Video: Abbott looking into appealing the “affluenza” sentence

posted at 3:01 pm on December 16, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Texas Attorney General is already considered a heavy favorite to replace fellow Republican Rick Perry as governor in the 2014 election, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to just rest on his law-and-order laurels. Thanks to widespread public outrage over the slap on the wrist given to 16-year-old Ethan Couch after killing four people while driving drunk because of supposedly being too rich to be responsible for his actions, Abbott told the local CBS affiliate that his (current) office is looking into an appeal of the sentence — and legislative action to prevent this kind of defense in the future. And Abbott isn’t alone in the effort:

“Any time anyone is harmed in an accident, of course, there is tremendous sympathy for the victims and their family members and sorrow for the tragedy that happened. But then, to see the result in something like this is just outrageous,” said Abbott.

The Attorney General said his office is looking into the case to see whether the decision can be appealed.

“The fact that someone who injured others and killed others and escaped with such a light penalty is not what you typically see in Texas,” he said. “We want to visit with various different parties to see if there is an angle for the attorney general’s office to play a role.”

The Tarrant County District Attorney’s office said neither Abbott nor his office has reached out to them, but that it is exploring its options in this case, as well.

Don’t get your hopes up, though:

It would be surprising if any grounds to either overturn the sentence or prosecute Couch on any additional charges were found, according to former U.S. attorney Richard Roper.

Roper said, now that the judge has ruled, the state of Texas will likely have to live with her ruling.

It may not be entirely hopeless, though.  Time Magazine featured an essay this weekend from the department chair of psychology at Stetson University, Christopher Ferguson, arguing that the “affluenza” phenomenon is not only “junk science,” the theoretical proposition for it has nothing to do with diminished capacity for criminal intent.  It’s a possible phenomenon relating to consumer behavior only:

Affluenza seems mainly the product of pop psychology, and it doesn’t even mean what Couch’s defense lawyers intended it to mean. It is generally characterized as a contagious social disease, typified by a “keeping up with the Joneses” materialism, spending and debt. According to Gregory McNeal in Forbesthe term affluenza is often used in tax and estate law, albeit even there with some skepticism. Given all of this, how affluenza came to be so influential in a criminal case is astounding. Our legal system has protections against using junk science in court decisions.  I have not read transcripts of the trial, but I would be surprised if prosecutors made no effort to challenge the use of affluenza in this case.

Couch may very well have mental health issues. Few psychologists would argue that being raised in an atmosphere of instant gratification and negligible consequences for bad behavior is healthy for child development. In addition, Couch’s risky behavior might indicate alcoholism and, if he truly were evidencing a pathological sense of entitlement or lack of empathy for others, it’s possible he might be diagnosable with a personality disorder. These are legitimate conditions, although they typically do not result in such a massive reduction in sentencing as was seen in this case. It is ironic that, in arguing Couch is a victim of bad parenting free of consequences for antisocial behavior, the defense and judge appear to have merely continued exactly this pattern, demanding unbelievably soft consequences for the death of four.

Even the author of the term “affluenza” pronounces himself “appalled” by its application, and invokes the same historical reference that immediately came to my mind when I heard about it, and asks the same question Allahpundit did last week:

Like most Americans, I was appalled by Ethan Couch decision. The “affluenza” plea seems about as serious as the famous “Twinkie defense” that Dan White used in his trial for killing Harvey Milk. And if Couch is not responsible for his actions, but rather a victim of poor parenting, then why shouldn’t his parents serve the time?

It seems clear that this decision is really special treatment for the rich, who often go unpunished for their misdeeds.  Imagine an inner city kid claiming he stole Nikes because he had “affluenza” and wasn’t taught responsibility by his parents. Not likely to work in a country where a homeless, freezing, Texas man spent months in prison for stealing blankets, or where Curtis Wilkerson got life in California for shoplifting a pair of socks.

Perhaps if the state can show that the sentencing was based on a false representation by the defense of what “affluenza” is and its standing in the psychology profession, an appeals court might be convinced to overturn the sentence and send the case back to the court for resentencing.  It’s probably still a long shot, but it’s worth the effort — both for justice and no small amount of good Texas politics.

Addendum: It’s worth noting that the “Twinkie defense” is actually misunderstood. The defense of Dan White in the murders of George Moscone and Harvey Milk didn’t argue that consumption of Twinkies produced a diminished capacity, but that White’s heavy consumption of junk foods (Twinkies were never mentioned) were one symptom among several others of his mental incapacity through clinical depression.

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If Obama had a son…

John the Libertarian on December 16, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Doesn’t double jeopardy prevent that? Believe me, I’d love for this punk to go away for a long time, but the idiot judge made sure that would never happen.

Doughboy on December 16, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Is Ethan Couch still alive? If so, it ain’t the Texas I used to live in.

M240H on December 16, 2013 at 3:07 PM

“The fact that someone who injured others and killed others and escaped with such a light penalty is not what you typically see in Texas,” he said.

No, but in Texas DWI cases, it is seen far too often.

Doughboy on December 16, 2013 at 3:05 PM

The idiot judge did a very good job of keeping this kid under the legal microscope.

A jail sentence would have seen him released on his eighteenth birthday.

cozmo on December 16, 2013 at 3:10 PM

Doesn’t double jeopardy prevent that? Believe me, I’d love for this punk to go away for a long time, but the idiot judge made sure that would never happen.

Doughboy on December 16, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Double Jeopardy doesn’t apply until the matter is final. If they can successfully appeal the decision, then they can get resentencing.

blammm on December 16, 2013 at 3:11 PM

very, Very weak from Abbott.

Geez, someone tell this guy to put a little Heart into
it please..

ToddPA on December 16, 2013 at 3:12 PM

The idiot judge did a very good job of keeping this kid under the legal microscope.

A jail sentence would have seen him released on his eighteenth birthday.

cozmo on December 16, 2013 at 3:10 PM

I’d rather he do time than go to rehab in Newport Beach. That doesn’t sound like much of a punishment.

Doughboy on December 16, 2013 at 3:12 PM

Roper said, now that the judge has ruled, the state of Texas will likely have to live with her ruling.

Unless there was judicial malfeasance, in which case the Texas Supreme court could declare a mistrial. Double jeopardy would not be an issue if the state can show the judge pre-determined the outcome in exchange for for something of value.

A bribe, IOW.

BobMbx on December 16, 2013 at 3:13 PM

I’d rather he do time than go to rehab in Newport Beach. That doesn’t sound like much of a punishment.

Doughboy on December 16, 2013 at 3:12 PM

Yeah, I’m not sure there’s any value in having a 16 year hanging out with Charlie Sheen in a rehab center.

BobMbx on December 16, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Doughboy on December 16, 2013 at 3:12 PM

No, it doesn’t sound like much of a punishment to me either.

Though, this way he will have to behave for a decade.

Probably more parenting than this punk has received his entire life.

cozmo on December 16, 2013 at 3:14 PM

This is 100% “like Texas.” A state where wealth and connections (or participation in Division 1 college athletics) gets men a pass on all kinds of violent and criminal behavior. The state’s history is littered with them. The fact that it was taken to this extreme is indicative of how the system works in Texas.

libfreeordie on December 16, 2013 at 3:16 PM

OT: Judge: NSA program likely unconstitutional

“I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying it and analyzing it without judicial approval,” wrote Leon, an appointee of President George W. Bush.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/12/national-security-agency-phones-judge-101203.html#ixzz2nffYKScR

kcewa on December 16, 2013 at 3:18 PM

libfreeordie on December 16, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Stupid lying ignorant racist moron. Texas is too easy on drunk driving regardless of race or economic status.

cozmo on December 16, 2013 at 3:21 PM

A jail sentence would have seen him released on his eighteenth birthday.

cozmo on December 16, 2013 at 3:10 PM

You are an utter moron. It is very easy to try a teen as an adult in this country. It happens more than you realize.

Kuntrell Jackson was sentenced to life in prison,without the possibility of parole at the age of 14. His crime? Being an accessory to an armed robbery.

http://www.thv11.com/news/article/262043/2/Kuntrell-Jackson-to-get-new-sentenced-for-juvenile-crime

In Missouri, black teens are tried as adults at an astonishing rate

In 2009, 64 percent of juveniles statewide prosecuted as adults were African Americans, nearly double the 2001 level of 36 percent. Black youth make up 15 percent of the state’s population between 10 and 17 that falls under the jurisdiction of juvenile courts.

https://www.stlbeacon.org/#!/content/16224/black_teens_disproportionately_tried_as_adults

Weirdly enough, no one came up with Povertenza as an excuse for their crimes….

libfreeordie on December 16, 2013 at 3:21 PM

The state’s history is littered with them. The fact that it was taken to this extreme is indicative of how the system works in Texas.

libfreeordie on December 16, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Examples or links, and not just one on some liberal website. You have a habit of making $hit up on here.

Johnnyreb on December 16, 2013 at 3:21 PM

A jail sentence would have seen him released on his eighteenth birthday.

Though, this way he will have to behave for a decade.

good points cozmo, without knowing the details of the probation, the judge may have built a decent cage for him after all

DanMan on December 16, 2013 at 3:21 PM

You are an utter moron. It is very easy to try a teen as an adult in this country. It happens more than you realize.

libfreeordie on December 16, 2013 at 3:21 PM

Howling with laughter at your insipid attack.

cozmo on December 16, 2013 at 3:23 PM

BobMbx on December 16, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Or Bob Filner.

blammm on December 16, 2013 at 3:23 PM

This is 100% “like Texas.” A state where wealth and connections (or participation in Division 1 college athletics) gets men a pass on all kinds of violent and criminal behavior. The state’s history is littered with them. The fact that it was taken to this extreme is indicative of how the system works in Texas.

libfreeordie on December 16, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Any comments on the OJ trial in California or the Klaus von Bulow matter in New York? Money, and the ability to hire clever lawyers with it, knows no state bounds, despite your desire to push this as a Red State-only situation.

jon1979 on December 16, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Gov. Perry should take the actions to remove the judge from the bench before she retires…And maybe Abbott can look into the prosecutor who cut the deal.

workingclass artist on December 16, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Perhaps if the state can show that the sentencing was based on a false representation by the defense of what “affluenza” is and its standing in the psychology profession, an appeals court might be convinced to overturn the sentence and send the case back to the court for resentencing. It’s probably still a long shot, but it’s worth the effort — both for justice and no small amount of good Texas politics.

It is junk science.

In all my 20+ years, I’ve certainly never heard of it and it’s not listed in the DSM-V, which is the insurance bible used to describe billable services to treat mental conditions.

This lawyer and judge can’t just pull something out of the backside of their collective laps to make a legal decision. It would be the same thing as quoting a non-existent law to get someone off.

The lawyer is crooked.

……The judge is just too stupid or too lazy to do so and too lazy to look it up. No grounds for it to stand.

avagreen on December 16, 2013 at 3:26 PM

Happy Tea Party day y’all!

December 16, 1773.

Murphy9 on December 16, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Or maybe as Cosmo has suggested the legislature needs to work on the laws.

This kid got off too easy…4 people died.

workingclass artist on December 16, 2013 at 3:28 PM

jon1979 on December 16, 2013 at 3:23 PM

A. Who on earth said that miscarriage of justice was limited to red states. Wisconsin has one of the most racially biased criminal justice systems in the country.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2013/10/03/228733846/wisconsin-prisons-incarcerate-most-black-men-in-u-s

B. OJ was 20 years ago, I do love that conservatives *still* have to use that as evidence that the system is equally unfair to the black and white wealthy.

C. I’m a Marxist, so of course I recognize that wealth produces privilege outside of the red states.

libfreeordie on December 16, 2013 at 3:29 PM

I know it’s not nice to say, but there’s a real possibility that the Judge was directly bribed in this case – it happens more often than we like to think. And this family had the money to do it. If it was in cash, and they all kept their mouths shut and were smart about it, who could ever prove it?

Tom Servo on December 16, 2013 at 3:31 PM

It would be surprising if any grounds to either overturn the sentence or prosecute Couch on any additional charges were found, according to former U.S. attorney Richard Roper.

Has he been charged with burglary and theft (for breaking into the Walmart and stealing the beer?)

He might not get much jail time for that, but any is better than none.

Hayabusa on December 16, 2013 at 3:31 PM

*The lawyer is crooked.

……The judge is just too stupid or too lazy to look it up. No grounds for it to stand.

avagreen on December 16, 2013 at 3:26 PM

avagreen on December 16, 2013 at 3:31 PM

’d rather he do time than go to rehab in Newport Beach. That doesn’t sound like much of a punishment.

Doughboy on December 16, 2013 at 3:12 PM

It will probably be more of a punishment for the counselors who have to deal with his weasly, sorry, punk a$$.

NavyMustang on December 16, 2013 at 3:34 PM

This is 100% “like Texas.” A state where wealth and connections (or participation in Division 1 college athletics) gets men a pass on all kinds of violent and criminal behavior. The state’s history is littered with them. The fact that it was taken to this extreme is indicative of how the system works in Texas.

libfreeordie on December 16, 2013 at 3:16 PM

I’m sorry, did they move Los Angeles, BRENTWOOD, to Texas?
You could even examine that case under a suspicion of racism, brainfree.

RovesChins on December 16, 2013 at 3:36 PM

It’s a pity this didn’t fall in Rosemary Lehmberg’s jurisdiction.

TexasDan on December 16, 2013 at 3:36 PM

The idiot judge did a very good job of keeping this kid under the legal microscope.

A jail sentence would have seen him released on his eighteenth birthday.

cozmo on December 16, 2013 at 3:10 PM

Cozmo, since you’re a little closer “on the ground” to this, is there any indication the judge might have behaved corruptly as opposed to ineptly? I have a very hard time believing this judge is so inept as to just “buy” the affluenza defense and I am convinced there must be bribery or social connections involved here.

Doomberg on December 16, 2013 at 3:37 PM

I wish liberals would make up their tiny minds. First they tell you that teenagers are basically adults when it comes to sex, and certainly adults when it comes to the liberal blessed sacrament of abortion; but in the same breath they’ll tell you a teenager is an innocent little waif when said teenagers actions lead to someone getting robbed, beaten, or killed.

CurtZHP on December 16, 2013 at 3:38 PM

TexasDan on December 16, 2013 at 3:36 PM

A good way to inject some humor into this and also show why drunk driving hasn’t gotten the punishment it deserves in Texas.

NavyMustang on December 16, 2013 at 3:34 PM

Think on that for a minute. Right now this kid is more hated than Dana Brock (look her up). The folks holding this kid will be able to get away with lots “hazing”. If he doesn’t behave, he gets more punishment.

cozmo on December 16, 2013 at 3:41 PM

This is 100% “like Texas.” A state where wealth and connections (or participation in Division 1 college athletics) gets men a pass on all kinds of violent and criminal behavior. The state’s history is littered with them. The fact that it was taken to this extreme is indicative of how the system works in Texas.

libfreeordie on December 16, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Yes. Totally unlike the state of Massachusetts – where nobody would ever use their power or position to murder a girl in the Chappaquiddick River and evade justice.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/frenzy/kennedy.htm

Turtle317 on December 16, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Turtle317 on December 16, 2013 at 3:42 PM

And that’s just one example from the Kennedy dynasty alone.

CurtZHP on December 16, 2013 at 3:45 PM

OT: Judge: NSA program likely unconstitutional

“I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying it and analyzing it without judicial approval,” wrote Leon, an appointee of President George W. Bush.

kcewa on December 16, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Let me see……hmmmmm……no…nothing wrong with the NSA doing this….its just a tax, you see.

CJ Roberts

BobMbx on December 16, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Doomberg on December 16, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Sorry, no real reason to suspect corruption (though it is possible, the dad is very rich).

The judge isn’t a bleeding heart.

Texas has never punished drunk driving as much as it should have. I have not lost any one to a drunk driver so I don’t have an axe to grind. I have known many habitual drunk drivers though. There are even more of them once you get out of the metro areas.

cozmo on December 16, 2013 at 3:45 PM

jon1979 on December 16, 2013 at 3:23 PM

A. Who on earth said that miscarriage of justice was limited to red states. Wisconsin has one of the most racially biased criminal justice systems in the country.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2013/10/03/228733846/wisconsin-prisons-incarcerate-most-black-men-in-u-s

B. OJ was 20 years ago, I do love that conservatives *still* have to use that as evidence that the system is equally unfair to the black and white wealthy.

C. I’m a Marxist, so of course I recognize that wealth produces privilege outside of the red states.

libfreeordie on December 16, 2013 at 3:29 PM

A. Wisconsin: Incarcerating the black men Chicago, IL can’t or won’t.

B. Skakel.

C. As a Marxist, you have no idea how wealth is produced.

M240H on December 16, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Under Texas law, the governor can remove a sitting judge with 2/3 support from Texas House and Senate members.

workingclass artist on December 16, 2013 at 3:49 PM

I just called the Tarrant Co. D.A.’s office to tell them this isn’t a legit diagnosis and that no mental health professional could have treated this kid for this problem in the past(and gotten paid for it, or even had a number to identify it on a psych report) as it doesn’t exist in the DSM-V. Therefore, it’s not a “legal” diagnosis.

I’m probs not the only person to have done this, but just wanted them to know this in case no one has snapped to this defense of the wrongfulness of this diagnosis as the reason for him getting off.

As a result, I think Abbott has a good case….don’t care what some judge says, unless that judge knows the legal ramifications of using/not using the DSM-V as justification for a diagnosis.

We’ll see…

avagreen on December 16, 2013 at 3:53 PM

We’ll see…

avagreen on December 16, 2013 at 3:53 PM

You may want to pick a different windmill to joust with. The sentence has been passed. As long as the kid behaves (for probably the first time in his life) the punishment won’t be changed.

It wasn’t used as a defense. It was used as reasoning for punishment.

cozmo on December 16, 2013 at 3:58 PM

cozmo on December 16, 2013 at 3:58 PM

Perhaps if the state can show that the sentencing was based on a false representation by the defense of what “affluenza” is and its standing in the psychology profession, an appeals court might be convinced to overturn the sentence and send the case back to the court for resentencing.

avagreen on December 16, 2013 at 4:06 PM

yep…. sure bet those kids spending time in the penitentiary for simple drug crimes ain’t feel’n da luv.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on December 16, 2013 at 4:06 PM

The Attorney General said his office is looking into the case to see whether the decision can be appealed.

“We want to visit with various different parties to see if there is an angle for the attorney general’s office to play a role.”

The Tarrant County District Attorney’s office said neither Abbott nor his office has reached out to them, but that it is exploring its options in this case, as well.
http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2013/12/13/attorney-generals-office-looking-into-ethan-couch-case/

avagreen on December 16, 2013 at 4:10 PM

A spokesperson for the DA told CBS 11 News, though, it doesn’t look promising. “We’re not aware of any avenue for appeal,” said Melody McDonald.

Avenue>>>>>not a legit diagnois.

avagreen on December 16, 2013 at 4:12 PM

This was not a sentence handed down by the judge, it was a plea deal accepted by the prosecution. I don’t think the judge has a lot of leeway if the prosecution accepts the deal. Where the real investigation should take place is the prosecution: did *they* benefit in any way from accepting this plea deal? Did they have such a weak case that this is the best they could do?

GWB on December 16, 2013 at 4:15 PM

I wish liberals would make up their tiny minds. First they tell you that teenagers are basically adults when it comes to sex, and certainly adults when it comes to the liberal blessed sacrament of abortion; but in the same breath they’ll tell you a teenager is an innocent little waif when said teenagers actions lead to someone getting robbed, beaten, or killed.

CurtZHP

Not to pick nits, but that applies to conservatives who like to say teenagers aren’t adults when it comes to sex but then want to treat them as adults when someone gets beaten, robbed or killed as well.

xblade on December 16, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Not to pick nits, but that applies to conservatives who like to say teenagers aren’t adults when it comes to sex but then want to treat them as adults when someone gets beaten, robbed or killed as well.

xblade on December 16, 2013 at 4:27 PM

The biggest reason liberals look at teenagers that way is the same reason they look at everyone else that way. Complete absolution from personal responsibility. They treat them like adults only when treating them like children would be the responsible thing to do. They treat them like children only when doing so shields the kids from personal responsibility.

CurtZHP on December 16, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Sweet little Ethan needs to be sentenced to a prison cell where he’ll spend quality time with his new best friend, a 6-5″, 250 lb cellmate.

BuckeyeSam on December 16, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Kuntrell Jackson was sentenced to life in prison,without the possibility of parole at the age of 14. His crime? Being an accessory to an armed robbery.

http://www.thv11.com/news/article/262043/2/Kuntrell-Jackson-to-get-new-sentenced-for-juvenile-crime

You left out the part about him being an accessory to the death of the victim.

Gee, I wonder why you would leave out that little detail…..

In Missouri, black teens are tried as adults at an astonishing rate

In 2009, 64 percent of juveniles statewide prosecuted as adults were African Americans, nearly double the 2001 level of 36 percent. Black youth make up 15 percent of the state’s population between 10 and 17 that falls under the jurisdiction of juvenile courts.

https://www.stlbeacon.org/#!/content/16224/black_teens_disproportionately_tried_as_adults

Unfortunately, black teens are also disproportionately violent.

It’s an ugly fact, but that doesn’t make it less true.

So if you’re just making the point that teenagers are sometimes tried as adults, fine. If this is supposed to be evidence of racial discrimination, though, it doesn’t mean anything.

Weirdly enough, no one came up with Povertenza as an excuse for their crimes….

libfreeordie on December 16, 2013 at 3:21 PM

I knew you could eventually make a halfway decent point.

There Goes the Neighborhood on December 16, 2013 at 4:42 PM

Doughboy on December 16, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Double jeopardy would apply if he had been found innocent. He is merely appealing the sentence.

Grunt on December 16, 2013 at 4:49 PM

libfreeordie on December 16, 2013 at 3:29 PM

I believe your original statement was “This is 100% “like Texas.” A state where wealth and connections (or participation in Division 1 college athletics) gets men a pass on all kinds of violent and criminal behavior…” I and others here were simply pointing out that in your childish, hot-headed initial reaction, the inference was a case like this was unique to Texas, when, as noted, people with money get away with bad/criminal behavior in all states, because they can hire good enough lawyers to get themselves off.

You’re the one who attempted to politicize the case to a specific location (and the “OJ was 20 years ago” line was lovingly trite, as if California’s turned into the Law and Order state in the past 18 years — you can go to TMZ any time and see celebs in California get off with slaps on the wrist for their bad behavior because they have the $$$ to pay for good attorneys).

jon1979 on December 16, 2013 at 4:52 PM

I knew you could eventually make a halfway decent point.

There Goes the Neighborhood on December 16, 2013 at 4:42 PM

Probably left him physically drained.

CurtZHP on December 16, 2013 at 5:04 PM

in the same breath they’ll tell you a teenager is an innocent little waif when said teenagers actions lead to someone getting robbed, beaten, or killed.
CurtZHP

In the online liberal sewers I’ve checked, the lefties are fuming about this case as much as anybody. Now if it had been a poor black kid who did this, they would deem him an “innocent little waif”. And they are only steamed about this instance because the family has money.

whatcat on December 16, 2013 at 5:14 PM

In the online liberal sewers I’ve checked, the lefties are fuming about this case as much as anybody. Now if it had been a poor black kid who did this, they would deem him an “innocent little waif”. And they are only steamed about this instance because the family has money.

whatcat on December 16, 2013 at 5:14 PM

They’re liberals, so they immediately assume that anyone who’s wealthy is conservative. Their gazillionaire heroes notwithstanding.

CurtZHP on December 16, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Perhaps if the state can show that the sentencing was based on a false representation by the defense of what “affluenza” is and its standing in the psychology profession,

Puhleeeease … The judge is a moron who is too stupid to be allowed to remain on the bench. The fact that she even allowed this defense in court shows that the trial was a total joke and needs to be retried with a judge whose IQ is over 90.

If the mind-numbing stupidity of a judge who makes a mockery of the law isn’t grounds for appeal, then nothing is. This was not a trial – given that this joke defense was even allowed – but a reality show with mental midgets running it. Of course, we have the same sort of scientifically illiterate morons all through our court systems … which is why the global warming cr@p was allowed to be run through the court and the designation of “greenhouse gases” (including water vapor – the most “impactful” of the greenhouse gases in the delusional world of anthropogenic catastrophic global warming) to be labeled “pollutants” and controlled by the EPA nazi retards.

The courts (our joke version of courts, at least) will eventually go with “the science” and determine that there is no free will, so no one will ever be held liable for any actions or their consequences … just clumps of cells being clumps of cells in the world of atoms … Except for any conservatives, of course, who will be held liable for things they never did … just for being conse3rvatives and respecting the Constitution, which is tantamount to treason in the American Socialist Superstate.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on December 16, 2013 at 5:24 PM

They’re liberals, so they immediately assume that anyone who’s wealthy is conservative. Their gazillionaire heroes notwithstanding.
CurtZHP on December 16, 2013 at 5:16 PM

True. And rich liberals are given a literal license to kill by their followers, e.g. Ted Kennedy.

whatcat on December 16, 2013 at 5:38 PM

I don’t think double jeopardy applies, they are not retrying him just looking to re-sentencing him, very different. The prosecutor I saw on the news sure didn’t seem like he was for a plea deal of this sort anyone have a video link? He pleaded guilty so what is with the light sentence? I’m pretty sure they had him without a plea. Regardless if he would be released at 18, two years in the slammer is better justice than a couple years in a Newport Beach rehab facility. His lawyer had the gall to say that the rehab facility would be a hardship on him, no Xbox. For real he said that with a straight face.

major dad on December 16, 2013 at 5:53 PM

It seems clear that this decision is really special treatment for the rich, who often go unpunished for their misdeeds.

Yeah, just ask the Kennedy family.

GarandFan on December 16, 2013 at 6:05 PM

There’s no evidence linking the judge to corruption besides her flipping off reporters as she zoomed by in her brand new Aston Martin en route to her brand new LearJet headed to a three-month all expense paid Parisian vacation sponsored by a source she stated must remain Couched in secrecy.

/S

viking01 on December 16, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Doesn’t double jeopardy prevent that? Believe me, I’d love for this punk to go away for a long time, but the idiot judge made sure that would never happen.

Doughboy on December 16, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Double jeopardy would only apply if there was a new trial.
He was found guilty.
This is a sentencing matter only, and I am not familiar with the process for requesting resentencing in Texas.

talkingpoints on December 16, 2013 at 7:28 PM