Sunday, October 18, 2015

"A Case of Affluenza" on ABC 20-20: privileged teen gets oly

Friday night, Oct. 16, ABC 20-20 covered “A Case of Affluenza”, with re-watch link here. This is the case of Ethan Couch, sentenced to only ten years’ probation after driving “drunk” near his family home in theft. Worth, TX area (fact pattern ) and causing an accident killing four and involving 14 people.

At trial, a psychologist apparently started the “affluenza” defense by claiming that Couch’s privileged upbringing caused him to become unable to link consequences to bad choices.   In my own experience (working as a substitute teacher in the mid 2000’s, and then meeting people at suburban churches where income levels are high and a lot of parents have high-achieving teens in high school and college) this just seems totally silly.

The case has brought up the social justice issue of a “double standard” of justice for rich and poor, which might even seem sharper now in light of the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

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