According to TIME, a 16-year-old in Keller, Texas was convicted of manslaughter after driving drunk and crashing into another vehicle that resulted in the death of four people. Because the kid is rich and suffers from “affluenza”, he wounded up getting 10 years of probation and mandatory psychological treatment.
1. In Layman’s terms: being so spoiled with wealth that you demand more, all while believing there are no consequences; the effects of greed.
2. To be able to get away with murder because you’re wealthy.
Affluenza is not (currently) recognized by the American Psychiatric Association; some psychologists assert that it doesn’t even exist.
On the night of June 15, Ethan Couch and his seven teenage friends hopped in his Ford F-150 after they stole and drank some liquor from WalMart. With alcohol and Valium stirring in his system, Couch drove 70 miles per hour in a 40 mph zone; he ended up crashing his truck into a broken down vehicle parked on Burleson, Texas road, killing Breanna Mithcless, 24, the stopped vehicle’s driver, along with three others that were helping her. Two of Couch’s friends that were sitting in the truck bed suffered critical injuries.
Couch admitted in court he was driving drunk, and testimony showed that his blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit (0.24 BAC).
Couch’s legal team argued that the teenager’s lack of judgment was due to poor parenting. Psychologist Dr. Gary Miller, who was assigned to Couch, said in the courtroom that: “The teen never learned to say that you’re sorry if you hurt someone.”
”If you hurt someone, you sent him money.” Miller added, saying that Couch’s “intellectual age” was that of an 18-year-old boy, but his “emotional age” was that of a 12-year-old.
“He never learned that sometimes you don’t get your way,”
“He had the cars and he had the money. He had freedoms that no young man would be able to handle.”
According to Couch’s legal team, Couch suffers from affluenza – State District Judge Jean Boyd believed it; instead of the initial Texas sentencing guideline for fines up to $10,000 and between 2 and 20 years in the state penitentiary, on Tuesday, Couch got 10 years of probation. He was also assigned to a Southern California rehabilitation center, which costs $500,000 a year. His father said he’d pay for it. If Couch happens to mess up again, he could wind up in jail for 10 years, according to a statement from the Tarrant County District Attorney.
Judge Boyd agreed that the therapy Couch needs for his affluenza wouldn’t be provided to him in prison.
Eric Boyles, the man who lost his wife and daughter Holly and Shelby due to the crash, said that Couch’s wealth bought him justice.
“Ultimately today, I felt that money did prevail,” Boyles told the Star-Telegram after the sentencing.
“If [he] had been any other youth, I feel like the circumstances would have been different.”
According to the National Post, Jessie H. O’Neill, the granddaughter of Charles Erwin Wilson, a one-time president of General Motors, first popularized the world “affluenza” in 1997 with her book The Golden Ghetto: The Psychology of Affluence.
No word yet on what new faux-medical terms can be used to tie in “sickness” with “poverty”, thus justifying an innate suffering due to socially economical disadvantages.