One summer night in 2013, 16-year-old Ethan Couch and his friends stole two cases of beer from a Texas Walmart, used said beer to get irrevocably drunk, then went out driving. Meanwhile, somewhere down the road, 24-year-old Breanna Mitchell was changing a flat tire with the help of good Samaritans Hollie Boyles, her daughter Shelby, and Brian Jennings, a youth pastor. … Exactly what you think would happen happened. Couch’s truck slammed into Boyles’s party, flinging all four of them nearly 200 feet through the air and killing them instantly. Couch found himself in court pretty much as soon as he was sober enough to stand trial.
And that’s when his gold-plated lawyer reached up his own ass and pulled out the most ridiculous defense possible: “affluenza”. Couch’s family was so very rich, and his parents were so very indulgent of his dickish behavior, that he was never properly taught that actions have consequences.
Impossibly, the argument worked. Rather than the 20-year prison sentence that prosecutors were shooting for, Couch landed a cushy 10-year probation in a fancy, rich-folks-only rehab center. Because what better way to teach a young man that his actions have serious consequences than to prove to him, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that his actions do not have serious consequences?