By on December 15, 2013

Image courtesy Fox

When sixteen-year-old Ethan Couch killed four people and paralyzed another, the Best&Brightest here at TTAC expressed an almost universally negative view of his actions and the “Affluenza” defense that enabled him to avoid prison in favor of a $450,000 rehabilitation vacation.

Any defenders Mr. Couch did have, however, will likely reconsider their position on the matter given the latest news from the incident.

As the family of Sergio Molina, the teen who was paralyzed in the accident, sues the Couch family for $20 million, more details from the night have surfaced. The first allegation, which has appeared in multiple reports, is that Ethan was apprehended approximately a quarter-mile from the crash, fleeing on foot. Another report states that Ethan said, “I’m Ethan Couch, I’ll get you out of this” to one of the passengers at the scene.

Given that the criminal court’s ruling on the crash amounts to a state-endorsed label of parental misconduct, the civil attorneys for everyone involved have to be salivating. Still, according to at least one attorney, the “affluenza” verdict might not help the civil cases at all. A few notes on the psychology of “affluenza”, along with some first-class frothing-at-the-mouth, can be found at Daily Kos.

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73 Comments on ““I’m Ethan Couch, I’ll Get You Out Of This”...”


  • avatar
    LALoser

    How can any clear thinking person not be sickened by this…..

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    So the fact that he ran makes it worse? I don’t see how that’s possible. Bottom line, he knows what he did and has to be accountable, period. I honestly don’t even know why it is even debatable. Throw the book at him and then some. Four people are dead for f**k sake.

    I am sure everyone is aware that the Feds have been pushing their own DUI crackdown nationwide. “Over the limit, under arrest” is one frequently seen. As reported here at ttac, the number of roadblocks have gone up as well nationwide, all being incentive driven. So there you go, here is a classic case that was way beyond the limit and people were killed. If that is not enough to get arrested/punished, then absolutely nothing is.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      He’s already gotten away with it.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Totally off topic, of then again, maybe not
        - this is Ethan Couch’s exact opposite (I hope Jack, Derek or Ronnie write this up and feature it on TTAC):

        httpDown-on-his-luck brake mechanic gets his life rolling again

        http://www.freep.com/article/20131215/COL46/312150064/

        • 0 avatar
          brettc

          I think Mr. Couch should be forced to live with/help Brakeman out. Maybe it’ll teach him some life lessons, like how to not be a piece of sh1t.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            That’s a truly fantastic idea.

            I’d take it a step further (since your idea sparked my creativity) and make Mr. Couch personally finance the construction of Brakeman’s first brand spankin’ new brake repair/replacement facility, loaded with the latest & greatest tools, equipment & technology, and then have to work there for 60 hours per week as an unpaid intern for a decade.

    • 0 avatar
      jz78817

      “So the fact that he ran makes it worse?”

      No, the fact that he knew he f-ed up and knew he could weasel out of it makes it worse. It means that he’s used his family’s position to get out of trouble before.

      This kid is a piece of shit, everyone in his family is a piece of shit, and I hope to hell they get bankrupted by civil suits. I also wouldn’t be sad to hear that someone close to the people he killed introduced him to the business end of a baseball bat.

      Repeatedly.

      • 0 avatar
        noxioux

        I’m still thinking of doing a “Kill Ethan Couch” bumper sticker. That little turd needs to be hung from a traffic light in the middle of town. With his worthless dirtbag parents swinging right next to him.

        It ain’t Christian, and it ain’t in the spirit of the holidays, but I sincerely hope at the end of this these people are living out of a dumspter under a viaduct somewhere. With AIDS.

  • avatar
    CarnotCycle

    You see this time and again in high-exposure court cases where defendants can afford good lawyers. Prosecutors I think get novacained continuously dealing with the public pretender and the typical schmuck criminal defendant. Then a defendant comes along with a school of great white sharks, and they surprise and eat the prosecutor.

    Nowhere is an institutional inequity between poor and rich more on display in American society than dealing with American justice. Rather ironic considering ‘justice’ is a government operation, which should be the most egalitarian operation of all. Something’s very broken there.

    • 0 avatar
      toxicroach

      I guess this is cynical, but having a great lawyer is good. Having the money and connections to, say, lavishly fund the election bid of the Judge and Prosecutor’s opponent in the next election is so much better. That’s when the magic deals happen.

    • 0 avatar
      redliner

      As someone who works in direct contact with both prosecutors and public “pretenders” as you so eloquently put it, I don’t think that’s a fair statement.

      Especially at the federal level, most of the public defenders are exceptionally good. The prosecutors, on the other hand, seem to be more complacent, but they too are pretty good. (I live in the Metro DC area, this probably affects my opinion)

      The problem is not the lawyers or the prosecutors, it’s the law. Ultimately, the law is written so that this sort of result is legal. If you want to be angry, be angry at your legislator, not the people who argue and apply the law.

      • 0 avatar
        carrya1911

        Did “the law” recognize this kid’s psychological defense strategy, or instead was it a judge who took society’s laws attempting to recognize the diminished capacity of a mentally retarded individual or a violent schizophrenic and decided that in the interests of “compassion” that they should be expanded to allow someone to argue essentially that he killed 4 people and should skate because mommy and daddy were too lenient with him?

        I believe this was a bench verdict, meaning the judge let the defense be presented and then made a judgment based on it. I can pretty much guarantee that the legislators who originally intended to recognize a diminished capacity due to severe mental disorders had no idea a judge would read into that license to excuse someone for killing four people while drunk behind the wheel on the basis that mommy and daddy were bad parents.

        A huge chunk of the injustices that occur in this nation do so precisely because of jurists who believe that punishment isn’t a legitimate function of the criminal justice system…a tradition that goes back quite a way in “progressive” circles. (Thus the irony of the Daily Kos griping about the outcome)

        As I said in the comments of the other article, the civil trial will have a completely different defense strategy, working hard to show mom and dad doing their best with poor little Johnny who just couldn’t get his life together. And the civil judgment probably won’t be anything near what the families of the dead should get for the carnage this little bastard has made of their lives.

        I usually regard legislators on par with what I flush in the mornings, but they aren’t to blame for everything that’s wrong in society. Even the most noble, honest, and intelligent policy makers can’t predict what will happen when a bunch of people who have absolute immunity and the self-assurance of being the lone protectors of justice get hold of a law and start deciding that they are empowered to do whatever they want with it. A lot of our legislation comes from the bench these days…and that’s a big problem.

        • 0 avatar

          The reason it was a bench verdict is because it was tried in juvenile court.

          That is probably the real injustice – if he was tried as an adult (and plenty of 16 year olds are) the focus would have been on punishment. Juvenile court tends to try to rehabilitate, so the fact that it was in juvenile court in the first place probably had more to do with the verdict than the lawyer’s unique choice of defense.

          • 0 avatar
            carrya1911

            I assumed it was a juvenile court because of his age. Generally trying someone as an adult only happens after…you guessed it…a judge’s decision.

            A juvenile court is more likely to seek rehabilitation than punishment, but even in the juvy system judges can disallow bullshit psychobabble defenses and hand down time behind bars. This judge chose not to.

          • 0 avatar
            CarnotCycle

            “As someone who works in direct contact with both prosecutors and public “pretenders” as you so eloquently put it, I don’t think that’s a fair statement.”

            Lawyers getting venue for 16 year old shoveling adult money making adult problems/tragedies as a ‘juvenile’ is part of what I’m talking about. If the prosecutors didn’t try to charge him as an adult, it’s an example of the same problem coming from a different direction.

            “Especially at the federal level, most of the public defenders are exceptionally good. The prosecutors, on the other hand, seem to be more complacent, but they too are pretty good. (I live in the Metro DC area, this probably affects my opinion)”

            I do indeed think living in Metro DC might affect your opinion, Metro DC is Silicon Valley for sharks etc. And that branch of Shark Inc. inhabits the richest urban conurbation in the United States to feed it. Run by other sharks. A lot of blood in that water. Lol.

        • 0 avatar
          smartascii

          This is often true, and I don’t mean to diminish what you say. In this case, however, since he was a juvenile being tried in juvenile court he could only be sentenced to a maximum of two years, since juvenile court sentences are expunged at age 18. What this judge did was effectively guarantee that for the next 10 years, if he’s caught violating any law, he’ll go to prison. Now, I’m not saying that on the face of it, 10 years of probation is the correct response to killing 4 people. But if the alternative is 2 years of some form of incarceration, followed by no record at all, I’ll take this option instead. And I’ll bet the kid does something that gets him tried and imprisoned as an adult parole violator at some point.

          • 0 avatar
            th009

            Meanwhile, a guy who gets caught shoplifting three times will end up sitting 25 years in the slammer under Texas laws.

            Justice for all, but better justice if you’ve got the money to pay for it.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            th009, the law is full of such mismatched crimes & punishments. For example, you can go to jail for 5 yrs for pirating Michael Jackson’s music or 4 yrs for killing him.

  • avatar
    cpthaddock

    Poor Ethan Couch … any other day and his story might have slipped under the radar in the way so many other examples of our two-tier justice system do … like the whole war on minorities err drugs.

    http://gawker.com/coke-busted-gop-congressman-just-voted-to-drug-test-foo-1468175133

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    Has anyone in a position of authority there looked into the judge involved? its freakin obvious the judge was paid off

    • 0 avatar
      carrya1911

      As I said in the comments of the other article, the idea that a payoff is necessary to produce this is nonsense. All you need to do is encounter a judge who holds the belief that the court exists as a therapeutic remedy for offenders to get this.

      Judges with that philosophy have given slaps on the wrist to murderers and child molesters because they think that a “treatment program” is doing justice for the individual on trial rather than lock them in a cage where they belong so they can’t molest or kill anyone else.

      No payoff is necessary to produce this type of travesty of justice. All you need is a judge who thinks that actually penalizing someone for a crime is unjust, and that it’s society’s responsibility to “help” this individual with their problems.

      • 0 avatar
        FuzzyPlushroom

        That’s an awfully cynical bit of commentary, unless you’ve seen prior cases that this particular judge has tried. I won’t argue against treatment in situations when the defendant is demonstrably mentally deficient or sufficiently impoverished that he was clearly just trying to get by, but this is something entirely different.

        • 0 avatar
          Ron B.

          I googled the judge some time back and there is lots to read,none of it pretty. So, There is nothing cynical at all about the commentary from carrya1911 . It’s bang on the nail. This judge is due to retire in the new year after making a career of defending criminals from her bench and whacking them with a damp feather.
          Further,in the States system ,It is entirely possible that the defence team made sure she was the presiding judge ,meaning someone got their thirty peices of silver to gloat over.
          I guess that one of the symptoms of affluenza is a total lack of remorse when taking anothers life?

      • 0 avatar
        VenomV12

        If the parents are willing to pony up half a million for a rehab facility and God knows how much for his lawyers, I am willing to bet they were willing to pony up quite a large sum for this judge and she was more than happy to take it. Let’s not fool ourselves here

  • avatar
    imag

    I am still not clear on this: if the judge agrees that the parents are at fault, then why aren’t the parents criminally liable?

    I am fine with the kid going to 10 years of psychiatry as long as the parents are given the murder rap.

    • 0 avatar
      Drewlssix

      For one, there is no legal recourse to say place the parents in prison or even place them on trial.

      While it is nice to think that parents are responsible for their children there is really very little in the books that allow us to prosecute any one else for the actions of another no matter the relationship.

      You can prosecute people for collusion conspiracy or aiding and abetting someone but it is essentially not a crime to raise a child poorly. And I don’t think that it ever really should be.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    In cases like this, why the parents aren’t held responsible is beyond me. Same with the gun crimes when kids get ahold of weapons and kill someone, the parents are never held responsible in criminal court.

    It is absolutely criminal, IMO at least, that you have an out of control teen that drinks alcohol and you as a parent know about it. This is a recipe for disaster. In this disaster, 4 lives are gone and one is pretty much over because he can’t speak and is paralyzed. I mean how do you give a guy probation for something like that!

    I hope this case gets more attention in the media. Any judge who hands out a lenient probation sentence for a quadruple homicide needs to be fired.

    • 0 avatar
      Drewlssix

      You would have to lobby to create a whole new book of laws for that to happen and It wont happen. It would probably not even be constitutional.

      And think about it, while this case seems to be a rather terrible case of bad parenting similar things can happen with any ones child.

      Every year perfectly normal healthy teenagers simply make bad decisions and they or others suffer for them.

      It is in truth a matter of luck that many children escape to adulthood without dying or killing due to poor decision making.

      Enacting such a law my easily lead to many good parents going to prison for years because their child who was raised well was unfortunate enough to have luck run out just one time while making the type of poor decision children make. that we all have certainly mad.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    In this case, the dishonorable judge (who is in her 60s) has announced that she will be retiring at the end of 2014 and is not running for election again.

    A quick Google search revealed that back in 2010 the same judge gave a similar “slap-on-the-wrist” sentence to a then 16-year-old. In that case, the 16-year-old and friends ordered pizza delivered to an abandoned house and waited across the street from the house in a public park. When the deliveryman showed up, they attempted to rob him and when he resisted the 16-year-old beat the deliveryman with a baseball bat resulting in permanent brain damage.

    At that time there was a campaign to replace the judge with someone else in the next election, but apparently the campaign failed.

  • avatar
    RangerM

    The State of Texas executed Marvin Wilson who, according to a diagnosis of mental retardation, didn’t know any better.

    Whether Ethan didn’t know any better (due to “affluenza”, which doesn’t sound like a medical diagnosis), or DID know better, people are dead/paralyzed due to his (and his parents’) recklessness/negligence.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      IMO, I neither care for nor see the benefit of the law ‘punishing’ people for crimes. I just want to live in crime-free state. Those who would commit crimes thus can either be ‘fixed’ if possible to no longer commit crime or they should be permanently removed from society. I am not opposed to the death penalty, but part of me would be would be satisfied forming a new Australia where such can be dumped (to die of their own bad decisions, if necessary).

  • avatar
    fredtal

    http://www.loweringthebar.net/2013/12/okay-i-thought-affluenza-was-a-joke.html

    My question is how do you deal with retarted (sorry for being politically incorrect) who commit crimes?

    • 0 avatar
      carrya1911

      Firstly you draw a line between genuine mental impairment (Downs syndrome, for example) and nonsensical psychobabble of the sort perpetrated here.

      When you identify someone who is not culpable for criminal actions due to mental defect, if it’s a serious crime you assign them to a facility where they’re supervised carefully and treated to the extent that it’s possible to treat them. They *stay* in that facility.

      This business of allowing post partum depression to be an excuse for killing children and walking away from the trial free as a bird or allowing “I was spoiled and so you can’t hold ME responsible for killing four people while I was drunk behind the wheel, but let me go to a treatment center for a couple of months and then I’ll be all better and can walk free again!” has to stop.

  • avatar
    jeffzekas

    I believe in karma. Eventually, this punk will be in a bar and talk smack to a biker, who will then beat Mr Couch until he is dead. We saw a similar situation with the Dutch kid who killed the cheerleader, and later got busted for murder in South America. Karma is a b@*tch, as momma used to say.

  • avatar
    slow kills

    Gossip Girl fans, how “I’m Chuck Bass!” is this?

  • avatar
    morbo

    As they say, “Don’t mess with Texas”, cause it’s not nice to pick on the retarded.

    I’d like to think affluenza is some regional affliction, but I fear our gilded age has spread this disease far and wide. Rich kids of Instagram is merely the documentation of this disease.

    http://richkidsofinstagram.tumblr.com/

  • avatar
    TOTitan

    Didn’t this happen in the state that gave us Bush Jr and Rick Perry? Why am I not surprised?

    • 0 avatar
      AJ

      Although I’m sure that you’d like to blame Bush or Perry, but the guy who drove his car off a bridge, swam free, left the scene, didn’t report the accident for nine hours, that resulted in the death of his female passenger was Ted Kennedy. Why am I not surprised?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        People often forget about Kennedy crimes.

      • 0 avatar
        bill mcgee

        Remember seeing a show on IIRC the History Channel a number of years back that espoused an interesting theory about the Chappaquidick story which made a lot of sense . In this version of events , Teddy and Mary Jo left the party they were attending in Teddy’s rental car , saw a law enforcement officer in a cruiser ,wherein Teddy panicked thinking he might be arrested for DWI or exposed as a philanderer and told Mary Jo to drive herself home in Teddy’s rental . Teddy then walked back to the party , and Mary Jo , unfamiliar with the area , drove off the bridge . What seems to back this chain of events is that the next day Ted and his entourage were seen calmly going to eat breakfast at a local eatery . While there , they received the news of what had happened . Eyewitnesses claimed Ted immediately became ashen-faced and left with his buddies , to return to his hotel .Phone records show that there were a number of long distance calls , to Kennedy family attorneys and advisers , who came up with the ridiculous story , presumably to show Teddy in a good light , heroically diving in the water repeatedly and then , because he had missed the ferry , swimming a mile or two back to his hotel .Rather similar to earlier phony stories manufactured by Joe Kennedy’s buddies to show JFK as a hero after the bungled PT-109 incident . The History Channel story makes sense on a lot of levels – even if he was (probably)drunk , why didn’t Teddy go for help? And why would he have swum at night across the channel ? Evidence at the time included Mary Jo being found in the driver’s seat , all ignored by Kennedy -friendly or paid off local law enforcement . Only in this case , the phony story of alleged Kennedy heroics backfired , which is why we were spared a Teddy presidency .

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Thanks for sharing. Bill Clinton showed us a man who (eventually) admits his mistakes or faults can still be popular among the people. I realize things were different forty years ago but telling the truth may have worked out much better than outright bs. Funny though if he just drunk and then left her to walk home (for whatever reason) why didn’t he just give her the keys and let her drive him home to begin with? Unless he was passed out he could have given directions, and if he was passed out then he could never have walked home as in the theory. My mother always said he was drunk, drove off the road because of it, and left her to die because he knew she was pregnant with his child. The intent to murder may not have been there but he was certainly guilty of manslaughter based on the story he gave.

          • 0 avatar
            bill mcgee

            This theory is discussed on Crikey.com Teddy Kennedy and Chappaquiddick the true story . One thing I got wrong was that allegedly Teddy and Mary Jo were seen leaving the party , to go back to the motel most of the party was staying at , and teddy left the car when Mary Jo was less than a mile from the motel with the plan that Teddy would walk there . Crikey doesn’t mention the phone records or that one of the local lawmen was suspicious but told by his superiors to drop it due to Kennedy family connections . This cop was interviewed on the TV show verbalizing his belief that Mary Jo was driving . Another point was that Kennedy was familiar with the existance of a newly built , wider bridge that Mary Jo wouldn’t have known about .another thing the Crikey account discusses is that everybody at the party would have witnessed Teddy and Mary Jo leaving together , hence the made up story.Even as a kid I was no Kennedy fan but younger types simply don’t realize the ridiculous glorifying of the whole Kennedy clan back then . Without Chappaquiddick Teddy would have been elected , in 1976 if not 1972 .I think in ‘ 72 more skillful Kennedy media buddies would have exposed the Watergate thing in time for the election , and Nixon , having already had the Presidential election stolen from him in 1960 would have been even more paranoid with Teddy in the race . And if that didn’t happen , obviously in 1976 if a non-entity like Jimmy Carter could have been elected in a narrow ( and possibly also stolen victory) Teddy would have won in a landslide .

  • avatar
    Carl Kolchak

    Will take them any day over Harrison J. Bounel (look it up). This case tells us that often Justice does not see Black or White, but Green.

    • 0 avatar
      slow kills

      Looked it up. Luckily it didn’t waste much of my time.
      http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/birthers/ssn.asp

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      Do you really believe that “stuff”? And how many bridges have you bought on the internet?

    • 0 avatar
      bill mcgee

      While I don’t think Obama has been a great President or even a good one and George W. after all got us into two ill-conceived and expensive wars that he did not pay for and accomplished little , for us that live in Texas and have endured years of Gov. Perry’s ignorant statements and quixotic quest for the Presidency ( on the dime of Texas taxpayers who fund his endless trips to Iowa etc. , campaigning and ” promoting ” Texas business opportunities ) , please , take him any day .

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Perry was rejected outright by the majority of the American people so we’ll never know how good or how bad a president Perry would have been.

        But O*ama? For at least 30 million Americans this is the greatest president ever. For the other 300 million living in America, not so much.

        So the rest of us just have to suck it up and deal with it because majority rules and this is what the majority voted for.

        I do often wonder how all those young kids who voted for O feel about that these days.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    One thing I wonder , while everyone is blaming the parents , is did they willingly give the kid the car keys or did he sneak out with them ?

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    I’ve lived in an area where the ‘old boy’ network was in full force. It’s infuriating to see a court turned in favor of the person with the most money or influence. I’ve seen inexplicable situations where the decision could only be attributed to a payoff of some sort. In my own experience I knew of a mom who spent tens of thousands on her two oldest sons to keep them out of prison, which meant they were set free to sell drugs to the kids in town. No qualms about that at all, she knew they were guilty but didn’t care. She thought the loving thing was to get them out of ‘trouble.’ I feel for the families of those whose loved ones were killed by a punk kid whose parents haven’t the morals or decency to keep their murdering child off the streets.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Well no, we need a better balance between camp oceanbeach rehab and decades in a rape cage. But lawyers are expensive because they’re worth it. I’ve spent a king’s ransom on the best lawyers in town to save my property, income and yes, my freedom. It’s just the nature of the beast. And I truly feel for those that don’t know their rights and don’t have the funds to properly defend them when they do.

    But regardless, Ethan is still a child, and as such, needs to be protected, even from his own really bad decisions. And I don’t believe in the whole “Tried as an Adult” BS. Let’s decide where that line is and stick to it.

    Unfortunately, booze is the drug of choice and a terribly disgusting one at that, even when no one dies. As a kid, I only wish someone had pulled the bottle out of my hands and that of my graduating class, and passed around joints. Pot has always been easy to find, but like too many, I believed all the propaganda that had us scared of it. Instead, people must die. It’s just so wrong. And so fukking sad

    • 0 avatar
      noxioux

      I have to disagree. I’m thinking decades in a rape cage for this little piece of human garbage is just the ticket. Of course, we’ll have to wait until he screws up again–which he undoubtedly will.

      He essentially murdered those people. When your “bad decision” permanently removes or reduces the quality of life for another citizen, then the quality of your life should be reduced or removed just as permanently.

      His life is not worth those he took away. Period.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    I hate this country right now. I am beyond disgusted. When I first saw this news earlier this week I seriously thought it was some Onion fake news report. Unreal. Clearly this judge was paid off, I mean it is beyond obvious. I don’t know if the Feds can come in or someone else, but this needs to be overturned and made right. You should not be able to do this and get away with it, I mean for God’s sake, people are dead. This is unacceptable.

    • 0 avatar
      noxioux

      I’m sorta with you, Venom. I see stuff like this, and it really makes me wonder if we’re too far gone to get back.

      A system that allows things like this to go unpunished is a broken failure, and deserves nothing but our contempt.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        “makes me wonder if we’re too far gone to get back.”

        We’re too far gone. Once this genie is out of the bottle there’s no way to get it back in.

        Since Mary Jane was legalized, have you heard about the people getting stopped by cops for driving stoned? Just an accident waiting to happen.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      It stinks to high heaven.

      Judge Boyd announces her retirement the day BEFORE she renders the verdict. This goes far beyond things that make you go, hmmmm…

  • avatar
    05lgt

    I wonder if this travesty rises to a level that interests whoever “Anonymous” is?

  • avatar
    Ron B.

    if the young driver goes to jail it will be a matter of “eatin couch” when Jesse Tatts and his husband,Big bubba want to play 3 someones with the new gal..sorrry …cell mate.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Just in case it works like “Beetlejuice”; Anonymous, Anonymous, Anonymous!

  • avatar
    05lgt

    More seriously; a question for the legally knowledgeable. Is this a situation where DOJ might charge him with depriving his victims of their civil rights? Texas isn’t the most beloved state of the current DOJ.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    10 years probation. The kid hasn’t hit rock bottom yet. Will he hit rock bottom and be back in court in the next 10 years? You bet.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Am I the only that finds it, “interesting” that Judge Boyd, the day before she rendered this decision, announced that she would not be running for re-election in 2014?

    (judges are elected in Texas, not appointed)

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    In Texas, as in many parts of the US (e.g. Los Angeles and O.J.), when someone with money commits a serious felony, it becomes feast time for the criminal justice system. First, you have an expensive criminal trial with (often) a bribe to the judge.

    With dope law violations, this is usually the end of it. When death(s) are involved, wrongful death suits sweeten the pot. In murder cases, the doers usually end up in jail (OJ) or murdered themselves (unless they have really serious money). I personally know of two cases where a murderer was bled dry and then murdered. No effort was ever made to find the killers.

    One celebrated case a few decades back involved a Houston woman named Candice Mossler who, along with her boyfriend, murdered her aged husband more or less on impulse and left a blood spattered house. When they sobered up, Candice had the presence of mind to call the preeminent Houston defense attorney of the time, Richard (Racehorse) Haynes, for advice as to what to do next. The subject of legal fees came up. Racehorse replied “half” – this according to Racehorse himself in later years.

    In this case, at least the surviving families of the victims of what appears to have been a seriously negligent accident will get some blood money. Some of the toilers in our low-paid criminal justice system will get an unexpected payday. The kid and his despicable father should get, more or less, what they respectively deserve.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      The Texas judiciary is a train wreck. I know first hand about some of what goes on in certain counties – you wouldn’t believe it. For entertainment, check out the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct files or just google “Texas Judge Indicted” and check out several of the pages.

      http://www.scjc.state.tx.us/actions.asp

      Here’s an article in the Atlantic about what some think is the root of the problem:

      http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/10/a-broken-system-texass-former-chief-justice-condemns-judicial-elections/280654/

  • avatar
    wsn

    If affluenza got him out of the criminal trial, shouldn’t that same logic apply to the civil case?

    I mean, just fine the family for the full $20M. They are affluent, after all.

    • 0 avatar
      jimbob457

      Two obvious problems with a fine:
      1. no law would justify such a huge fine
      2. more important, who would get the $20 million?

      As far as an ‘affluenza’ defense to a civil wrongful death suit, the standards of proof for wrongful death are much looser than for manslaughter. Furthermore, the kid was actually convicted of manslaughter, he just didn’t get a normal punishment.

      If the kid’s family ends up with even half of what they stated with, I will be surprised. The whole thing looks like a fish feeding frenzy set up to me.

  • avatar
    22_RE_Speedwagon

    why are we less upset about this?

    http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Manslaughter-charge-in-S-F-crash-that-killed-boy-5068931.php

    70 mph on a residential street at 7 a.m. 58 year old woman, stone cold sober.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    Saw an example of the excellence of the Texas judicial system in the Houston Chronicle yesterday . A woman was sentenced to 70 years in prison for stealing Christmas lights . Admittedly she had some priors but still- 70 years for stealing Christmas lights ?


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