Author Topic: Victims' families in Texas 'affluenza' case outraged after teen avoids jail again  (Read 339 times)

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Online rangerrebew

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Victims' families in Texas 'affluenza' case outraged after teen avoids jail again

Published February 06, 2014/
FoxNews.com



The families of victims who were injured or killed in a drunken-driving crash in Texas expressed outrage Wednesday after the teen driver who avoided jail time in the crash was ordered to go to a rehabilitation facility paid for by his parents.

State District Judge Jean Boyd again decided to give no jail time for Ethan Couch, defense attorney Reagan Wynn and prosecutors told reporters after the hearing, which was closed to the public. Prosecutors had asked Boyd to sentence him to 20 years in state custody on charges related to two people who were severely injured.

Couch was previously sentenced to 10 years' probation in the crash that killed four people in June 2013. The sentence stirred fierce debate, as has the testimony of a defense expert who says Couch's wealthy parents coddled him into a sense of irresponsibility. The expert termed the condition "affluenza."

Couch was 16 at the time of the accident. His blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit for an adult and there were traces of Valium in his system when he lost control of his pickup truck and plowed into a group of people helping a woman whose car had stalled.

Seven passengers were riding in Couch's truck. One, Sergio Molina, is paralyzed and can communicate only by blinking. The other, Solimon Mohmand, suffered numerous broken bones and internal injuries.

After the hearing, family members of the victims told MyFoxDFW.com they were upset Couch again avoided jail time, and said they believed Couch got off easily because his parents were rich.

"Had he 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," Eric Broyles, whose wife and daughter were killed, told the station.

"No amount of money or prestige or status is ever gonna grant them immunity to what they all chose for their life that caused this to our lives," said Marla Mitchell, whose daughter, Breanna, was killed.

Alexander Lemus, Molina's older brother, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram the judge's rulings are an injustice to his family.

"You’re drunk and high and you’ve got kids yelling at you to stop,” Lemus told the newspaper. “There should have been some time served. There should be repercussions and consequences for everything that you do.”

Wynn and prosecutor Richard Alpert would not identify the facility where Couch will go or where it is located. The teen's family previously had offered to pay for Couch to go to a $450,000-a-year rehabilitation center near Newport Beach, Calif. 

Couch, who's currently in state custody, is expected to receive alcohol and drug rehab, and could face prison time if he runs away from the facility or violates any other terms of his probation, Alpert said.

There is no minimum amount of time Couch must spend in the facility before his release, prosecutor Riley Shaw said.

Wynn ripped the media and the public's focus on "affluenza" and said that his client was misunderstood.

He said reporting of the Couch case had "so twisted the facts that were actually presented in court that I don't think the truth will ever be able to come out now."

But Alpert accused Wynn of hypocrisy, pointing out that a defense witness made the comment in the first place.

"His witnesses don't say things by accident," Alpert said. "So they thought maybe that would help — that's my interpretation — and it blew up on them. It was a stupid thing to say."

Asking Boyd to give Couch jail time for intoxication assault was a last-ditch effort by prosecutors, who have said they have almost no way to appeal the judge's sentence in the case.

Alpert said he hoped the Couch case would lead the Texas Legislature to allow juries to sentence some juvenile defendants. The case has already spurred calls for potential changes. Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who serves as president of the Senate, has asked for a study of sentencing guidelines in intoxication manslaughter cases.

Six civil lawsuits that have been filed against Couch, his parents and the family's company, according to the Star-Telegram. Marla Mitchell, Breanna Mitchell’s mother, told the newspaper that no amount of money will allow Couch to escape his guilt.

“I don’t believe the world will ever take their eyes off him,” Mitchell said.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/02/06/victims-families-in-texas-affluenza-case-outraged-at-no-jail-sentence/
« Last Edit: February 06, 2014, 07:36:12 AM by rangerrebew »
Abraham Lincoln:

There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.
--January 27, 1838 Lyceum Address

Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties. And not to Democrats alone do I make this appeal, but to all who love these
great and true principles.
--August 27, 1856 Speech at Kalamazoo, Michigan

Let us then turn this government back into the channel in which the framers of the Constitution originally placed it.
--July 10, 1858 Speech at Chicago

Offline Rapunzel

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It is outrageous.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Online EC

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It is outrageous.

No. It is wrong. Full stop.
Every advance in the history of civilization has been down to someone's laziness. Respect that.

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Offline Atomic Cow

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Surprised someone didn't just pull a gun and cap the little bastard.  It would be hard to find a jury that wouldn't believe a claim of temporary insanity.
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton

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The notion that every single teen and adult, that has a mind-altering-substance related accident, is therefore an addict or alcoholic and needs to go to "Rehab" is ridiculous.

Just because his parents indulged him with too much freedom for his age, and he killed people while DUI, doesn't correctly default to anything "Rehab" can solve.

The original models for "Rehab" included the US Navy facility in Long Beach, the Betty Ford center, and similar types of institutions. These places are typically 30 day inpatient, medically supervised programs.

Why in a hospital environment? Because it is assumed the patient may need medically supervised detoxification, since they are truly addicts/alcoholics.

Beyond the detox phase, which is just a few days, the remainder of the time is educational, individual and group therapy, etc. At the end they pat them on the butt, and instruct them to attend alcoholics anonymous.

The notion a teenager needs this, instead of greater parental supervision and control is a great big cop out. But the parents can't touch the kids today, so the rehab industry gets a for-profit opportunity for a business model.

So every time you hear "Rehab" think of t by a cop out by parents, educators, law enforcement and judicial systems.

Once upon a more sane time, a judge would offer a young offender options: 1. Jail time, or 2. the military

But we no longer live in sane times.

Online rangerrebew

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Once upon a more sane time, a judge would offer a young offender options: 1. Jail time, or 2. the military

But we no longer live in sane times.

Exactly!  One of the guys in my division in the Navy was there on the "honor" system.  Yes, your honor; no, your honor. He chose 4 years in the military as opposed to jail and it really helped straighten him up.  As far as the kid in this case, he will do it again because there was no consequence to speak of for killing 4 people.  If Mohammed Atta has survived flying into the WTC and had been released without consequence, you can bet he would have done it again.  This kid is no different.
Abraham Lincoln:

There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.
--January 27, 1838 Lyceum Address

Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties. And not to Democrats alone do I make this appeal, but to all who love these
great and true principles.
--August 27, 1856 Speech at Kalamazoo, Michigan

Let us then turn this government back into the channel in which the framers of the Constitution originally placed it.
--July 10, 1858 Speech at Chicago


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