As we were talking about the harsher sentences for crack cocaine than powder cocaine in class today, and discussing how the legal system treats some people very different from others, it reminded me of this case I had read about a couple years ago.
Ethan Couch, a super-rich, white, 16 year old from Texas took his truck out with some friends and stole beer, then proceeded to drunk drive around his town eventually killing four innocent people when he crashed in to them on the side of the road.
Instead of jail time, Couch only received probation after the judge ruled that he suffered from “affluenza”; basically, he grew up so rich and spoiled that he didn’t know how to behave properly and never developed good judgment. This is an utterly ridiculous (but very true) illustration of the legal system bailing out another wealthy, white male. I highly doubt that if a lower class person of color committed this same crime that they would be let off with the same punishment.
Here is a link to a short Time article about the case: