There was a time when someone like, Ethan Couch, was called a “spoiled brat.” But now, in a society where what’s right and wrong is getting more and more blurry every day, you can always find a professional to come up with some excuse for really bad behavior.
People who can’t keep it in their pants are called “sex addicts.” Thugs who go around punching out pedestrians and then posting their criminal behavior on the internet are called “disenfranchised black youth.”
Now, we have 16-year old Texan, Ethan Couch, who killed four, yes four, innocent people while driving with a blood alcohol content of .24, was given a mere sentence of 10-years probation without serving a single day in jail. And why? Because Judge Jean Boyd apparently bought into the defense expert’s testimony. Psychologist Gary Miller testified that Ethan grew up in a house where the parents were preoccupied with arguments that led to a divorce and that he suffered from “affluenza.”
This crap, according to what I’ve read, describes a condition in which children – generally from richer families – have a sense of entitlement, are irresponsible, make excuses for poor behavior, and sometimes dabble in drugs and alcohol.
In other words, the parents set no boundaries and the child suffers no consequences for his bad behavior.
According to the news reports, 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 Ethan’s pickup plowed into the pedestrians on a road in Burleson, south of Fort Worth. His vehicle also struck a parked car, which then slid into another vehicle headed in the opposite direction.
Two people riding in the bed of his 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.
Now, Ethan walks away practically scott free, unless, of course, you think probation is a big deal, which I don’t. According to the Judge, “he’s a defendant in need of treatment.” Instead of actually setting boundaries for this monster and making him pay for his mistakes, the court continued his parents’ way of thinking – make excuses for him and don’t make him suffer any consequences.
According to another psychologist, Dr. Gary Buffone, “Essentially what [s]he has done is slapped this child on the wrist for what is obviously a very serious offense which he would be responsible for in any other situation. The defense is laughable, the disposition is horrifying … not only haven’t the parents set any consequences, but it’s being reinforced by the judge’s actions.”
I absolutely agree. What lesson has Ethan learned from this entire situation? None, as far as I’m concerned. His parents no doubt paid for his attorney and his expert witness to come up with this nonsense, reinforcing his sense of entitlement and his knowledge that Mommy and Daddy will, once again, get him out of trouble. Ten years probation. Boo hoo!
As far as Ethan is concerned, I’ll keep what my husband always says in these situations in mind. “No one gets out for free.”
For the rest of this bunch, I say shame on Ethan’s parents, his attorney (although some lawyers might think making up stuff is ok), the psychologist and especially the Judge, who had the power to provide justice to the families destroyed by this kid but chose not to. If a poor kid, white or black, got into this situation, I guarantee he’d be in jail right now because he’s not suffering from “affluenza.”
I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.
Copyright © 2014 BernardGoldberg.com