Monday, December 16, 2013

Ain’t That RICH……”Affluenza” Defense Works for Texas Punk

Ethan Couch (left) and the 4 people he killed

This past June 15th, Ethan Couch stole a bunch of beer from a local Walmart with his buddies, jumped into a pickup truck and subsequently smashed into a woman whose car had broken down on a Burleson, Texas road, killing the woman, two people who lived nearby and came to help, and another passerby. Killed were Brian Jennings, 43-year-old Burleson youth minister; Breanna Mitchell of Lillian, 24; Shelby Boyles, 21, and her 52-year-old mother, Hollie Boyles, who lived near the crash site.

Prosecutors said the teen’s blood-alcohol was three times the legal limit when he caused the chain reaction crash and struck the four pedestrians. He also had seven passengers in his Ford F-350, and was speeding, according to trial testimony.

In court, he faced a 20 year sentence, BUT glory be...he found a judge, who bought into a bullshit “disease,” called “Affluenza” – having too much money and too little conscience. WoW! How in the hell do I get THAT disease?!

According to his defense team, Ethan Ethan Couch suffers from “affluenza,” a term which means that his wealthy parents pretty much let him get away with everything. The defense saved him from a 20-year sentence; State District Judge Jean Boyd bought it at his sentencing on Tuesday and gave Couch probation instead. They insisted that, “He (Couch) never learned that sometimes you don’t get your way,” Gary Miller, a psychologist assigned to Couch said in court. “He had the cars and he had the money. He had freedoms that no young man would be able to handle.”

A psychologist called as an expert defense witness said the boy suffered from “affluenza.” Affluenza is defined as a psychological malaise that affects young people who may come from families with money. These individuals may have the feeling of guilt, lack of motivation or a sense of isolation. ( As a result, this past Tuesday State District Judge Jean Boyd  sentenced the 16-year-old to 10 years’ probation after he confessed to intoxication manslaughter  in the crash. So Couch pleaded guilty to four counts of manslaughter by intoxication and two counts of assault by intoxication causing bodily injury. As a result, four people are dead and two teens in the bed of the truck were seriously  injured – one cannot move or talk.

Ironically enough, tonight CNN is airing “An Unreal Dream” the Michael Morton story about a man maliciously prosecuted and wrongly convicted for the 1986  murder of his wife( Morton did 25 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit and wasn’t exonerated by DNA evidence due to stonewalling by the Texas prosecutor Ken Anderson, who has been subsequently disbarred for his actions(

Here in the USA, we used to excoriate “3rd World justice,” where the rich and poor dealt with entirely different legal systems.

We haven’t been able to reform those backwater hellholes, so it appears we’ve tried “joining them” instead. Well, on that score, it certainly seems MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!


In the wake of his ridiculous sentence, the judge (Jean Boyd) has come under deserved fire for being “too lenient” on felons and “seeking rehabilitation over incarceration whenever she can.”

UNFORTUNATELY, in our race-obsessed national media the focus has been on a discrepancy between Ethan Couch’s 10 year probation sentence and that given to an unnamed 14 year old black youth who killed a man while playing “the knockout game.” According to News 8 in Texas, (we) “discovered the same judge sent a 14-year-old black boy to prison in March 2012 for killing just one person with a powerful punch to the ground.

“That teenage suspect’s name was never made public, since he was prosecuted as a juvenile.

“Just after 10 p.m. on October 6, [2011,] the teen was riding in a Cadillac with two friends when he suddenly jumped out of the vehicle in the 1700 block of Vaughn Avenue and punched [Mark] Gregory, who was 5-foot-1 and weighed 106 pounds,” the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement. “Gregory’s head struck the pavement and he died two days later.”

The 14-year-old boy admitted to the crime, and never expressed remorse for the murder, according to prosecutors.” (

BUT the same report notes that the judge sought rehab in that case as well, but no facility would take him; ”Still, Gregory’s mother, Anita Lauterbach, said she remembers the judge being more into rehabilitation rather than race.

“She wanted to send him to one of these special places in Arizona. But no one would take him,” Lauterbach said. “We were horrified. We just couldn’t believe it. The district attorney and I were just sitting on pins and needles. But when nobody would take him, [it was] a sigh of relief.”

Lauterbach said she is still disgusted at her experience with the judge.

“She’s too easy on them,” Lauterbach added. “I don’t think she needs to be sitting on that bench.”

I might well agree with that last statement, BUT, the cases are NOT at all similar. In the Ethan Couch case, as egregious as it is, he is a juvenile primarily guilty of reckless endangerment and vehicular manslaughter (a homicide absent intent), while in the case of the the unnamed black teen, that defendant is guilty of felony assault that resulted in death, which amounts to either 1st degree manslaughter (a potential 30 year stretch in many places for an adult), at the least, OR 2nd degree murder, depending upon the skill of the prosecutor and the willingness of a jury to be swayed.

MOREOVER, the issue ISN'T that Boyd's leniency should be more universally extended, or "available to all," it SHOULD NOT be available to ANYONE.

"Justice" is only partially about attempting to rehabilitate offenders, there is another, equally vital component of justice and that is the offender "paying for his/her crimes" with confinement (jail time) and Civil Compensation.


FIREBIRD said...

WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT - remove any trace of affluence from the PARENTS... they should be sent to the poor house, since the judge has basically declared that the parents did NOT teach their kid morals! Take away everything they have.... the sooner the better!

FIREBIRD said...

I'd like to add - this judge is a disgrace to the bench and should be impeached!

JMK said...

I agree on BOTH counts. The verdict makes a travesty of the American Criminal Justice system, BUT at least it shines a light on one of its abuses.

HOPEFULLY the Civil Suits will have more of a deterrent effect than this shameful verdict.

THANKS for stopping by Firebird!

American Ideas Click Here!