This is one of the most conflicting news stories I have viewed this year, and maybe even longer. I believe the story of Ethan Couch is right up there with Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning. Not that the actions were at all similar, it is that these stories bring up several conflicting emotions within me. I do not pretend to have all of the facts, nor do I understand everything that occurred. However, what America is looking at is a tragedy. There is no way to resurrect those killed, we cannot turn back time, and in the end, here, there are no winners.
Ethan Couch’s life is over. His fathers business is ruined. The entire family demonized for the actions of an immature young man. He will spend the next ten years in the system, and that is if he stays out of trouble. (I suspect with such a severe case of ‘affluenza’, that is doubtful at best). He is a murderer; a killer, and he is only sixteen. The judges decision while at first may seem lenient, is actually the better of two evils. At the beginning of the case, it was decided he would be tried as a minor. This is where the focus should really be.
He was over six-teen; he was given a 40,000-dollar company vehicle by his father, and had 6 passengers in a pickup truck. He was responsible, had responsibilities that an adult has, and made egregious errors. He should have been tried as an adult, however, once it was ruled that he would be tried as a minor everything changed. Any jail sentence would be completed either at eighteen, which is most likely, or twenty-one at maximum. (Depending on state laws, and regulations.) That means on a twenty-year sentence, which was the max, he would end up serving no more than 2, to 5 years. The judge’s decision to utilize rehabilitation, and probation, does effectively keep him under legal review, and up for more severe consequences as an adult. He will most likely end up in prison for a short amount of time down the road. It would have been a better decision to force Ethan Couch to serve rehabilitation in a state facility, not a plush private facility.
In hindsight, I am not supporting Ethan Couch. I am supporting the ruling that so many seemed shocked, and appalled by. This is typical American media behavior. Our system is severely broken, but it will not change until we as Americans change it. If you want to be mad, be mad at our system. Be mad at the ruling that made him be tried as a minor. But also look within. He, who is without sin, cast the first stone. I have driven drunk, and most of you have as well. Let this be a lesson for all of us, and shall we not become demons ourselves, as we demonize others.