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.