In my youth, I used to hate being called spoiled.
One of the reasons I resented it so much is because, deep down, I knew it was true. My parents usually bought me things when I asked. They never pushed me to get a job or to make my own money as a teenager.
But there’s different degrees of spoiled.
There’s people like me, whose occasional pampering by his parents allowed him to become an apathetic homebody throughout his adolescence.
Then there’s those who expect money and gifts at every beckoning call.
Then there’s the girls you see on the show “My Super Sweet 16.”
And then there’s Ethan Couch. No relation to an actual couch.
The now 18-year-old from Fort Worth, Texas first made headlines in 2013, when, after stealing beer from a Walmart to bring to his friend’s party, drove a pick-up truck later that night crammed with six other people inside, and, with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit, swerved off the road and killed four people.
He never saw jail time. Instead, he was sentenced to 10 years probation. And it was in large part because his defense claimed he suffers from “Affluenza,” a behavioral disorder that affects children of privilege.
If your anger has already begun, then good, it means you’re human. But it’s worth noting that most attorneys defending any 16-year-old of a crime would claim that their client should be granted leniency because they are not old enough to fully understand the consequences of their actions. They’d probably just use different verbiage.
Established science does tell us, after all, that the human brain does not fully develop until the age of 18.
But the whole concept of Affluenza underscores why their is so much racial tension in this country. Would a black boy from a poor family be given equal treatment if his lawyers claimed Affluenza?
Nonetheless, what should have been apparent in the case of Ethan Couch is that this kid was destined to be a screw-up. And if he’s so spoiled, wouldn’t letting him off easy only serve to reaffirm his feeling of privilege and immortality?
Shockingly, two years later, Ethan Couch is in trouble again. After facing a hearing for possibly violating his parole, him and his mother fled to Mexico in early December, inciting a police manhunt.
Sporting new hairdos, they were discovered by authorities last week. The mom, Tonya Couch, has been extradited back to the U.S., and faces two to 10 years in prison for hindering apprehension.
Ethan Couch, meanwhile, may not be returned for months because high-profile attorneys supplied by his rich parents have found ways to stall his deportation.
This kid is just an absolute winner.
But at the end of the day, it makes me feel that much better for how unbelievably not spoiled I was in comparison.
The best part is since his probation is being supervised by a juvenile court, he faces, at worst, 120 days in prison.
Prosecutors reportedly will request that Couch’s case be transferred to an adult court, which means any further violation of his probation could result in a 10-year prison sentence.
I’d say I hope that this happens, but given this kid’s track record, it’s pretty much inevitable. It’s what screw-ups do.
But that’s America for you, folks. It’s the only place where being rich and spoiled will not only keep you out of jail, but will make you a sympathetic figure inside of a courtroom.
I’m just sad because until I read about this, I assumed every court case in America was won by an attorney screaming “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”
Shows what I know.