A 16-year-old Texas teenager received a probation-only sentence this week for drunkenly killing four people and seriously injuring two others. The teen, Ethan Couch, faced up to 20 years in prison, but was granted 10 years of probation after a flimsy “affluenza” defense actually succeeded in literally letting him get away with murder.
“Affluenza” is the unfortunate affliction that only affects wealthy, privileged children whose parents never set any limits or boundaries for their offspring. Boo hoo.
Couch’s defense team actually found a psychologist who testified (under oath!) that affluenza is a real thing. According to CNN, he reportedly testified that the “teen’s family felt wealth bought privilege, and that Couch’s life could be turned around with one to two years of treatment and no contact with his parents.”
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Last June, Couch was driving with three times the legal limit of alcohol and traces of Valium in his system when he plowed into four pedestrians, killing them. A passenger riding with Couch remains hospitalized with severe brain damage, and nine other bystanders were also injured.
There has been no end to the Internet outrage that has ensued after the teen’s ridiculous sentence was issued.
Instead of being sent to prison, Couch will be sent to $500,000-a-year counseling center. Five civil wrongful death suits are pending against the teen, totaling tens of millions of dollars.
Listen to Roland Martin’s commentary on his sentencing below.
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