Friday, January 15, 2016

I'm Still Not Buying It

Thought for the day:  The very rich are different from you and me. [F. Scott Fitzgerald]

Yeah, big bucks often make a huge difference in the way people behave, and not always in a positive direction. For some, it's as though they were born with a perpetual winning poker hand stuffed up their sleeve, so they don't even bother to put any effort into playing the game fairly. If they commit a crime, the results too often disprove the axiom that all people are equal under the law.

Lawyers believe a man is innocent until proven broke. [Robin Hall]

Two years ago, I wrote the post I'm Not Buying It, about affluenza, and in particular, how it was successfully used as a defense in a murder trial. If you missed it, or don't remember it, you might want to go check it out before reading this follow-up.

Go ahead... I'll wait.

No? Okay, if you don't want to be bothered to read the earlier post, no biggie. In a nutshell, while inebriated on beer and valium, a sixteen-year-old boy named Ethan Couch killed four people when he plowed his speeding truck into them. Eleven other people were injured, including some of his friends who were in the truck with him, one of whom will be paralyzed for life. But Couch wasn't concerned. He knew he'd get away with it, because he'd gotten away with every other thing he'd ever done. And he was right; essentially, he did get away with it. See, his lawyer claimed a defense of affluenza, and a psychologist testified that the boy was a product of affluenza, and thus, unable to link his bad behavior with consequences because he had been raised to believe wealth buys privilege. And the judge agreed.

The slap-on-the-wrist punishment rubbed me all kinds of the wrong way, and it did the same to a bunch of you who commented, as well. I wrote: If his so-called affliction was caused by a lack of consequences, how exactly does shielding him yet again from the consequences of his behavior cure that affliction? Talk about the ultimate irony. How will "getting out of it" change his behavior?

Turns out, I was right. It hasn't changed his behavior at all, and Couch is back in the news again. He's still in the midst of serving his ten years' probation, (big whoop!) but recently, a video surfaced of him boozing it up and partying wildly with the assistance of a beer bong. Which is, of course, a probation violation, even for someone who's never faced consequences for a damned thing he's ever done before. It seems his mother didn't want her widdle boy to face consequences this time, either. So the two of them skipped town. Skipped the whole country, as a matter of fact. They threw a bon voyage party of a sort, dyed his hair, slapped a fake beard on him, withdrew thirty thousand dollars (pocket change?) out of the bank, and took off for Mexico.

[wikipedia]

They were caught in a luxury hotel in Puerto Vallarta. I guess they thought it'd be safe to use one of their cell phones to order a pizza, huh?

They thought wrong.

However, the story hasn't ended. Although he remains in police custody in Mexico, his high-dollar lawyers are doing everything they can to prevent extradition. No telling how long it'll take before their stalling tactics run out and he's forced to come back to face the music. Maybe. Maybe for the first time in his life, he will have to pay some consequences.

His mama? She's already been sent back to Texas, where she began belly-aching bitterly about the conditions of the jail cell where she was being held. Earlier this week, she was released on bail. I'm sure she appreciates the accommodations of her home a lot more, but she probably isn't too thrilled with her new less-than-fashionable ankle bracelet.

[morguefile]

Because young Couch will be turning eighteen in the spring, the sheriff and district attorney are trying to have his case transferred to the adult court. Then, affluenza or no affluenza, his long string of luck based on his perpetually winning hand of privilege may finally run out, and the only joker left standing may be... him.

So what do you think? Should he be tried as an adult? Serve time in jail? How about his mother? Should she serve time for taking him out of the country?

Ah yes, the rich truly are different. Like a post I saw on Facebook, most of us weren't raised with a case of affluenza... it was more a case of poorlio.

And you know what? I'd say we're all better off for it.





                                      Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


82 comments:

  1. Wow. It's sickening how some people can easily dodge the consequences of their actions like that. This guy should definitely be tried as an adult. It's the least he deserves, at this point!

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    1. I agree. It's time for this boy to pay the piper.

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  2. After reading the previous post about this guy, his parents should be tried and jailed alongside him. They are responsible for creating the monster he turned out to be. Truly sickening.

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    1. Agreed. His parents may have given him every material thing he ever wanted, and on a silver platter, at that, but they failed horribly at teaching him how to be a decent human being.

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  3. Hiss and spit.
    I really, really hope both that this precious soul and his mother wear some consequences from this latest escapade AND that they learn from it. I won't be holding my breath though.

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    1. I hope so, too. The sheriff and DA certainly want it, too, so maybe it'll happen this time. (If the judge allows it...)

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  4. I say chuck 'em both in jail, but regular jail, not one of those fancy "detention resorts". They simply will not learn unless they suffer consequences.
    Of course once they get out they'll claim to be hard done by and sue the prison system.

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    1. You go, girl! "Chuck 'em" indeed.

      (sigh) You're probably right about the suing part, though. They'd be appalled... appalled, I tell you!... at the lack of proper foods like lobster and caviar in the dining hall.

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  5. Hi Susan - I'd possibly read your earlier post .. but remembered the basics; stupid mother is all I can say and she deserves her cum-uppance too ... the child should be locked up far away from his friends and family for a decent length of time ... I hope it comes about.

    Re you'd think they'd learn a lesson - one of the aged robbers of the recent jewellery heist in Hatton Garden here in London recently - had served time for the Great Train Robbery in the 60s ... and repeated the act - caught once again. He had a reasonable business going too ...

    People!! But those wealthy idiots really deserve to be brought down a peg or two in a big hole for a while ... not cheers - but cheers that they've caught them ... Hilary

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    1. Hi, Hilary.

      I hope you had a wonderful birthday.

      Yes, you're right. Stupid, stupid parents. But their lack of proper parenting skills shouldn't excuse the boy from the consequences of his behavior, any more than a poor kid growing up on the streets of a ghetto is excused. The allocation of justice shouldn't have anything to do with money.

      There's no explaining some human behavior, is there? That old robber may have wanted to prove to himself that he "still had it in him," even though he obviously isn't very good at it.

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  6. There are times when I actually think the mercilessly harsh laws and punishment in the Middle East are the best way to deter crime.

    Sleezeballs like Couch and his Momma always get away with too much here in the U.S. - - especially if they have money.

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    1. The biggest problem with the merciless laws and punishments of the Middle East... and some other parts of the world... is we must have mercy and common sense involved with both laws and punishments. I believe basic humanity requires it. Even the "mandatory sentencing" laws in our country have led to some brutal and essentially unfair results. Once the hands have been hacked off of an innocent man, a simple "sorry" won't suffice...

      Let's hope these two sleazeballs get their just due.

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    2. Unfortunately, common sense doesn't always work when dealing with criminals - - and cold FEAR sometimes deters crime.

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    3. True. Maybe this kid could benefit from a version of Scared Straight.

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  7. I definitely think he should be tried as an adult and I hope the judge throws the book at him. Affluenza. What a joke. And what an idiot judge it was who bought it.

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  8. I remember that post, and yep, the richer you are the more you can get away with crap. Sickening indeed. Hopefully he finally gets more than a slap on the wrist and is tried as an adult too.

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    1. And by comparison, the poor get away with little.

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  9. This is sickening. I've been following this story and I hope he is tried as an adult and real justice happens. For both him and his mom.

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    1. I hope so, too. From what I've read, the father wasn't involved in the latest escapade, but he still bears some responsibility for the way this boy has been raised.

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  10. Ha, "poorlio," I like that! If he's still in Mexico, I just wish the Mexican cartel would get a hold of him. That seems like proper justice.

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    1. Well, I don't know that I'd want him to come to physical harm at the hands of a cartel, but I do want him to come back home to face the music.

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  11. Both parents and son should go to prison, but as long as they have a bottomless pit of money, I'm sure they won't.

    I just don't understand how such stupid and amoral people came to have so much money in the first place.

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    1. I'm still hoping their bottomless pit of money doesn't save them this time. If that kid doesn't pay some consequences for the things he's done, no telling what he might do in the future.

      There's a thought. I don't understand, either.

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  12. Just because you aren't aware of consequences doesn't mean there aren't any. When a toddler touches a hot stove he gets burned, even if he didn't know what would happen. His poor paralyzed friend learned about consequences pretty quick. At some point, this kid will too. And it won't be pretty.

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    1. Well, hey there! It's good to hear from you again. I hope all is well with you.

      Most every action results in some reaction or consequences of some sort, but it's a travesty when the person doing the acting gets off scott free, and the people around him are the ones left to face the consequences. This young man may be about to learn about consequences on a more personal note, and soon. For his sake, and everyone else's, I hope so, anyway.

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    2. Heh, last year was very crazy and my blogging suffered terribly. I'm just now starting to get back to normal. Hope you're well.

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    3. Well, welcome back. "Normal" isn't nearly as much fun or as adventurous as those out-of-the-ordinary blips in our lives, but I know it feels good to have things settle back down again.

      All is well here. Still haven't figured out how to slow down the clock, though...

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  13. I suspect he will see the inside of a jail for a bit, but even if he does not he will always be a stupid little shit! It probably sucks to be a stupid little shit, but what is worse is how often others are hurt because of stupid little shits. I say lock him up with a tattoo that says, :I am a stupid little shit."

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    1. I hope your suspicions prove to be true, but I LOVE your idea of him having to get a tattoo like that. :)

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  14. I imagine he will continue to act as if what he does has no consequences until things finally catch up with him. It's a shame he didn't learn those lessons as a child, but the actions of his mother show the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree.

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    1. True. That boy believes he's above facing consequences because that's what his parents believe, and what they've taught him.

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  15. The mom got her bail reduced from 1,000,000 to $75,000 because she said she was broke (supposedly, she and her husband have split). They lowered her bail, but how many times do they lower the bail of others who have been accused of lesser crimes but are poor or middle class. Her son is in a Mexico jail fighting extradition. That can't be cheap. Somehow though, they will find the money. This whole situation makes me ill.

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    1. Yeah, I heard about her bail being reduced, but I have a feeling her idea of "broke" and my idea of "broke" are pretty far apart. I think she and her hubby split when she told him she was taking off with their son, and didn't know if he'd ever see them again. I don't know how much say he had in the matter, but I suspect he's helping pay the legal bills... at least, for their son. The whole thing makes me sick, too. (or it could be all that licorice I just ate...)

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  16. I think the initial verdict was ridiculous, and you are correct. The kid never learned a thing, nor did his folks care about what is right or wrong. Time for all parties to pay the piper to the fullest extent of the law. No mercy. It's said and the original victims and their families deserve more.

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    1. I agree with you 100%. Since you live in his home state, I imagine you've heard a lot more about this story than most of us have, from the beginning of it right up until the present time.

      Happy weekend!

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  17. All I can say to these comments is AMEN!!

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  18. Everything you and others have said is yes !
    But I am not so sure how long he will be liking Mexican Jail if he is moved and stays there. They are hell.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I dunno, but I imagine there are different layers of prison in Mexico, too, and if so, I don't think he's in one of those hellish holes. If he were, I don't think he'd be fighting extradition so hard.

      Cheers back atcha!

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  19. I say try him as an adult. I'm sick of these kids thinking they're untouchable. It's about time we see kids held accountable for their actions.

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    1. Agreed! It does neither him nor society a favor to mollycoddle him.

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  20. Well karma came around and Ethan did it to himself... I do hope he really pays this time because like you I totally agree that he should suffer consequences or he will never learn the the lesson. I'm disgusted with his parents... if my child ever did something like this, I would stand beside her but I would want her to be punished... Unfortunately I think most people have to learn lessons the hard way...

    I hope you have a great weekend xox ♡

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    1. Yes, I truly hope he pays the consequences and learns his lesson this time, before someone else gets hurt.

      You have a wonderful weekend, too!

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  21. Leave the little sod to rot in a Mexican jail, ad infinitum.I hear they are pretty uncomfortable places...

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    1. HA! Yeah... the little sod. Love it. He probably wouldn't know how to handle discomfort, but I'd still like to see him come back home to face justice.

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    2. Jesus! Not if he gets the same bloody judge that slapped his wrist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Hey! Maybe dress him in a chicken suit and turn him loose in Malheur?

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    3. HA! No, we definitely don't want him to be tried by the same judge, but the chicken suit idea might work. Or, he could be forced to walk around in Texas in a pink tutu with a sign around his neck saying he thinks the government should confiscate all guns. :)

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  22. Just shaking my head here...

    I'd like to hear what the judge from the original case thinks of all this now. And I'd like to find out how the paralyzed friend feels about Mr. Young Affluenza. And I really, really would like to see justice in action this time!

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    1. I don't know what that judge thinks about all of this, but if this boy goes back to court in Texas, I sure hope he goes before a DIFFERENT judge. I'm sure the paralyzed friend... and his family... have little, if any, sympathy for the Couch family.

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  23. What will he be accused of this time; drinking beer? He sounds to me like a classic spoiled brat who would benefit from a few years behind bars accompanied by a few hundred hardened criminals. But I doubt if drinking beer will merit that. Pity.

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    1. No, he can be charged with breaking his probation. Even if he weren't below the legal drinking age, which he is, the use of alcohol or drugs is a definite no-no for ANYONE on probation. Drinking beer automatically revokes his probation and should lead to a prison term. Fleeing the country to avoid facing the court for his probation violation adds additional charges, which should result in more years in prison. If his case goes to adult court instead of juvenile, he will likely be dealt with even more harshly.

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  24. We have out-of-touch judges over here too.

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  25. Blessings.....
    I saw that story about that little murderer, I didn't buy it either. Yep he should be tried as an adult let him go to the big boy prison let see how far that money privilege go. On the bright side, his youthfulness with make those boys in jail pretty happy!

    peace.
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    1. I have a feeling he's gonna end up in big boy prison, and for the first time in his life, he won't feel like such a "big boy." And he'll wish he wasn't such a pretty one.

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  26. I wasn't acquainted with the story. It seems that justice has not been done.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Nope, justice certainly hasn't been served yet. But hopefully, it will be.

      Greetings back atcha! Welcome back to the blogosphere.

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  27. I remember when you originally wrote this, and I can't believe it happened two years ago. I thought the "affluenza" defense was outrageous before, and their latest antics are even more ridiculous. I hope they both get their just desserts.

    Julie

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    1. Yeah, that was a fast two years, wasn't it?

      I agree with you about them getting their just desserts, and we don't mean tiramisu.

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  28. Oh heck! I say he should be tried as an adult. From sixteen kids know exactly what they are doing! It doesn't have to be life sentence but it should send out a message to society.

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    1. Agreed. At least he should have known better... and his parents definitely should have.

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  29. Oh heck! I say he should be tried as an adult. From sixteen kids know exactly what they are doing! It doesn't have to be life sentence but it should send out a message to society.

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  30. Yeow! Put mom away without a key for allowing her son to grow up that way. Then, sadly, treat the kid as an adult. Sorry, but it is time for him take responsibility.

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    1. Agreed. What you're saying a tad harsh, but it's exactly what their behavior merits.

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  31. Gaah. I was livid over the first verdict, and the situation now does not put me in a forgiving frame of mind, either for the kid or his parents. Throw away the key on all of them!

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    1. It's hard to feel forgiveness for someone who doesn't believe he's done anything wrong, because he doesn't think the laws governing the rest of us peons apply to him. And there's plenty of blame left to give a dose to his parents, too.

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  32. Sounds like and interesting story...of course people have to take responsibility for their actions.

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    1. People should always take responsibility for their actions, but somewhere along the line, that thinking seems to have gone out of style. Let's hope it comes back again real soon.

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  33. It's hard not to get worked up over this one. I'm surprised the judge wasn't relieved of duty and sent for psychiatric evaluation. I can't imagine being a family member of those killed. How horrid this is for them. But I do believe there is a final judgement, it helps to make this injustice tolerable. Or is that just another lie we tell ourselves to get through reality?

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    1. When Couch gets back to the country, I think earthly justice may still be possible now. If not? Then later, one way or another, I like to think justice will prevail. (If it's a lie, it's one I can live with.)

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  34. I have to say, I have met a lot of wealthy people in my life, and about 75% of them really piss me off.

    Sometimes I think rich people become rich not because of hard work, but due to their willingness to screw other people over.

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    1. Ouch. That's a pretty bad statistic there. Thankfully, not all wealthy people have that above-it-all attitude. You and I sure wouldn't, right? :)

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  35. I chalk that one up to poor parenting, which makes me wonder if his mom had terrible parenting. How far back does it go? One thing I noticed while living in NYC is that the wealthy didn't raise their kids. They had kids for fun or because it might improve their enjoyment. The nannies raise the kids and then the parents wonder what went wrong or why they have a strained relationship with their posterity. Um, let's see.

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    1. I agree that the parents own some of the blame, but a sixteen-year-old should also bear some responsibility for his own bad behavior, no matter who his parents are. You've got a point about what kind of parenting his parents got, though. Such a shame. It's time for rich people to realize a baby is more than a fashion accessory.

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  36. Ugh, I can't believe anyone even tried to legitimately use the term "affluenza." They both should get prison time.

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    1. "Affluenza" sure sounds like a made-up word and fictional defense, doesn't it? Only time will tell about whether or them will get any time behind bars. (In a country club...)

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  37. I've been following this story. Truly unbelievable. I'm pretty sure that wouldn't have been the reaction if it had happened to any of us.

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    1. Yeah, most of us mere mortals would have already been in jail.

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