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shadow777



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Affluenza Defense: Rich Texas Teen Gets Probation For Killing 4 Pedestrians While Driving Drunk (VIDEO)

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A North Texas teen from an affluent family was sentenced to probation this week after he killed four pedestrians when he lost control of his speeding pickup truck while driving drunk, a punishment that outraged the victims' families and left prosecutors disappointed.

The 16-year-old boy was sentenced Tuesday in a Fort Worth juvenile court to 10 years of probation after he confessed to intoxication manslaughter in the June 15 crash on a dark rural road.

Prosecutors had sought the maximum 20 years in state custody for the Keller teen, but his attorneys appealed to state District Judge Jean Boyd that the teenager needed rehabilitation not prison, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (http://bit.ly/1f8GnvQ ) reported.

If the boy continues to be cushioned by his family's wealth, another tragedy is inevitable, prosecutor Richard Alpert said in court.

"There can be no doubt that he will be in another courthouse one day blaming the lenient treatment he received here," Alpert said.

Authorities said the teen and friends were seen on surveillance video stealing two cases of beer from a store. He had seven passengers in his Ford F-350, was speeding and had a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit, according to testimony during the trial. His pickup truck slammed into the four pedestrians, killing Brian Jennings, a 43-year-old Burleson youth minister; Breanna Mitchell of Lillian, 24; Shelby Boyles, 21; and her 52-year-old mother, Hollie Boyles.

Boyd said the programs available in the Texas juvenile justice system may not provide the kind of intensive therapy the teen could receive at a rehabilitation center near Newport Beach, Calif., that was suggested by his defense attorneys. The parents would pick up the tab for the center, at a cost of more than $450,000 a year for treatment.

Scott Brown, the boy's lead defense attorney, said he could have been freed after two years if he had drawn the 20-year sentence.

But instead, the judge "fashioned a sentence that could have him under the thumb of the justice system for the next 10 years," he told the Star-Telegram.
Relatives of those killed in the accident drew little comfort from that assurance.

Eric Boyles, who lost his wife and daughter, said the family's wealth helped the teen avoid incarceration.

"Money always seems to keep you out of trouble," Boyles said. "Ultimately today, I felt that money did prevail. If you had been any other youth, I feel like the circumstances would have been different."

Shaunna Jennings, the minister's widow, said her family had forgiven the teen but believed a sterner punishment was needed.

"You lived a life of privilege and entitlement, and my prayer is that it does not get you out of this," she said. "My fear is that it will get you out of this."

A psychologist called as an expert defense witness said the boy suffered from "affluenza," growing up in a house where the parents were preoccupied with arguments that led to a divorce.

The father "does not have relationships, he takes hostages," psychologist Gary Miller said, and the mother was indulgent. "Her mantra was that if it feels good, do it," he said.

___

Information from: Fort Worth Star-Telegram, http://www.star-telegram.com
Sun Feb 09, 2014 2:15 am View user's profile Find all posts by shadow777 Send private message Send e-mail
shadow777



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Dr. Boyce: Rich, White Kids Have “Affluenza,” Poor, Black Kids Go to Prison

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

Last night, I made what might be one of my most emotional appearances ever on CNN’s AC360. I’ve appeared on Anderson Cooper’s show more times than I can remember, but this was an appearance that I will never forget.

The situation revolved around a discussion of “Affluenza,” a (fictitious) condition in which a person’s wealth makes them incapable of understanding the consequences of their actions. The defense was used in the case of 16-year old Ethan Couch, who got drunk, got behind the wheel, and proceeded to kιll four people. He also paralyzed one of his friends, who was riding in the back of the truck.

Couch had a blοod alcοhol level that was three times the legal limit when he kιlled those people that night. For some reason, Judge Jean Boyd bought the Affluenza defense (which is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association), and gave Couch 10 years probation right after the perpetrator had delivered the deαth penalty four times and sentenced a 16-year old kid, Sergio Molina, to almost complete paralysis (he communicates only by blinking his eyes).

A petition has been filed on Change.org calling for Texas governor Rick Perry to remove Boyd from the bench. I am going to sign that petition. I also appreciate Anderson Cooper for speaking up on the injustice during multiple CNN segments and pointing out the judge’s disturbing and discriminatory history. Judge Boyd once gave a 10-year sentence to a teen who pμnched someone who died after falling and hitting his head.
This case is even more sickening when one considers how often serious psychological problems are not taken into consideration when the cases involve poor, black or brown people. How often do our kids commit crimes after being victims of years of abuse, neglect, hunger, miseducation and dire poverty? When my deceased uncle/older brother figure was sent to prison, I never once heard a judge consider the fact that he suffered from severe mental illness all throughout his life. In fact, going to prison only served to worsen his mental illness, not make it better.

The very idea that this kids’ wealth was turned into a convenient liability lies in contradiction to the fact that his wealth has always been a tremendous asset. It’s allowed him to get whatever he wants, whenever he wants. But when the spoiled rich kid’s actions finally catch up with him, the very thing that’s given him an advantage is suddenly considered to be a huge disadvantage.

When we spoke on the CNN segment, I thought about the individuals I know personally who received far harsher sentences for even the pettiest crimes. I think about a friend of mine, Darrell Padgett, who received a 40 year sentence for possession of one gram of crack cocaine. I think about the individuals I’ve seen emerge from prison with severe mental illness after years of tοrture while in state custody. There is also the 16-year old kid, Kalief Browder, who was starved half to deαth in Rikers Island jail while being held, without charge for a crime he didn’t commit.

Mind you, not every judge is as corrupt and misguided as Boyd. But the case struck a chord with those of us who are sick and tired of seeing our children treated like animals while wealthy children receive a slαp on the wrist for even the worst offenses. On the Syracuse University campus (where I teach) on Friday nights, the rampant drug and alcοhol abuse will likely never receive the same police scrutiny that it might get if the offenders were African Americans in public housing. Police are rarely going to stop and frisk a rich white kid, yet even the tiniest imperfections of black youth are scrutinized beyond comprehension.

The best way to cure Couch’s Affluenza is to subject him to a fate only slightly better than his victims. I’m not sure I’d go as far as giving him the same deαth penalty he doled out that night during his drunken joyride, but a decade in state prison might give him just the kind of treatment he deserves for what he did to those people. Also, the deprivation of wealth and privilege might help him understand that there are indeed consequences to his actions, effectively curing him of the ailment that has left him so “disadvantaged.”

This case wasn’t just sad for the families of the victims, it was sad for all of us. It also shows that the entire criminal justice system itself suffers from a severe case of Affluenza: Justice for the white and wealthy is both separate and unequal, especially in the state of Texas.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the author of the lecture series, “The 8 Principles of Black Male Empowerment.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

http://www.yourblackworld.net/2013/12/uncategorized/dr-boyce-rich-white-kids-have-affluenza-poor-black-kids-go-to-prison/
Sun Feb 09, 2014 2:18 am View user's profile Find all posts by shadow777 Send private message Send e-mail
mack



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This is not just a disease of the young and affluent. This has been a generational privilege for millennia.
Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:04 am View user's profile Find all posts by mack Send private message AIM Address
mack



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A journalist says that while children are afflicted with affluenza, while black children suffer from thugosis. Laughing
Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:06 am View user's profile Find all posts by mack Send private message AIM Address
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