Don't Get Mad at This Rich, White Teen Killer

The problem isn't that Ethan Couch got off, it's that poor kids don't, Elie Mystal writes

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 13, 2013 1:25 PM CST

(Newser) – You were probably outraged when you heard about Ethan Couch, the 16-year-old drunk driver who killed four people but avoided jail thanks to his "affluenza"—the (apparently accurate) belief that his family's wealth ensured that his actions had no consequences. "Anybody who thinks that this kind of lenience would be given to anybody other than a wealthy white dauphin is wrong and stupid (and probably racist)," writes Elie Mystal at Above the Law. But don't be mad at Couch. Be mad that poor kids don't get shown the same compassion.

Yeah, Couch looks like a jerk, but he's 16. "When you are still under the physical control of your parents, well, it takes a village to raise a dickhead." He actually does need help. "If a judge can see it here, can't we demand that judges see it when their defendants are not rich and white?" And if we must put someone in jail, how about Couch's parents? "They unleashed a rabid dog out upon society and affixed a laser beam to its head." For a full debate on the wisdom of parent-jailing, see the full column.

Ethan Couch.   (YouTube)
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A poor white kid would be in jail right now. A rich black kid would be in jail right now. A poor black kid would be picking out items for his last supper right now. - Elie Mystal and Joe Patrice

What we’ve learned (frankly from the scores of poor children we put in jail for various offenses) is that jail doesn’t 'teach lessons' so much as it 'punishes a**holes.' Literally. - Elie Mystal

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