Affluenza Epidemic! Dec 13, 2013 15:30:48 GMT -5
Post by coolplanet on Dec 13, 2013 15:30:48 GMT -5
Psychologist behind rich kid's 'Affluenza' defense regrets term as teen's no-jail DUI homicide sentence touches a nerve
By John Luciew | December 13, 2013 at 7:45 AM
The bizarre term ‘affluenza’ has touched a nerve across America. And so has the no-jail sentence handed down to a Texas teenager who killed four people and injured several others in a Texas DUI case.
Now the psychologist who coined the term and bestowed 16-year-old Ethan Couch of Fort Worth, Texas, with his best defense to avoid jail-time in the case is regretting his clever word-smithing.
“I wish I had never used the term,” psychologist G. Dick Miller confessed to CNN’s Anderson Cooper Thursday. “Everyone has latched on to it.”
But as the psychologist talked, he only seemed to create more ire associated with his novel diagnosis of ‘affluenza.’ It turns out there was no real science or school of psychological thought behind making money the prime legal defense for an over-privileged teen.
Instead, Miller suggested that the entire nation, the richest in the world, is afflicted with affluenza: Everyone from parents who give their kids too much to obese Americans with too much food to eat.
“We all suffer from affluenza,” Miller declared. “We have a nation doing that.”
Couch received a sentence of ten years’ probation after a judge bought the defense's argument that Couch was a victim of 'affluenza.' Couch’s defense lawyer said the 16-year old was not taught right from wrong by his parents, and that his parents should actually share some of the blame. The teen had faced up to 20 years in prison. Needless to say, the relatives of victims in the case were crushed.
Clearly, over-privilege was at the heart of the case, right from the start. As more reporting emerges about the devastating DUI crash that killed four people emerges, the image of the entitled 16-year-old from a moneyed family grows darker.
Ethan Couch had other arrests leading up to the crash, including for improper possession of alcohol. And according to Couch’s own friends who were in the F-350 Ford pick-up during the crash, the teen knew that his name and family money would get him off right from the start.
Couch is quoted as saying at the terrible accident scene, with bodies flung from vehicles and people dead or dying: “I’m Ethan Couch. I’ll get you out of this.”
On this, he was right.