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Topic: Affluenza Defense: Rich Texas Teen Gets Probation< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 8:22 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If the kid had blatantly shot 4 people, there would be countrywide outrage at such a sentence. Drunk murder? Not much said.

QUOTE
Affluenza Defense: Rich Texas Teen Gets Probation For Killing 4 Pedestrians While Driving Drunk

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A North Texas teen from an affluent family received a probation-only sentence this week for losing control of his pickup truck while drunk and killing four pedestrians, a punishment that has outraged the victims' families and left prosecutors disappointed.

The 16-year-old boy was sentenced Tuesday in a Fort Worth juvenile court to 10 years of probation after he confessed to intoxication manslaughter in the June 15 crash on a dark rural road.

Prosecutors had sought the maximum 20 years in state custody for the Keller teen, but his attorneys appealed to state District Judge Jean Boyd that he needed rehabilitation instead of imprisonment, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (http://bit.ly/1f8GnvQ ) reported.

Authorities said the teen and friends were seen on surveillance video stealing two cases of beer from a store. He had seven passengers in his Ford F-350, was speeding and had a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit, according to testimony during the trial. His pickup truck slammed into the four pedestrians, killing Brian Jennings, 43-year-old Burleson youth minister; Breanna Mitchell of Lillian, 24; Shelby Boyles, 21, and her 52-year-old mother, Hollie Boyles.

If the boy, who is from an affluent family, continued to be cushioned by his family's wealth and another tragedy is likely in his future, prosecutor Richard Alpert said in court.

"There can be no doubt that he will be in another courthouse one day blaming the lenient treatment he received here," he said.

Boyd said the programs available in the Texas juvenile justice system may not provide the kind of intensive therapy the teen could receive at a rehabilitation center near Newport Beach, Calif., that was suggested by his defense attorneys. The parents would pick up the tab for the center, which runs more than $450,000 a year for treatment.

Scott Brown, the boy's lead defense attorney, said the teen could have been freed after two years if he had drawn the 20-year sentence.

"(The judge) fashioned a sentence that could have him under the thumb of the justice system for the next 10 years," he told the Star-Telegram.

Survivors of those killed in the accident drew little comfort from that assurance.

Eric Boyles lost his wife and daughter, and said the family's wealth helped the teen avoid incarceration.

"Money always seems to keep you out of trouble," Boyles said. "Ultimately today, I felt that money did prevail. If you had been any other youth, I feel like the circumstances would have been different."

Shaunna Jennings, the widow of the minister, said her family had forgiven the teen but believed a sterner punishment was needed.

"You lived a life of privilege and entitlement, and my prayer is that it does not get you out of this," she said. "My fear is that it will get you out of this."

A psychologist called as an expert defense witness said the boy suffered from "affluenza," growing up in a house where parents were preoccupied with arguments with each other that led to a divorce.

The father "does not have relationships, he takes hostages," psychologist Gary Miller said, and the mother was indulgent. "Her mantra was that if it feels good, do it," he said.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 8:57 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The rich can hire the best lawyers -- can sometimes that makes the difference.

But here, there is also the issue of age -- the offender being only 16.  Nothing is gained here through incarceration -- except for the lust for vengeance.  I hope -- for the sake of the four people he killed -- that this stupid kid sobers up and grows up real fast!  I also hope the judge made the family pay proper restitution to the victims' families.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 9:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

What else would you expect from Texas?

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 9:33 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Very sad.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 9:39 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Does anyone think the result would have been the same if he was black and poor?

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 10:52 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Shirley, you jest!!   :angry:

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 11:08 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So what is the lesson the kid takes away from all of this?
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 11:32 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(mtnsteve @ Dec. 12 2013, 9:39 am)
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Does anyone think the result would have been the same if he was black and poor?

Of course the outcome would have been different if he was black and poor...but that doesn't make the outcome in this case wrong.  It's the outcome for poor black 16 year-olds that needs attention.

Should we not allow people with wealth access to the best doctors because poor people don't have the same access, or should we try instead to improve the access of the poor?
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 12:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Montanalonewolf @ Dec. 12 2013, 8:22 am)
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If the kid had blatantly shot 4 people, there would be countrywide outrage at such a sentence. Drunk murder? Not much said.

What the hell are you talking about? It's a local story picked up by the AP and reported far and wide. Why act like no one cares? Ever heard of MADD, or SADD, or DADD. People are outraged about drunk driving. Why do you keep insisting otherwise?
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 1:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(nogods @ Dec. 12 2013, 8:32 am)
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(mtnsteve @ Dec. 12 2013, 9:39 am)
QUOTE
Does anyone think the result would have been the same if he was black and poor?

Of course the outcome would have been different if he was black and poor...but that doesn't make the outcome in this case wrong.  It's the outcome for poor black 16 year-olds that needs attention.

Should we not allow people with wealth access to the best doctors because poor people don't have the same access, or should we try instead to improve the access of the poor?

Indeed. Ten years probation undoubtedly conditioned on a successful completion of that rehab program sounds like a better deal all around: perhaps help the 16 year old and if not he's violated probation and that get's settled.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 2:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(HighGravity @ Dec. 12 2013, 12:03 pm)
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(Montanalonewolf @ Dec. 12 2013, 8:22 am)
QUOTE
If the kid had blatantly shot 4 people, there would be countrywide outrage at such a sentence. Drunk murder? Not much said.

What the hell are you talking about? It's a local story picked up by the AP and reported far and wide. Why act like no one cares? Ever heard of MADD, or SADD, or DADD. People are outraged about drunk driving. Why do you keep insisting otherwise?

The weird thing is, I agree with you and MLW. But the reality is, these stories happen everyday in every state, not just Texas for years.
And, what has really been done about it? Constant repeaters of this same CRIME!
And, the reason that nothing is done, is that a lot of "law makers" drink...........and drive, IMO.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 2:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(nogods @ Dec. 12 2013, 8:32 am)
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It's the outcome for poor black 16 year-olds that needs attention.

This!

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 2:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(HighGravity @ Dec. 12 2013, 10:03 am)
QUOTE

(Montanalonewolf @ Dec. 12 2013, 8:22 am)
QUOTE
If the kid had blatantly shot 4 people, there would be countrywide outrage at such a sentence. Drunk murder? Not much said.

What the hell are you talking about? It's a local story picked up by the AP and reported far and wide. Why act like no one cares? Ever heard of MADD, or SADD, or DADD. People are outraged about drunk driving. Why do you keep insisting otherwise?

There is no excuse for giving a 16 year old kid access to a F350.  If he had been driving a Corolla on his drunken rampage, he would have probably only killed one or two.  Texas should pass a law making it illegal to own large trucks.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 2:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Lamebeaver @ Dec. 12 2013, 11:22 am)
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(HighGravity @ Dec. 12 2013, 10:03 am)
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(Montanalonewolf @ Dec. 12 2013, 8:22 am)
QUOTE
If the kid had blatantly shot 4 people, there would be countrywide outrage at such a sentence. Drunk murder? Not much said.

What the hell are you talking about? It's a local story picked up by the AP and reported far and wide. Why act like no one cares? Ever heard of MADD, or SADD, or DADD. People are outraged about drunk driving. Why do you keep insisting otherwise?

There is no excuse for giving a 16 year old kid access to a F350.  If he had been driving a Corolla on his drunken rampage, he would have probably only killed one or two.  Texas should pass a law making it illegal to own large trucks.

They'll outlaw big hats first.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 2:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Montanalonewolf @ Dec. 12 2013, 8:22 am)
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If the kid had blatantly shot 4 people, there would be countrywide outrage at such a sentence. Drunk murder? Not much said.

Blatant shooting = high likelihood of intent.
Drunk driving = high likelihood of recklessness.

The latter may be bad, very bad -- but the former may be downright evil.  Not at all comparable, IMHO.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 2:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's not unfortunate that he got drunk and killed people, it's criminal.
Let's see how stringent his supervision is. I know a lot of people that couldn't make it through a couple years of probation, when all that is required is that you not get into trouble. If the kid is a screw up and he's properly supervised he'll never make it.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 2:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I tell my kids to stay the hell out of Texas for starters.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 3:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ben2World @ Dec. 12 2013, 2:23 pm)
QUOTE

(Montanalonewolf @ Dec. 12 2013, 8:22 am)
QUOTE
If the kid had blatantly shot 4 people, there would be countrywide outrage at such a sentence. Drunk murder? Not much said.

Blatant shooting = high likelihood of intent.
Drunk driving = high likelihood of recklessness.

The latter may be bad, very bad -- but the former may be downright evil.  Not at all comparable, IMHO.

Absolutely agree that they are not comparable.

But I think that kid should be in jail for a long time.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 3:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It doesn't always work out that way.  Amy Locane recently got a three year sentence for killing someone while driving drunk in NJ.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 4:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Hungry Jack @ Dec. 12 2013, 1:30 pm)
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(Ben2World @ Dec. 12 2013, 2:23 pm)
QUOTE

(Montanalonewolf @ Dec. 12 2013, 8:22 am)
QUOTE
If the kid had blatantly shot 4 people, there would be countrywide outrage at such a sentence. Drunk murder? Not much said.

Blatant shooting = high likelihood of intent.
Drunk driving = high likelihood of recklessness.

The latter may be bad, very bad -- but the former may be downright evil.  Not at all comparable, IMHO.

Absolutely agree that they are not comparable.

But I think that kid should be in jail for a long time.

Driving drunk is showing deadly intent because there is absolutely zero excuse to DUI/DWI.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 5:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Montanalonewolf @ Dec. 12 2013, 1:53 pm)
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(Hungry Jack @ Dec. 12 2013, 1:30 pm)
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(Ben2World @ Dec. 12 2013, 2:23 pm)
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(Montanalonewolf @ Dec. 12 2013, 8:22 am)
QUOTE
If the kid had blatantly shot 4 people, there would be countrywide outrage at such a sentence. Drunk murder? Not much said.

Blatant shooting = high likelihood of intent.
Drunk driving = high likelihood of recklessness.

The latter may be bad, very bad -- but the former may be downright evil.  Not at all comparable, IMHO.

Absolutely agree that they are not comparable.  Reckless and intent are two completely different concepts!

LJ's response is much better -- he recognizes the obvious difference -- and then voices his opinion about the appropriateness of the sentencing separately.

But I think that kid should be in jail for a long time.

Driving drunk is showing deadly intent because there is absolutely zero excuse to DUI/DWI.

No, MW -- inexcusable doesn't prove intent.  Not even for adults, never mind a 16 year old.

Responding to HJ -- and this is just my opinion -- twenty years jail time (as requested by prosecutor) would help satisfy the longing for vengeance or punishment (i.e. kid needs to pay) -- but I think that 36 year old man coming out of jail will likely be damaged goods and a liability to society for the rest of his life.  OTOH, a good ten-year probation to "behave or else" might just reshape this kid into something more productive.

Does any drunk driver who kills 4 people deserve a long and severe punishment?  Yes.  But as a society, we make exceptions for minors -- for their own good as well as the good of our society -- even if that seems "unfair".


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 6:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A 16 year old should not get a long jail term, not even for murder, let alone for vehicular homicide.

But, the supervision should be close, and attention should be paid in the middle 20s whether there is evidence that brain maturity has resulted in a positive change, and if it has not, the oversight should be greatly extended, IMO.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 6:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Otoh driving is a privalige.

On a second strike with no injury or loss of life five years no license. Get caught behind the wheel during that time and it's  doubled. Get caught with detectable alcohol in your system behind the wheel during that time and you lose driving for life. And the vehicle gets confiscated.

Injure or kill another person during the probation DUI and it's twenty years behind bars, no parole.

Getting the attention of people before they take that drink and get into a car would be good.
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(High_Sierra_Fan @ Dec. 12 2013, 6:48 pm)
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Otoh driving is a privalige.

On a second strike with no injury or loss of life five years no license. Get caught behind the wheel during that time and it's  doubled. Get caught with detectable alcohol in your system behind the wheel during that time and you lose driving for life. And the vehicle gets confiscated.

Injure or kill another person during the probation DUI and it's twenty years behind bars, no parole.

Getting the attention of people before they take that drink and get into a car would be good.

Well said!

The only long term hope is effective education and a change in societal norms.

We have made some good headway in that direction, but a long way to go.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 8:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

QUOTE
On a second strike with no injury or loss of life five years no license

It should be a lifetime loss of DL for a 1st offense without injury or deaths.
Charges of premeditated assault with intent to kill for injuries caused.
Charges of premeditated murder and associated penalties for deaths.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 8:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

With no gradation like that all you'll get is people pleading out to minor things and that wouldn't be any deterrabt worth anything.

The loss of judgement with the presence of chemical  impairment makes premeditation a rather difficult sell.
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(High_Sierra_Fan @ Dec. 12 2013, 6:21 pm)
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With no gradation like that all you'll get is people pleading out to minor things and that wouldn't be any deterrabt worth anything.

The loss of judgement with the presence of chemical  impairment makes premeditation a rather difficult sell.

What about lack of judgement before becoming impaired? As in giving the keys to someone else before the first drink? Failing to do so indicates premeditation to DUI/DWI when one intends to drink.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2013, 9:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Lonewolf, how many generations removed are you from your ancestor Oliver Cromwell?
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(tamarac @ Dec. 12 2013, 2:39 pm)
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I tell my kids to stay the hell out of Texas for starters.

Cool!!! It's a win/win decision...................!

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2013, 1:32 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Surely he must have been tried as an adult to receive that sentence, as a juvenile they couldn't hold him past 21. As an alcohol related incident he will surely have a no use restriction. Coming from a well off family he'll surely attend college and be in that whole party scene too. Frankly, I find the odds of someone who has had the lifestyle he has to make it through 10 years of such restrictions to be pretty slim, it would be for any kid, but I think more so for one who has grown up privileged. By their own admission this is a kid who has pretty much always gotten to do just as he wanted to do. They won't have much patience with him when he's no longer a kid and you reach an age where "I have crappy parents" isn't much of an excuse any more.

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