A wealthy Texas 16-year-old got no
jail time for killing four pedestrianswhile driving drunk, sparking outrage and speculation that his family bought his freedom.
“Money always seems to keep you out of trouble,” Eric Boyles, who lost his wife and daughter, told reporters, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Ultimately today, I felt that money did prevail. If you had been any other youth, I feel like the circumstances would have been different.”
Perhaps one of the more offensive parts of the case was a psychologist’s testimony on behalf of 16-year-old Ethan Couch, who confessed to intoxication manslaughter. That psychologist “diagnosed” Couch with “affluenza,” meaning he supposedly doesn’t associate his bad actions with real consequences because his parents taught him that his money buys privilege, according to the LA Times.
That psychologist pointed to another instance where the boy was caught in a pick-up truck about a year ago, with a passed-out 14-year-old drunk girl. He never got punished.
However, the DSM V — the bible for mental health professionals — doesn’t recognise affluenza as a real mental-health disorder, according to the Associated Press.
Couch’s blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit when he fatally hit the four pedestrians in June, according to the LA Times. He had seven people riding in his Ford F-350, and they’d reportedly stolen two cases of beer from a store.
A judge isn’t releasing him into his parents’ custody but is instead sending him into a long-term treatment facility, according to CNN.
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