Affluenza is a term used to described someone who is affluent and has no boundaries or responsibilities. A teenager who killed 4 people and severely injured two others in a drunk driving accident has been considered by many to be a victim of affluenza, and the supposed disease may have affected his recent sentence.
Ethan Couch was driving drunk with two friends in the back of his pickup truck when he ran off the side of the road and struck 4 people working on another vehicle. The 4 people were killed and Couch's two friends were thrown out of the truck and injured. One may never walk or talk again.
Couch's blood-alcohol level measured 0.24, three times the legal limit and Couch appeared to show no remorse for his actions in court. While prosecutors asked that Couch receive as much as 20 years in prison, a judge only ordered that he would be on probation for 10 years. The judge also decided that the boy would go to a lock-down residential treatment facility, which his parents will have to pay for.
Although the judge claimed that Couch's Affluenza did not affect her sentencing order, prosecutors and family members of the victim believe differently. Eric Boyles, who lost his wife and daughter in the crash, is one of the people who believe Couch was let off easy because his parents are wealthy.
"Had he (Couch) not had money to have the defense there, to also have the experts testify, and also offer to pay for the treatment, I think the results would have been different," he said Wednesday after the proceedings.
Prosecutor Richard Alpert also expressed his disappointment in the sentencing saying, "This has been a very frustrating experience for me. I'm used to a system where the victims have a voice and their needs are strongly considered. The way the system down here is currently handled, the way the law is, almost all the focus is on the offender."
Do you think Couch was a victim of affluenza or is victim the wrong word?
Image via YouTube.