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Affluenza - WTF??!!

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by dmc, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Get this - a 16 year old drives drunk, plows into (and kills) 4 pedestrians, but, because he's from a rich family, the judge decides not to send him to jail but, instead, to give him 10 years probation. Daddy can send him to an expensive rehab place near the beach in Southern California to make it all better.

    The defense was, basically, that he was ignored and given no boundaries by his really rich parents, so it's not his fault. (Hence the term "affluenza" making it sound like it's some mental condition from being raised rich as opposed to, say, spoiled brat as one person in the article mentioned.)

    Oh, yeah, the kid's from Texas, so I can't even blame my local idiot judges for this one.

    Money quote:

    Full article: Link

    I can't imagine how this judge thought this was a good idea, unless the judge was keen on reinforcing the idea that money buys you better justice in a really, really, obvious way. :rolleyes:
     
  2. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Naw, he was just thinking about the extra money/influence coming his way for his leniency. Or maybe thinking about the headaches he can avoid by not pissing off powerful people.
     
  3. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    As its always said, money talks.
     
  4. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Question: Does the US legal system allow for the prosecution to appeal a sentence like this? In Canada, generally speaking, if the prosecution (much like the defendant) doesn’t like a decision, they can appeal. Although the fact that this case involves a juvenile may complicate things. Certainly Beren could better talk about the Canadian system.
     
  5. Beren

    Beren Lovesick and Lonely Wanderer Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The appeal standard in Canada is demonstrably unfit, a very hard standard to meet.

    In Canada, this would have been a solid one for lengthy closed custody, at least. Maybe that judge should be investigated for taking a bribe, unreal.
     
  6. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    Did the judge cite "affluenza" in his sentencing decision?
     
  7. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I believed he used the more technical term "spoiled brat".
     
    Atmer and Shoshino like this.
  8. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
    Latest gem: Rogue Stone


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    I found this case fascinating. I am normally a strict law and order kind of guy. However, where I differ is with minors. That may be because I have a 17 year old. Teenage boys are man sized, and can be highly intelligent, but they also are inheritantly stupid. While what the kid did was stupid and clearly tragic as people died, but I'm not sure putting the kid away for twenty years is a good idea either. I Have a problem coming up with what a proper punishment Should be. In this case I would like to see some Level of punishment and rehabilitation with the goal of making the kid a useful member of society.

    FYI, Mrs. Snook thinks I'm crazy as she would lock the kid up and throw away the key.
     
  9. Darion

    Darion Resident Dissident Veteran BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    [​IMG]

    More Justice less 'Law'.
     
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  10. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    The girl is of African descent, sadly that makes all the difference. This is not an attempt to troll, I used to scoff at the "race-baiters" and think it was all a bunch of hog-wash but the more I see of our world the more I see that the value of your life is directly tied into the hue of your skin.
     
  11. Darion

    Darion Resident Dissident Veteran BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    I thought the same.
    But i cannot help wondering if she had been one of the wealthy, would she still suffer the same fate?
     
  12. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    Of course not, the judge would have a new car.
     
  13. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    Why even call it justice anymore? Just call it "legal paperwork".
     
  14. Montresor

    Montresor Mostly Harmless Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder

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    Where do I go to turn myself in for contempt of court?

    Or wait - make that contempt of the judicial system!
     
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  15. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    Meh. The kid didn't intentionally kill those 4 people. Like any drunk driver, he deserves to lose his license and do tons of community service. We punish drunk drivers too harshly. The manslaughter case has legs, but we often punish too harshly for manslaughter, too. The kid didn't get sentenced harshly enough, but most people in the same situation are sentenced far too harshly. I'm still trying to decide which is worse.
     
  16. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    I have always taken a harsh stance to drink driving - fuelled by the fact that I've had a friend killed by a drink driver. Driving a car is a privlidge, you train to control a dangerous tool, which like many tools can ba a dangerous weapon when not treated with respect, the instant you get into a car and you are unfit to drive I consider that criminal intent, you know you shouldn't be driving and you know the possible consequences of doing so, its like taking a gun and fireing it randomly from a window and then trying to claim that you didn't intentionally kill anyone.
     
  17. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    I've also had a close family friend die to a drunk driver. The driver was just a kid, 16 years old, and the community pushed to have him tried as an adult, since this was an 'adult' decision. As a result of this woman's death, the network of information needed to keep her children alive died with her, too, putting two of her children in very dire straits. The kids needed very regular blood transfusions and the donors needed to be on a special diet, so not just any compatible blood would do. She kept no records -- the donor list was in her head. That harsh reality aside , this was anything but an adult decision -- in fact, drinking and driving epitomizes the very foolishness we all point to when speaking of youth.

    Prison is for people who attempt to flout society's laws for personal gain, for criminals that knowingly and intentionally victimize other people. Most drunk drivers make their fateful decision with no intention of causing an accident, let along hurting someone in the process. Moreover, most drunk drivers are never caught, and those that are caught are fortunate enough to have been caught before they had a chance to hurt someone. Drunk drivers deserve to lose their licenses for a very long time. They should also be required to perform many hours of a relevant community service and pay restitution where appropriate*. A little jail time can sometimes be in order, but our prisons are for real criminals. We shouldn't be placing driving under the influence in the same category we place crimes like extortion, embezzlement, theft, murder, assault, etc. It's one thing when a repeat offender drives drunk on a suspended license. Throwing the book at a person like that makes sense. First time offenders and repeat offenders who have several years between infractions should be treated differently.

    * I've never been comfortable with fines. They cut hardest against those in the lowest income brackets and they have no real deterrent effect the upper middle class and above, since these socioeconomic groups can easily afford to pay the fine. As such. fines are an inherently unfair and largely ineffective means of deterrent. Community service, probation, and jail time are equally bad for everyone, and requiring someone to do community service benefits the community as a whole.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  18. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    The deaths were a direct result of his actions regardless of how foolish they may be. In the UK he would be convicted of causing death by careless driving, the factor being that he fell 'far below' what would be expected of a compentant driver (driving under the influence) as such he would either be sentenced depending on the amount of alcohol intake, disqualified for 3 years and ordered to take an extended retest.

    The legal limit in the UK is 35mg breath (80mg blood and 107mg in urine)

    35 - 50 mg of alcohol/minimum quantity of drugs OR test refused because of honestly held but unreasonable belief:


    Careless/ inconsiderate driving arising from momentary inattention with no aggravating factors
    Starting point: 18 months custody
    Sentencing range: 26 weeks - 4 years custody

    Other cases of careless/ inconsiderate driving
    Starting point: 3 years custody
    Sentencing range: 2 - 5 years custody

    Careless/ inconsiderate driving falling not far short of dangerousness
    Starting point: 4 years custody
    Sentencing range: 3 - 6 years custody


    51 - 70 mg of alcohol/moderate quantity of drugs OR deliberate non-provision of specimen:

    Careless/ inconsiderate driving arising from momentary inattention with no aggravating factors
    Starting point: 4 years custody
    Sentencing range: 3 - 7 years custody

    Other cases of careless/ inconsiderate driving
    Starting point: 5 years custody
    Sentencing range: 4 - 8 years custody

    Careless/ inconsiderate driving falling not far short of dangerousness
    Starting point: 6 years custody
    Sentencing range: 5 - 9 years custody

    71mg or above of alcohol/high quantity of drugs OR deliberate non-provision of specimen where evidence of serious impairment:

    Careless/ inconsiderate driving arising from momentary inattention with no aggravating factors
    Starting point: 6 years custody
    Sentencing range: 5 - 10 years custody

    Other cases of careless/ inconsiderate driving
    Starting point: 7 years custody
    Sentencing range: 6 - 12 years custody

    Careless/ inconsiderate driving falling not far short of dangerousness
    Starting point: 8 years custody
    Sentencing range: 7 - 14 years custody


    Additional aggravating factors:

    Other offences committed at the same time, such as driving other than in accordance with the terms of a valid licence; driving while disqualified; driving without insurance; taking a vehicle without consent; driving a stolen vehicle

    Previous convictions for motoring offences, particularly offences that involve bad driving or the consumption of excessive alcohol before driving

    More than one person was killed as a result of the offence

    Serious injury to one or more persons in addition to the death(s)

    Irresponsible behaviour such as failing to stop or falsely claiming that one of the victims was responsible for the collision.
     
  19. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    In contrast to the UK code you have displayed, US law is all over the place, and it's application ranges from laughably inadequate to incredibly heavy handed. I still think spending government dollars to incarcerate a drunk driver is a waste when the danger posed to society by a drunk driver is easily removed by taking away his license for 5-10 years. In addition to that, community service directly helps the community instead of costing tax dollars.

    Short of cutting off a thief's hands, we can't guarantee that a thief will stop stealing after paying restitution and doing some community service, so prison for a car thief (or a rapist, murderer, etc) is necessary. If we take away a drunk driver's car and his license to drive, however, we can be reasonably sure that he won't do it again. No need to waste government dollars sending him to prison at state expense when we can let him provide for himself and simultaneously compel him provide free labor for the benefit of the community.
     
  20. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I partially agree with Drew's comments, at least insofar as first time offenders goes, although his approach is less successful when the deterrence factor for other drivers is taken into consideration. Also, there's this:
    Taking someone's license away doesn't remove the risk, as they can simply drive without a license. It does set the stage, though, for harsher penalties the next time. Unfortunately, by then, it might be too late.
     
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