In June, 16-year old Ethan Couch, driving his father’s F-350 pickup truck while drunk on beer that he and friends had stolen from Walmart, plowed into four people on the side of the road in Burleson, Texas, killing them and grievously injuring two of his own teenage passengers.
Couch was driving 70 mph on a section of road where the limit was 40 mph. His blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit (not that it’s legal for 16-year-old children to drink in any case.) His blood also showed traces of THC (marijuana) and valium.
The dead were a young woman whose car had blown a tire and three good Samaritans including a woman, her adult daughter, and a local youth pastor who had all come to help the stranded motorist. The injured include a teenager thrown from the pickup who suffered severe brain damage and will never again walk, speak, or have anything like an actual life.
Last week, a juvenile court judge sentenced Couch — who, when he was 15 years old had been found by police passed out in a car with a naked 14-year-old girl — to probation and therapy, without a single day in jail. Prosecutors had been asking for a 20-year sentence, although in the juvenile system that could have meant as little as two years in confinement. (Couch’s attorneys argue that avoiding jail “could have him under the thumb of the justice system for the next 10 years,” cold comfort to the grieving families of his victims.)
Why did Judge Jean Boyd give a sentence which would strike most Americans as an extraordinary travesty of justice?
Please read the entirety of my article for the American Spectator here:
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