But other legal experts correctly testified that “affluenza” is not is not a recognized diagnosis and should not be used to justify bad behavior.
Couch was pumped with liquor and Valium and lost control of his speeding Ford F-350 pickup when he crashed into a broken-down car. But I guess that wasn’t enough to convince the court of his criminal behavior.
District Judge Jean Boyd issued his sentence after Couch “admitted his guilt.” And Couch’s parents say they will pay for a $450,000-a-year treatment and rehabilitation center near Newport Beach, Calif.
For Couch, life on easy street continues.
But Texas prosecutors are trying again to put Couch behind bars after he was sentenced last week to 10 years’ probation. Tarrant County District Attorney Joe Shannon is asking a juvenile judge to put 16-year-old Ethan Couch in jail on two cases of intoxication assault that he says are still pending before the court.
“During his recent trial, the 16-year-old admitted his guilt in four cases of intoxication manslaughter and two cases of intoxication assault,” Shannon told reporters. “There has been no verdict formally entered in the two intoxication assault cases. Every case deserves a verdict.”
Dr. Gary Buffone, a Jacksonville, Fla., psychologist who does family wealth advising, told reporters that Couch must take responsibility for his behavior.
“The simple term would be spoiled brat,” Buffone said.
“Essentially what he (the judge) has done is slapped this child on the wrist for what is obviously a very serious offense which he would be responsible for in any other situation,” Buffone said. “The defense is laughable, the disposition is horrifying … not only haven’t the parents set any consequences, but it’s being reinforced by the judge’s actions.”
Buffone is right.
I only hope that “affluenza” doesn’t begin to spread through wealthy suburban communities like a virus.