ForumsWEPRRich kid killed 4 by drunk driving... 10 years probation becuz of "affluenza"

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UnleashedUponMankind
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UnleashedUponMankind
12,693 posts
Grand Duke

BBC article

CNN article

Short sketch: a 16 year old kid crash drunk in a group of pedestrians, killing 4 of them.
He faced 20 years in prison for that, but no: becasue, according of one psychologist, he has "affluenzza" (his parents are rich and never set any limits, so he is a privileged, spoilt kid), he is a victim.

Sentence: 10 yearts probation, he must also enroll in a rehabilitation centre.
Well, its a private one, costs 450k/year, his parents have to pay for it...

Light sentence?
Fair judgement?

What do you think?

  • 16 Replies
SSTG
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SSTG
13,057 posts
Treasurer

There are two justices, one for the rich ******** and one for normal people who actually have to work for a living.
He should go to jail for 20 years!

Calm
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Calm
911 posts
Herald

Thanks for linking to this very interesting story - being a lawyer myself I always find these things fascinating.

As we don't have all the facts, there's no way to say for certain that justice was not carried out properly. However, in my opinion, this decision will go towards undermining the judicial system if it is more widely reported.

I personally struggle to understand how a judge can let herself be convinced that "affluenza" is a thing when she must routinely convict defendants from underprivileged backgrounds. Having rich parents, everything you want, is according to her worse than having a drunkard father who beats you up as a kid? Sure they're going through a divorce, just like over 50% of all marriages, does that mean all the kids should get a free pass?

Makes me shiver. Unless the news story is missing out part of the trial information (which the often do), this looks like a gross miscarriage of justice: one of the core principles of a functioning judicial system is the rule of law. All citizens should be treated in the same way for the same crime. Giving no jail time to a young man who stole alcohol (when he has all the money in the world to buy it) and then killed 4 innocent bystanders is a slap in the face of justice in my very humble opinion.

EmperorPalpatine
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EmperorPalpatine
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Jester

All citizens should be treated in the same way for the same crime.

Then they should amend the laws to include a mandatory minimum sentence.

Giving no jail time to a young man who stole alcohol (when he has all the money in the world to buy it) and then killed 4 innocent bystanders is a slap in the face of justice in my very humble opinion.

It may be a slap in the face of revenge. What does 20 years in prison do more than rehab in helping to bring those people back? The goal of a punishment should be to reform the person so they can reintegrate with society, not simply throw them in a box where they learn nothing and any conditions they have may worsen.
Calm
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Calm
911 posts
Herald

It may be a slap in the face of revenge. What does 20 years in prison do more than rehab in helping to bring those people back? The goal of a punishment should be to reform the person so they can reintegrate with society, not simply throw them in a box where they learn nothing and any conditions they have may worsen.


You're using my reasoning to contradict my reasoning?

All I'm saying is that there are thousands of kids who are sent in juvenile detention for simple theft/robbery. They come from poor families, often were raised by single mothers or in broken homes or worse. These kids should also have a chance at rehabilitation.

Also the fact that the penitential system is not necessarily functioning properly has nothing to do with sentencing. If so we should free everyone in jail, following your line of reasoning.

Also you misinterpreted my statement about citizens being treated in the same way. This is just saying that people from different backgrounds should have access to the same justice system.

I think the irony here is that the defence attorney argued that the defendant was suffering from a condition because he was never taught actions had consequences. I guess the court taught him a lesson: killing 4 inocent people and committing 3 other offences prior to that (theft, intoxicated driving, speeding) has no legal consequence for you, you're going to a nice $500,000/year facility for a couple of years with probation.
Devoidless
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Devoidless
3,686 posts
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It may be a slap in the face of revenge. What does 20 years in prison do more than rehab in helping to bring those people back? The goal of a punishment should be to reform the person so they can reintegrate with society, not simply throw them in a box where they learn nothing and any conditions they have may worsen.

The outcome doesn't do anything to solve his alleged condition of 'affluenza'. He's supposed to learn about actions having repercussions and consequences by going to a resort for the rich labelled as 'rehab'? Yes, that will teach him how the real world works. In the cold, hard reality of this earth you can get drunk at 16, drive a vehicle, and kill four pedestrians...with the punishment being a glamorous rehab resort.
All that does is reinforce the notion that being rich makes you above the law. What is he going to do next and expect immunity from it? He's already killed four people, and was treated like a newborn. That's not conducive to rehab. That's just insulting.
goumas13
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goumas13
4,757 posts
Grand Duke

Very interesting story. Sounds like a case of extreme double standars anyone else would have gotten serious prison time. It's just so hypocritical.
Hope that "affluenza" doesn't now turn up as a legitimate defense in future cases. Laws and rights should apply to everyone equally.

MageGrayWolf
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MageGrayWolf
9,476 posts
Farmer

More on affluenza.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affluenza

TYT played a CNN clip where the psychologist Dr. G. **** Miller who first used affluenza. The psychologist pretty much come out stating the boy gets a different sentence because he's rich.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYORruzVefQ

Drink
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Drink
1,627 posts
Blacksmith

he only got probahtion cause the parents are rich af
if he was normal he would of got life

HahiHa
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HahiHa
8,195 posts
Regent

I agree with Devoidless. If that kid is to learn about the consequences of his actions, he darn well gotta experience those consequences, not being told "look, that happens normally to kids if they don't have rich parents and good lawyers".

The irony of this case is that the sentence merely contributes to reinforcing the very reason why this all happened in the first place. Even if we assume that affluenza was indeed the reason, it is still no excuse in any way.

pangtongshu
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pangtongshu
9,831 posts
Jester

Well, so long as the poorfluenza starts to become a reasonable defense claim..

nichodemus
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nichodemus
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It may be a slap in the face of revenge. What does 20 years in prison do more than rehab in helping to bring those people back? The goal of a punishment should be to reform the person so they can reintegrate with society, not simply throw them in a box where they learn nothing and any conditions they have may worsen.


And I doubt a resort like rehab will do much. The message sunk in will not be that crime is not tolerated, but rather that his parents' wealth can bail him out, because the ''unishment'' is far too light and disgustingly soft. Probation is also a joke, it doesn't hinder one much, and breaking it a couple of times is easy enough.

Furthermore, if the rest of us get X number of years in prison, so does he. There should be nothing, bar perhaps old age arguably and medical conditions that determine that different groups of people get different punishments from the rest for the same crime. If we strive to be an egalitarian society, than we have to be egalitarian in the punishment doled out as well. This is plain vile.
Kasic
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Kasic
5,560 posts
Jester

And I doubt a resort like rehab will do much.


^. I fully agree that reform is far better than blatant punishment/legalized revenge, but it comes down to that we simply can't reform a lot of these people no matter the resources we invest.
EmperorPalpatine
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EmperorPalpatine
9,450 posts
Jester

Furthermore, if the rest of us get X number of years in prison, so does he. There should be nothing, bar perhaps old age arguably and medical conditions that determine that different groups of people get different punishments from the rest for the same crime.

How about young age? Prison for minors has tapered a bit. It's not rare for underage criminals to get a slap on the wrist instead of hard time, even in cases like this.
nichodemus
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nichodemus
14,930 posts
Grand Duke

How about young age? Prison for minors has tapered a bit. It's not rare for underage criminals to get a slap on the wrist instead of hard time, even in cases like this.


Young age could possibly be a consideration. However, it's also not entirely uncommon to try juveniles in an adult court, and waive their protection from a juvenile court. The current trend among states is to lower the minimum age of eligibility for waiver into adult court. This is due in part to public perception that juvenile crime is on the rise, and offenders are getting younger, which is partially true.

For the case of juveniles, for me, it would take strong individual grounds to preclude them from the norm. Different people can be assessed to comprehend the severity of their actions, or understand the implications of their criminal behavior; so in such cases, perhaps individual scrutiny is needed, however I still scoff at the excuse that an adolescent on the cusp of adulthood would not know that drink driving is a crime. In any case, the sheer scale of the crime itself should warrant a harsher sentence than most.
stinkyjim
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stinkyjim
472 posts
Shepherd

If a person is driving drunk and they hit someone on accident, should they go to jail then?

It's more of an "intent" thing than anything. He shouldn't be driving drunk in the first place, but it wasn't his intent to kill them.


Personally, I believe getting behind the wheel while intoxicated is an intent to kill no matter the circumstances. If you choose to get behind the wheel when you can barely walk straight, then you deserve to be in prison. You are not only putting yourself at risk, but the lives of others as well.
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