Rich Texas Teenager Who Killed Four People While Driving Drunk a Victim of ‘Affluenza’


A rich teenager in Texas who killed four people while driving under the influence of drugs and drink got a slap on the wrist after his lawyers argued he was the victim of “affluenza.”

Ethan Couch received 10 years probation — rather than the possible 20-year jail term he faced as a result of his irresponsible actions.

I really have no words for this story.

Dr. G. Dick Miller, a psychologist hired by the defence said Couch was never disciplined, abused alcohol and had “freedoms no young person should have,” including being allowed to drive when he was 13.

“The teen never learned to say that you’re sorry if you hurt someone,” Dr. Miller added, according to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “If you hurt someone, you sent him money.”

Couch was a victim of “affluenza,” a rich-kid syndrome that led him to believe money solved everything.

Photo: James Cridland

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11 Comments / Post A Comment

Kthompson (#1,858)

Thank god we live in a classless society. Otherwise rich people could get away with anything!

aetataureate (#1,310)

I hope this ruins this kid’s life. I really do.

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

This is the most horrifying thing I’ve seen today. Are they actually suggesting that vast wealth is a disability that impairs the development of more judgement? If that’s the case then maybe society needs to lookk for a way to cure these poor handicapped people of the terrible disease of riches.

Stina (#686)

According to anonymous people on the internet who have written on this case: apparently almost ANY wealthy family that can pay for private AODA/mental health services can get their felon loved one on probation with private services in Texas, and probably in other states too, because the prison system is so overloaded.

And the victims’ families are allegedly suing the snot out of the neglectful parents that spawned this guy. I hope they take them to the cleaners.

andnowlights (#2,902)

Having money doesn’t mean you automatically don’t set limits for your kids. Being a bad parent does, though. (Money can buy great lawyers but not morals, obviously.)

lemur_niemer (#3,125)

“he had no idea of the consequence of his actions or the concept of taking responsibility for what he did.”

So the to make sure he learns that lesson is by…never forcing him to face the consequences of his actions?

And yet seriously mentally ill people are declared fit to stand trial or be executed every single day…

Non-anonymous (#1,288)

If everything they tell us about that kid’s background is true, it seems to me that he’s menace to society and it should be MORE important to lock him up for a good long time.

WayDownSouth (#3,431)

Yes, based on the post, this person should be removed from society for the rest of his life. The defence of his actions is pathetic.

ShermMcCoy (#3,777)

I actually think Elie Mystal at the widely-read legal blog Above the Law is on to something in this case.

You can read his piece at the link below but essentially he argues that he doesn’t disagree with the verdict – he disagrees with the narrow application. He thinks the justification made by the judge should be more broadly applied to juveniles. I.E. Affluenza is not the cause, but rather it is terrible parenting that afflicts persons of all classes and creeds. Interesting and valid perspective, I think.

http://abovethelaw.com/2013/12/in-defense-of-the-rich-white-boy-who-killed-four-people-and-got-away-with-it/

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