Damage Lawsuit, Not Prison, May Be Best Remedy In TX “Affluenza” Case


A sentence of probation and treatment was appropriate for Ethan Couch, the rich Texas teen who stole some beer, drove drunk, and killed four people, says the Grits for Breakfast blog, noting that cable TV news picked up the story “because an expert witness testified the youth suffered from ‘affluenza,’ claiming he’d been spoiled rotten and thus wasn’t responsible for his actions.”

Grits notes that jurors also frequently give probation or relatively light sentences for intoxication manslaughter, because many can easily see themselves in the defendant’s shoes,. Also, Couch’s case was tried in juvenile court, where the judge was charged with rendering a verdict that’s in the “best interest of the child.” The case was handled appropriately as far as the juvenile justice system goes. The place to seek retribution is a lawsuit against the parents and after the defense offered in the boy’s case, they’ll be hard-pressed to escape liability, says Grits.

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