W.P. Norton

The affluenza of Ethan Couch

In W.P. Norton on January 7, 2016 at 11:01 pm

Three cheers for Sarah Kershaw’s witty, deeply researched piece on the so-called #affluenza phenomenon. You can read it here in the Guardian.

The word “affluenza” has been with us for more than a century, Kershaw reports. But it’s back in the news in the US in the case of Ethan Couch, who fled to to Mexico to escape 10 years of probation four killing four people driving drunk when he was underage.

The lenient defense stemmed from the presentation of Couch as a lost little rich boy who had been given no boundaries by his parents and therefore knew not what he was doing and deserved the court’s coddling.

He got it, but fled to Mexico anyway, where he is, at the moment, in detention, awaiting extradition back to the states, where he could serve 40 years hard time as an adult — 10 years for each person who died in the crash he caused while driving drunk.


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