          A caste system. The client, accused, perp, being the bottom of the totem pole.

          Now a short story --
          Lynn was my attorney early in my career. He was brilliant and a coke head.
          He, and his wife, and the kids stayed at my ranch home while they and we visited
          the ski slopes, and I learned the dangers of skiing. We were friends for a while.
          I needed his services again, years later, but couldn't find him. I was pointed to
          OJ's attorney, Shapiro's offices in Century City. I was told by someone that
          Lynn had his legs broken by a car's bumper. I question that tale.

          Later while I watched TV, Lynn was featured multiple times on America's Most
          Wanted. Upon his return from Europe, he was convicted, and sent to Lompoc
          prison for 8 years. His "Alliance" was a loose net of 14 or so Attorney's who kept
          complex litigation before Judges, overlong, for billing purposes. Those involved
          lost their licenses to practice. Lynn lost his, and a 300' yacht, along with I suppose,
          a lot of money, and likely his self esteem. His family, apparently came together
          in his support, with his wife and the boy's all passing the bar.

          No Judges were implicated. Funny that.

          Somehow, one of those involved Attorney's, an ex-bar member, was re-instated
          as a good guy who had mended his ways. So said the transcripts.

          I would be delighted to chat with Lynn, now, like me, elderly. I have a thousand
          questions to ask. Not to be mean, as this story I tell might lead one to think. But,
          since I am kind of a maverick, rascal, and wolf of wall street, without the drugs.
          Lynn and I might share raucous stories, while we marvel at still being alive.
          21 times to the very edge, and I would still like to try "one more time".
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        Apr 16 2014: "Just doing my job" is a reason,
        which may be used as an excuse,
        even if inexcusable and unexcused
        by others such as us.

        It often amazes me how some people,
        attorneys and politicians come to mind,
        try to get away with things even though
        they so often get caught, especially
        these days when so many more of us
        are paying attention and using the
        internet/web to our advantage.
        AND they leave such obvious trails
        of digital footprints these days,
        including photos.
        • Apr 16 2014: Carl, another thumbs up...

          Back in the day...
          Times seemed easier back then.
          Of course then, they seemed hard.
          Up and out at 4:30am... 7-11 coffee, ugh.
          Done when the employees arrived for work.
          A quick breakfast.
          The day's dictation over by 10am,
          Purchasing orders done at 11am.
          Off to the pool hall for snooker lessons
          from Dollar Jack 'til 2pm.
          Strategies and planning 'til 4:30pm.
          Sign letters, no errors, thank Wanda.
          Home to the wife and kids. Kiss kids.
          Mow the tiff grass with the electric mower.
          Dinner by the pool. Kiss wife.
          Phone work 'til bedtime. Kiss wife again.
          A busy day, but not a bad day...
          Tomorrow will be better, or not.
          Dang, that's the alarm again...
          Call to waken Mark,
          tell him to meet me at the office.
          Busy day ahead.

          Business, just business, but fun.
          Life is great if you remember to enjoy it.
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        Apr 17 2014: "Carl, another thumbs up..."

        Thanks, but ... ummm,
        saying that doesn't add to my TEDCred.
        Gotta click on that little hand icon.
        • Apr 17 2014: Carl, One thumb and a toe...
          They said I had used my allotted thumbs up.
          I could go to fingers. It's your call.
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        Apr 17 2014: Okay, Frank. Thanks for your verbal thumbs. :-)
        I didn't know we had an allotment of thumbs to give.
        Learn something new all the time.
        But then I'm new here
        on Conversations
        with very little
        • Apr 17 2014: Carl, Conformity cannot be all bad...
          Can it?

          The quest for good credit or TEDCred's is good,
          I, the consummate non-conformist bend slightly
          to the will of The TED conservation Team's
          good manners plan for world domination.
          They tend to seek me out when I shout to loudly.
          For me each narrowly earned TEDCred is a gold metal.
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        Apr 17 2014: Frank,

        Okay, I finally found the right Reply link to click on to get my reply to show up in the right place, so scratch the first sentence of my first attempt - which I left in, below.

        [I'm not sure why my reply is showing up way up here rather than after your most recent comment, but oh well, this TED convo reply setup leaves a bit to be desired.]

        No, conformity is not all bad. But enforced conformity is often not good - meaning when a few in power impose conformity upon others they have some degree of power over.

        Conformity is good when it arises from within the individual through a sense that their conformity is in the best interests of themselves and of the group or community, because it will result in the greatest good through contributing to highly desirable and necessary harmony. But this is not intended to suggest there is no room for non-conformity and disharmony when those manifestations will ultimately serve the greatest good of the group or community. This all assumes that each individual realizes they are intimately and inextricably interconnected and interdependent with each and every other individual and that their awareness of what is right action or wrong action is based in this realization.

        That is, of course, a high ideal we, individually and collectively, are nowhere near attaining yet. Therefore, it is sometimes necessary for some sort of group decision about what customs, guidelines, rules, laws should be justly and equitably imposed on all individuals in the group or community a reminders of the high ideals they could and should be striving for.